Digital foiling – tips and tricks

Since the 1960s, people have been doing what used to be called ‘rub downs’ to get the foil to adhere to the ink beneath it. But now, rather than relying on the heat and pressure of a stylus rubbing the transfer, we use heat and the press to reactivate our ink and get the foil to stick. It’s quite ingenious but very hard to do well, which is why we have spent years testing and
perfecting it.

Because the technique dispenses with the stamping die, the job takes less time to get on the press, can be produced more economically in smaller quantities, and it dispenses with the messy chemical processes of making dies.

A digital foil sits above the sheet rather than being slightly debossed into the stock like traditional foiling. The most important thing to remember when designing with digital foil in mind is that it works by sticking to ink. Therefore, we cannot put foil on print without a sealing celloglaze layer. If you don’t want celloglaze, allow a gap in your art between any other print and your digital foil. This could be a white keyline of 2 or 3mm or a border. Just remember it is a second pass of printing and there is always small movement in these passes so your art should take this into consideration.

Credit:  Emedia Creative

While only a limited range of papers is currently tested for digital foiling, we have good options for most projects and we are constantly working on ways to expand our offerings.

As digital foils are chemically different to traditional foils, we can offer only gloss gold, gloss silver, copper, rose gold, clear, blue and red but we are adding more as they become available.

As a side note, we have managed to overprint CMYK on silver foil, which means we can create CMYK coloured foils. That doesn’t mean it’s easy – or cheap – but it’s something we are experimenting with so we can offer our customers even more choice.

Click here to see more detail on what to consider before ordering digital foiling.