Kathryn Murray Calligraphy


Understanding Printing: Foil Stamping

rose gold foil stamp by kathrynmurray.com

Have you seen all of the invites and cards on the market with the pop of gold, or the shine of silver? Chances are you have been seeing the very popular effect of Foil Stamping. While foil stamping has been around for decades, in the past it was used for corporate business cards and bank seals. Now it is being used for everything from wedding invitations, to custom matchboxes, to everyday greetings.

Foil Stamping is similar to Letterpress, in that it uses a metal "die" or plate to press your image or type on to the paper. Instead of using ink, a thin sheet of specialty foil is pressed on to the paper. Picture a metal stamp, the metal stamp is heated and pressed on to the foil and paper. With the heat and pressure it adheres the foil.  The effect is that of shiny, reflective metallic (see images above).

Foil stamping is wonderful for adding a little glamour to your invitations, but it can also be a beautiful way to get white lettering on dark papers. The color choices with foil are fairly limited, but one great option is white. I love using this as an alternate to engraving. It is more affordable, and can give you that opaque white type you have been dreaming of.

Or, if you are into subtle drama, consider this black on black invitation below:

This stunning invitation by Benign Objects shows that foil doesn't have to be gold! Card below from LA's Sugar Paper.

Things you should know about choosing Foil Stamping:

-There are a limited number of colors to choose from (Pantone matches are not available). The most popular colors are Gold, Silver, White and Black.

- The foil is pressed in to the paper and may leave a slightly debossed, or indented feel. Thicker paper is always nice.

- This printing process is for line art or black and white images only. Shades of grey or photographic looks will not work.

- Foil Stamping is more expensive then simple flat printing, but in general is not as much as Engraving. Each job is of course, priced individually.

-Can be a great choice for doing white lettering on darker paper stocks.

For more information about creating a custom invitation suite, contact me here.