The Beginners Guide to Foil Stamping

Print is no longer the mere basic mass production of text and images, but is also known as a powerful tool for personalizing and upgrading the aesthetic of marketing materials, invitations, and business cards. If you’ve been looking for innovative ways to elevate the design of your prints, foil stamping is a timeless printing finish that’s sure to reflect well on your brand.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about foiling stamping in this comprehensive beginners guide

A book with gold foil print design

What is Foil Stamping?

Foil stamping, also known as foil printing, is a type of printing process that can instantly add sophistication to your printed materials. What began thousands of years ago as a decorative way to detail book pages and covers – with molten gold, made by hand – has massively grown in popularity and is now made with a foil press machine.

Foil stamping is created by using a process similar to embossing. It is a specialized printing technique that uses a combination of metal dies, heat, and pressure to stick a thin foil film to a paper-based surface. This technique is specifically engineered to create a variety of textures including metallic, matte, glossy, and holographic finishes. Another benefit of foil stamping is that it is readily available in a variety of colours and finishes; providing the client with the creative freedom to play around with colour, size, font, logos, and other design elements.

 A stack of books with gold foiling

Foil Stamping Methods

There are three printing techniques that can create a variety of foil stamping prints: hot foiling, cold foiling, and digital foiling.

Hot Foiling

This method involves a hot dye that is used as a foil machine in order to stamp it onto a surface. For this particular foil stamping technique, a specific stamping plate needs to be manufactured for every design. Hot foiling creates an imprint in the paper, which allows you to see the contours and grooves pressed into the surface.

Cold Foiling

Cold foil stamping eliminates the need for the intricate stamps used in hot foiling. Rather, this procedure simply sticks the foil onto the paper. You can rely on this technique to work without plates or heat, as it does not require embossment. It’s a great alternative that is also environmentally-friendly.

Digital Foiling

Digital foiling is the most advanced form of foil stamping. This quick process can be completed with a click of a button from a conventional inkjet printer. This dry method requires absolutely no stamping plates or solvents, perfect for those with a high demand for foil stamping.

When to Use Foil Stamping

Foil stamping is ideal for those who want to add a luxurious flair to their projects. From business cards and marketing material, all the way to wedding cards and invitations, a touch of foiling is all you need to make them stand out.

Invitation Cards

Make your invitation cards so stunning that your guests will be more than excited to RSVP. Whether it’s for your birthday party, engagement party, New Year’s Eve soirée, or wedding, your invitation cards could definitely benefit from a little shine. Follow the colour scheme or motif of your event to infuse that extra element of class, fun, and sophistication. That way, you can channel the theme of your party into your creative invitations. Nothing says elegance like an invitation card that pops.

Personalized Business Stationery

Let your clients know what type of brand your business is with foil stamping accessories to hand out during meetings or events. You can also add distinct foil details to your letterheads, envelopes, reports, and business cards to inject a bit of contemporary finesse into your corporate material.


A whopping 67% of American consumers say paper and cardboard-based packaging is more attractive than any other packaging material – so as a small business owner, this could be the perfect opportunity to express yourself through your packaging with foil stamping. Bring the designs of your branded stickers, labels, or boxes to life! The elegance that radiates from packaging with tasteful foil details is an imperative factor that initially gains customers’ attention, and we all know that there is only one first impression.

Visuals are the focal point of marketing psychology. They evoke emotion, address the customer subconsciously, and have the power to convince someone to make a purchase even if they weren’t originally planning on it.

Promotional Material

Marketing material, such as pamphlets, brochures, leaflets, booklets, and catalogues effectively gain an additional sense of value with the help of foil stamping. People are more likely to open a brochure or booklet with an enticing cover.

A swatch of the different colour foils for printing

Types of Foil Stamping

There are a vast array of foil stamping options at your disposal, but the most popular types are metallized foil, pigment foil, scratch-off foil, and holographic foil.

Metallized Foil

Generally known simply as foil, metallized foil is the most commonly used material in foil stamping. This type of foil is perfect if you want to add a shiny hint of silver or gold to your projects.

Pigment Foil

If the traditional metallic shimmer isn’t your favourite, you might like pigment foil as an alternative. Whatever they lack in glamorous shine, they make up for in matte or glossy flair. Pigment foil is ideal for those who want to add a dose of polished sophistication to their business cards, wedding invitations, stationery, or promotional material.

Scratch Off Foil

Not all foil prints are for decorative purposes alone. Other types of foil stamping include more practical uses and have a very particular objective that is imperative for specific industries.

As the name suggests, scratch-off foil is specifically designed to be scratched off by its users. Scratch-off foils are printed onto surfaces to temporarily conceal information in the form of words, numbers or images. They are typically used for bank pin codes, lottery tickets, and phone cards. They serve as a validation seal and visual barrier.

Holographic Foil

Incorporate a little piece of the rainbow into your projects with holographic foil. This type of foil print finish renders a 3D effect that is akin to the watermarks or logos on credit cards and identification cards. Holographic foil can easily add a magical flair to collectable items, such as baseball cards, or even promotional business material. With this exquisite design technique, you can veer away from the average, and create projects that exude prestigiousness and effectively channel the quality of your products, services, or events.

Leaves, a gold pen, and a set of notebooks with a gold foil print design

The Best Document Management Services For Your Business

When it comes to printing your beautiful foil graphics and designs, you will need a reliable printer that can handle the task and deliver optimal results. is home to a variety of multifunction printers from the leading manufacturers in the industry. This includes Konica Minolta, Canon, and Toshiba.

As a client-based company with over 25 years of experience in the industry, we guarantee award-winning technology and exceptional customer service. Our industry is vibrant and in a constant state of evolution. That is why we strive to provide the most advanced, cutting edge document management solutions for productive and sustainable business processes. It is our goal to assist you in setting up your office with the most advanced technology for optimal productivity, convenience, and efficiency.

Are you interested in learning more about how our state of the art products can propel your foil stamping endeavours to new heights? Reach out to our office today!

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