Here at the Embellishing Group, we know that the small touches really matter. A flawlessly elegant finish can mean the difference between a truly memorable piece of print and a forgettable brochure.
That’s why we proudly employ an extensive range of printing techniques, thus ensuring that every possible vision is available to our customers. In the last article, we looked at embossing and debossing, and how they can be used to add texture and depth to a business card or invitation.
Today we’re going to look at ‘Hot Foiling’, also known as ‘Hot Foil Stamping’. This isn’t a new invention, in fact the technique has been used for hundreds of years to decorate the most important texts and manuscripts
You might also be surprised to hear that you’re probably carrying an example of this technique around in your pocket. Those metallic stamps and motifs that you see on your banknotes are created using this very method, albeit in a much more high-tech way.
An Ancient Aesthetic Flourish
So, let’s look a little at how this technology came about. In the old days, pieces of pure, soft gold would be hammered down into incredibly thin ‘leaf’ sheets and then hand formed into beautifully ornate patterns and designs. These would then be attached to the covers and pages of texts to give them a truly luxurious and lavish finish. This, as you can imagine, was a complicated and expensive process.
The technique of applying gold leaf to printed texts emerged around 400 AD. Scribes in monasteries in Ireland decorated the borders of their important religious texts with incredibly intricate images, using gold leaf to highlight and illuminate areas of their illustrations. The same was done in Constantinople and in Italy, where throughout the middle ages the method was used regularly for important Christian manuscripts.
Luckily, these day we can produce the same opulent finish without breaking the bank. Real gold is no longer used, but our techniques create the same beautifully gleaming effect. Modern hot foiling can be used on business cards, invitations, business stationery and any other printed material that you feel requires an extra touch of luxury.
Add a flash of glamour to your print
A few articles back we looked at edge gilding, which uses a similar foil material laid along the edges of a book, card or brochure. Hot foiling varies from this in that the metallic foil pieces are laid on the face of the card or paper, and then stuck there with the application of heat and pressure.
A common way that this method is used is to add foiled lettering and patterns in conjunction with printed text or images. The reflective metallic foil can be stamped into selected details, certain fonts or whole designs. The foil catches the light and adds movement to the image or text.
Hot foiling can be used in conjunction with some of our other techniques, and goes particularly well with a debossed text or image, as we spoke about in our last article.
Traditionally, hot foiling used gold or silver only, but with modern technology all sorts of colours and finishes are available. The logo on your brochure, for example, can be hot foiled to give you an eye catching reflective effect while sticking to your brand’s colour palettes. Another effective example is making the text of a wedding invitation shimmer by using a reflective foil lettering.
Trust us to make your design truly shine.
At the Embellishing Group, we’re passionate about ensuring that our customers get the best possible result from their chosen printing design. Our considerable experience in the field affords us a level of knowledge and understanding of every nuance of the printing process, which we use to execute your vision with precision.
Sales display books, settlement boxes and luxury brochures all represent and reflect your sense of taste and style, and therefore need to be produced in the most elegant and beautiful way possible.
Next month, in the fifth article in our ‘Methods of Achieving Beautiful Print’ series, we’ll look at casemaking. We look forward to seeing you there!
Whatever the project, hot foiling creates a glistening, gleaming effect that will draw the eye and impress the viewer.