Foil Stamping Overview

With highly experienced press operators, only the finest foil stamping work is produced at Letterpress Chicago.

We have two 12” X 18” auto paper feed foil stamping presses.

Foil colors can be non-metallic pigments, pearlized colors, satin finished metallic, highly reflective metallic, holographic or dazzling patterns.  Often, foil stamping is used in combination with letterpress printing, offset printing and occasionally with thermography (raised printing).

In non-metallic foils, the gloss finish foils perform far better than the matte foils.  Gloss pigment foils render the sharpest edge of the printed matter.  Matte finished pigment foils often have unsharp edges on the printed copy.  For most work, a gloss finished pigment foil is the best choice.

All of the metallic and many of the pigment foils are opaque.  This permits the printing on a dark paper with copy in a lighter color.  We frequently use white pigment foil on black paper, as one example.

Items to be avoided are:
Large areas of solid coverage along with fine copy.  Often two different foil release properties are required for each type of coverage.  Also solid foil areas with small reversed copy.  Reversed copy thinner than ¾ points can fill in with foil. The effect is called “bridging”.

Foils can only print solids (100% values). No tints, percentages, photographs or values will work.

Foil colors are limited in their availability.  Available colors can be viewed at:
Metallic foils
Pigment foils
Pearlescent foils
Holographic foils
It is exceptionally important to design for foil stamping much differently than for other printing processes.  Foil stamping performs best, and yields the most refined looking final printed piece, with the generous use of unprinted paper.

Large fields of solid foil are very difficult to apply.  Any tiny piece of paper dust will leave a white fleck, causing this press sheet to be rejected.  Consequently, your cost will greatly increase with this treatment.

Where solid areas of foil are applied, any reversed out copy must be at least 3/4 points thick or more.  Thinner reversed copy has the risk of being filled in or “bridged” over by the foil.

Only 100% values of color will foil stamp.  Foil stamping does not support tints, percentages, opacities, vignettes, gradients, or halftone images.

The type of projects that we produce most often are foil stamped wedding invitations, foil stamped business cards, foil stamped invitations, foil stamped Mitzvah invitations, foil stamped social stationery and foil stamped business stationery.