Foil blocking is a beautiful addition to any piece of stationery, adding a new layer of texture and luxury. A slightly cheaper alternative to die stamping, foil blocking is an excellent way to add consistent, rich colours (particularly metallics) to any piece of stationery.
Foil blocking is in many ways, very similar to the process of letterpress printing. To begin with a metal block is produced of the desired text or artwork to be foiled (We normally use foiling blocks made from Magnesium or Brass). This block is then attached to a press and heated. Once at the correct temperature a thin piece of film carrying a foil colour is fed into the press over the top of the metal block. The material being foiled is then pressed against the metal block, trapping the foil in between. Through a combination of the heat and pressure the foil releases from the film carrier and is transferred onto the material.
Given the huge variety of different papers and foils we use at Barnard & Westwood we often find that certain materials and foils take better to foil blocking than others. Before proceeding with an order we would be happy to test your chosen material to ensure it will allow a foil to adhere to it’s surface. If required we would also be happy to discuss doing a proofing run.
Things to bear in mind for foil blocking:
• The detail in the image or text to be foiled cannot be too fine as if the lines are too fine or too close together the foil will start to fill in and the result will not come out properly. If you are looking for ultra-high detail in this manner, the best option would be die stamping
• Die stamping or foil blocking are the best ways to print in a metallic colour
• Foil blocking is one of the best ways to print a light colour onto a darker coloured stock (E.g. white foil onto a black sheet of paper). However, some foils can appear slightly different once applied to certain stocks. Please do let us know if you require a printed proof of your chosen foil and paper before proceeding with the full order
• Foiled stationery such as letterheads are normally laser compatible so should not be an issue for corporate stationery that require overprinting back at the customers office
• Foils come in a huge array of colours, designs and finishes
• The ultimate finish of a foil is highly dependent on the material being used. If the surface of the paper is very rough and uneven the foil may not adhere correctly. As a result, we cannot guarantee this printing process will work for every project
• Depending on the paper stock and the pressure required to successfully transfer the foil onto the material, foil blocking can sometimes leave some bruising on the reverse of the area being foiled. This is particularly important to bear in mind on thinner pieces of stationery such as letterheads or compliment slips where this may prove an issue
If you would like to talk to us about an upcoming project then please don’t hesitate to call us on 020 7923 5960 or email us at [email protected]