Metallic foiling — Elevate your print in style

AS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR WAYS TO ELEVATE PRINT, IT’S NOT SURPRISING THAT MANY PEOPLE GET REALLY EXCITED ABOUT METALLIC FOILING. HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Metallic foiling is one of the most elegant ways to add a touch of extravagance to any piece of printed material — from invitations to brochures and business cards, it’s a great way of lifting print to whole new levels of style and sophistication.

But what is metallic foiling — how does the process work, and what’s the best way to get the most out of your printed marketing material? We’ve put together a few key questions and answers that should help clear things up.

What is foiling?

Foiling, alongside embossing, is a popular finishing technique that gives printed material more substance in the look and feel department. Whereas embossing involves placing a pressure imprint onto card or paper, foiling is — for the most part — a similar process but also overlays a thin layer of foil over the imprint.

What variations of foil are available?

Foil is available in a wide range of colours and textures including satin, matt, glossy and pearlescent. Diffraction foils (also known as holographic foils) are another popular variation. Today, however, we’re just focussing on metallic foil and the different ways they can effectively enhance all types of print.

What colours of metallic foil are available?

While the most popular tend to be gold and silver, metallic foils come in a wide range of colours — everything from dazzling green to vivid red. Another popular choice right now is rose gold; considered by many to be a happy medium between the opulence of traditional gold and the classic, understated appearance of silver.

The colours you opt for will depend on many factors, including brand identity, target audiences, and the promotion/purpose of the printed material you’re sending out. If high-visibility and pizazz are what you’re after, then it makes sense to use bright and flashy colours. If you’re sending out invitations to a black-tie event, however, then something more refined, such as certain golds or silver, will be better suited to the occasion.

What are the different foiling processes?

As mentioned earlier, a metallic foil is traditionally applied via heated plates (in a process known as block foiling) that press the foil onto the card or paper. Digital foiling, on the other hand, requires no plates — and is instead printed directly from a file on the computer.

There are different pros and cons to both: Digital foiling has fewer costs and less set-up required, but the end result may not catch the light and look quite so impactful as a foil that has been pressed via heated plates.

Up until very recently, examples such as these are just a few of the trade-offs marketers have had to endure when choosing between the different foiling techniques. However, advances in technology and Purely Digital’s acquirement of the Matrix 530 Metallic Pneumatic from Vivid Lamination ensures plate-pressed quality foiling at much lower costs — alongside a plethora of benefits over both traditional and digital foiling processes.

How much of the artwork can be foiled?

Areas of foiling are largely kept to a minimum, with most designs favouring a ‘less is more’ approach — especially when dealing with metallics like gold and silver. There’s a fine line between elegance and excessiveness, so it often pays to be selective about how much of the artwork you do choose to foil.

That being said, there’s no reason why you couldn’t foil larger areas. It really comes down to the overall composition of the piece — so long as it works with the design, or doesn’t veer too far from your brand identity, then it’s perfectly fine to incorporate large areas of foil to your printed material.

Of course, we’ve barely scratched the surface of how metallic foils can be used most effectively here. At Purely Digital, we’ve been applying our knowledge, experience, and expertise to deliver the best quality foiling for years. Quick, cost-effective, and supremely versatile — contact the team today to see how we can provide the services you need.

WE ARE A RESPONSIVE PRINT COMPANY WHO DELIVER QUALITY INTERACTIVE MARKETING MATERIALS. WE BRING YOUR DESIGN IDEAS TO LIFE, MAKING YOUR BUSINESS LOOK GREAT!

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