Hot Foiling (foiling) adds a touch of luxury to your design, there’s something unique about foil that spells glamour… It’s simply hard to not be drawn to sparkles and shine when it comes to the world of printing.
Metallic foil is applied to the surface of the stock using heat and pressure. The result? A truly stunning effect that pulls out details of the design in a metallic-coloured sheen.
So you're thrilled with the results of your Foiling, there's a few essentials to get right.
Getting the format right every time
We can only print from PDF files. Make sure your PDF is high resolution or ‘print ready’. Please supply all artwork at the correct size and make sure your design is sized in mm, programs like Canva default to pixels (px) which is very different!!
If you have more than one process (eg digital + Foiling) then please supply a 3 page PDF...
- Page 1 - everything in your design that is to be digitally printed only
- Page 2 - everything in your design that will be Foiled only
- Page 3 - what your design looks like with both (a mock up)
All artwork for Foiling must be supplied as CMYK 100% black - C:0 M:0 Y:0 K:100 (or #000000 if designing in Canva). This is because the software to make the negatives which are exposed to make the foiling blocks can only recognise black. Don't send us your design in the colour of the foil you require.
If you're not sure about CMYK check out this quick link... Why set up my artwork in CMYK and not RGB?
Minimum Stroke/line width
When lines are too thin, there may not be a large enough surface area for the foil to adhere to, leaving these elements off the page. All line weights (including fonts) should be a minimum of 0.5 point or thicker. If you're designing in Illustrator or Indesign then a good way to check is to draw a line, set it to 0.5pt stroke, and compare it to any lines you’re unsure of.
If you're designing in Canva, it's a little harder to check your line width/weight. Generally speaking, fonts sized 8pt and under will probably be too thin.
Artwork that’s a bitmap (an image) or created in Photoshop is not suitable for Foiling. The elements in your design must be vector graphics to create the Foiling blocks.
If you're not sure, please click here for more information on Vector and Bitmap files.
As we create foil using magnesium blocks we can't foil designs with variable data (you'd need a block for every name!!) So if you have variable data you'll need to create a design and order Foiling + Digital printing. Your variable data can be digitally printed.
Top Tips from the Printery Peeps
- Try to avoid designs that have a big contrast between thick and thin areas to be foiled. For us to achieve the best result foiling small or thin type, larger areas of foil may not adhere properly to the stock and appear patchy.
- San Serif typefaces (like the one this article is using) foil well as the font stroke is all the same width.
- Serif typefaces may have elements that are too thin (under 0.5pt) to foil successfully. They’re better suited to larger text elements of your design.
- Take a look at our Instagram to see the kind of designs that we Foil for inspiration.
If you’re thinking about combining Foiling with digital printing, remember that there’s a small amount of movement with the digital printing (up to 2mm).
Don’t design the digital artwork to meet Foiled elements at exact points, OR have tight registration (too close together) between Foiling and digital printing due to this movement.
Correctly supplied designs mean we won’t need to come back to you, which might cause annoying delays. After placing your order, if your design needs adjustment to make it suitable there may be a charge for any changes required.
If you're in any doubt whether your artwork is suitable for Foiling and to check it meets our guidelines submit your design and our Customer Happiness Managers will let you know ASAP if there's any issues to fix or you're good to place your order.