Wednesday, February 15
Foil blocking, also called foil stamping or foiling, is the process of applying an opaque colour foil image to paper. And, like embossing, it involves a die-stamping process. Principally, it is been used to create true metallic and special solid colour effects that cannot be achieved by any other print process.
The foil, carried on a polyester film, is fed between the die and paper. Then, under extreme heat and pressure it is fused to the paper, forming the image.
The choice of foil now extends to a variety of colours, finishes and effects, including glossy, matte or satin colour, pastel, wood grain, holographic, pearlised, marble and clear.
The basic technique is 'flat' foil blocking, but it is commonly combined with embossing to create a three-dimensional foil image.
It is important to remember that foil blocking is a bespoke service. So, to realise your vision accurately, always talk to your paper supplier and the team involved in production. A proof is always advisable. But, before you get to that stage, we can offer some tips on getting the best result from the process.
Specifying foil blocking
Intricate designs, fine letterforms or typography with tight spacing are best achieved on smooth stocks. Due to a small expansion of the image, detail may not reproduce precisely on heavily textured papers.
Once applied, foils may appear darker or lighter than the swatch, depending on the paper colour and finish. A proof is the only way to reveal this discrepancy.
You can apply foil blocking on top of many inks and coatings, but it is always wise to test your materials for compatibility.
Envelopes may be foil blocked after being made up, but the process may cause some signs of stress to the back of the envelope.
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