According to a study by the Foil & Specialty Effects Association, foil stamping and similar high-visibility enhancements on product packaging help attract customers better than those with ordinary packaging.
That’s one of the primary reasons why hot stamping machines remain an important part of product marketing. In this article, we’ll discuss what these hot foil stamping machines are and answer popular questions about the process involved.
What is Hot Foil Stamping?
Hot foil stamping is a specialized kind of printing process that involves the application of a metallic print and foil on a material, like paper, using heat and pressure. The process dates back centuries and was primarily used in decorating book covers, amulets, furniture, and more.
Today, people use foil stamping for all kinds of projects such as:
- Business Cards
- Forms and Labels
- Product Packaging
It has since grown and evolved and is now more accessible than ever before, thanks to advances in equipment and software.
How Does Hot Stamping Work?
The process of foiling or hot stamping is simple. A design that will be rendered in foil is etched onto a metal die. This die is then heated up. After that, the foil with the design is then placed between the surface of the material—like paper—and the heated die.
The foil will bond to the surface due to pressure and heat, resulting in a beautiful metallic design. The hot stamping process can be done in two ways:
- Pneumatically: Through the use of air-powered machines. These are best for higher-volume jobs, like book or magazine covers and product packaging.
- Manual: Through the use of manual hot foil stamping machines. These are perfect for low-volume jobs, like special invitations and business cards.
Regardless of what method you use, the process and the resulting product are roughly the same.
What are The Two Popular Types of Foil Stamping Methods?
There are currently two popular types of foil stamping methods used in the industry: the traditional hot foil and digital hot foil printing method.
- Traditional Hot Foil: This method involves engraving the design into a metallic plate first. If the design requires more than one color, separate metal dies need to be prepared for each color. This is great for low-volume projects.
- Digital Hot Foil: Instead of needing to be manually engraved or etched on a plate, the machine will digitally print the design directly on the material using specialized foil. This is perfect for quick or high-volume projects.
What are The Types of Foils Used?
There’s a wide variety of hot stamping foils used by the industry, with each having its differences and specialties.
- Metallic Foil: This is the most common type of stamping foil available in the market. They add a classic metallic finish to any design. While it comes in many colors, the gold and silver variants are arguably the most widely used.
- Pearlescent Foils: This type of foil adds a beautiful pearly shine to any design. It also comes in translucent and transparent finishes. Pearlescent foils are often used on greeting cards and special invitations.
- Pigmented Foils: This foil produces a glossy non-metallic finish to the design. They are very versatile and can be used on any material.
- Holographic Foils: Holographic foils are more widely used as a way to prevent counterfeiting due to their three-dimensional and rainbow color design. They are generally found on credit cards and banknotes.
- Scratch Foils: This type of foil is primarily designed to be easily scratched off. They can be found on lottery tickets.
What are the Popular Types of Dies Used?
The foil used in this hot stamping process comes in rolls that contain a thin piece of foil on one side. There are several different types, each with its pros and cons:
- Aluminum is the most common type of foil, is inexpensive, and can be used for both hand stamping and machine stamping. However, it’s difficult to print on since the ink does not adhere well to its surface.
- Gold is a more attractive option with a warm glow that perfectly complements invitations or other paper products. It is also a good choice for short-run jobs since it offers a unique appearance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t handle humidity well and may start to wrinkle if the air is too damp.
- Copper has a striking quality that makes it stand out from other metals, but its high price tag limits its usage to small quantities. This foil is also not ideal for long-run projects because it’s prone to fading over time.
- Silver is a flat color with no sheen, but it perfectly complements any project. It is pricier than gold but less so than copper—and works well in humid climates.
- Tin can be used for hand stamping and has a smooth surface that is easy to print on. Plus, it’s lightweight and affordable. However, you can only use it for short-run jobs since it will start to rust if left in the elements too long.
Elevate Your Design
Foil stamping is a simple way of elevating your design regardless of whether it’s for something as simple as a birthday card or as essential as a product design. It adds a touch of elegance and luxury to your design, making hot stamping machines a worthy investment.
SBL Machinery offers top-of-the-line hot foil stamping machines ready to bring your design ideas to life. If you’re looking to invest in hot foil stamping, contact us today. Our team would be happy to discuss the right machine for your needs.