Foil Stamping

Now, let’s explore 10 recommended foil stamping techniques suitable for custom card printing. These methods each possess distinct characteristics, allowing you to choose the most suitable one for your unique design needs.

9 Methods Of Foil Stamping

1. Normal Hot Stamping

Normal hot stamping represents the most straightforward hot stamping technique. It involves using an etched hot stamping plate that is typically heated and pressed flat.

This process results in a flat pattern, although upon close examination may exhibit slight debossing. Only the designated content to be hot stamped will appear in metal, while other areas remain either blank or CMYK printed.

Compared to alternative methods such as reverse stamping and printed hot stamping, normal stamping is less complex and carries a lower risk of errors.

Furthermore, due to its simplicity, it incurs relatively minimal paper wastage and is generally more cost-effective in terms of production.

Normal Foil Stamping
Normal Hot Stamping 2

2. Reverse Hot Stamping

Reverse Hot Stamping stands in contrast to the normal hot stamping method. It employs metal hollows to emphasize blank areas while using hot stamping for the desired elements.

Typically, a large graphic surrounds the area to be highlighted, resulting in the surrounded graphic being bronzed, and the highlighted graphic being hollowed out, creating an inverse foil effect.

When opting for reverse hot stamping, a larger foil area can lead to higher costs. Additionally, it’s important to avoid using very thin graphic lines (they should be at least 6pt) to ensure a satisfactory finished product.

If you plan to use specialty paper for hot stamping, it’s essential to consider the paper’s texture. If the paper surface isn’t smooth, it’s not advisable to use reverse hot stamping, as the texture can affect the finesse of large-area hot stamping.

Reverse Hot Stamping 1
Reverse Hot Stamping 2

3 .Printed Hot Stamping

Printed hot stamping is an artful fusion of hot stamping and color printing, representing a processing technique that challenges the expertise of the craftsman.

The craftsman initiates the process by executing the printing phase followed by the hot stamping phase. Achieving precise positioning during hot stamping is paramount, yet the resulting product exhibits top-notch quality and exudes creativity.

Printed Hot Stamping

4. 3D Hot Stamping

3D hot stamping combines hot stamping and embossing, creating a raised relief effect on the stamped area. The reverse side will have a corresponding concave shape, so it’s best to keep the backside blank to avoid interfering with graphics or text.

Designers must carefully choose paper or other materials considering texture, weight, foil, and ink to ensure precise alignment and prevent cracking, especially with thin paper.

While 3D hot stamping offers a visually appealing effect, the raised portion can be prone to erosion, requiring manual version checks during production, which can be costly and time-consuming.

3D Hot Stamping

5. Screen 3D Hot Stamping

This method mainly uses silk screen printing to varnish and then covers the varnish with hot stamping material. After hot stamping, the pattern has a slight bulge, similar to 3D hot stamping, with a three-dimensional effect, and can do thinner line hot stamping.

However, since the silk screen board needs to be produced, the setup cost is relatively high.

Screen 3D Hot Stamping

6. Cold Stamping

Cold stamping offers several advantages over traditional hot stamping, particularly in precision, application area, material compatibility, and production efficiency.

1) Precision: Cold stamping achieves high accuracy, allowing for intricate details like small dots, lines, and hollow effects.

2) Area: Cold stamping accommodates larger areas for graphics and text, exceeding the limitations of traditional hot stamping.

3) Materials: Cold stamping works on a wider range of materials, including heat-sensitive films, due to its lower temperature process.

4) Efficiency: Cold stamping eliminates the need for hot stamping plates, reducing production costs and environmental impact. It also allows for faster production speeds and can be combined with UV printing for added effects.

Cold Stamping

7. Hot Stamping + UV

Hot Stamping + UV

UV printing primarily utilizes ink containing photosensitizers and UV curing lamps as its main components. In comparison to regular hot stamping, the result of UV + hot stamping yields patterns that are more intricate, glossy, durable, and resilient to weathering.

This method encompasses two distinct processes: “stamp first, then print” and “print first, then stamp”.

1) Stamp First, Then Print

Begin by applying UV spray to the designated pre-bronzing graphics. Next, laminate the bronzing paper onto the base film and subsequently peel it off to complete the bronzing process.

This method imparts a metallic appearance to the areas that received the UV oil spray. Finally, perform post-foil printing on both the hot-stamped and non-hot-stamped sections of the bronzing paper.

2) Print First, Then Stamp

Initiate the process by pre-printing the graphics and text. Following this, apply UV patterns to the areas intended for stamping.

Then, laminate and peel off the stamping paper from the base film to achieve the stamping effect. Similarly, this approach imparts a metallic appearance to the regions treated with UV oil spray.

8. Hot Stamping + Reverse UV

Hot Stamping + Reverse UV

Compared with traditional UV, reverse UV can make the high-gloss effect of a mirror surface and the non-high-gloss effect of a matte or linen surface exist on the same print, forming a stronger contrast in brightness and making the glazing achieve better results.

At the same time, because the non-high-gloss parts are printed by offset printing, the overprinting is very accurate, and the printing accuracy of the graphics and texts on the high-gloss parts is also guaranteed.

9. Scodix Hot Stamping

Scodix is a leading manufacturer of digital enhancement equipment, providing card printers with advanced integrated digital enhancement solutions. Because Scodix uses digital proofreading, the production and modification speed are faster, which greatly saves labor costs.

However, because the special materials for Scodix are more expensive, the overall price is about the same as that of 3D hot stamping. Now we offer two different Scodix enhancement solutions:

1) Scodix Foil™

Scodix Foil

Print real foil, cost-effectively, without the need for dies and molds for short to medium runs; includes option to use variable data and personalize products using real foil to achieve unmatched foil enhancement results.

This solution is very close to the effect of silk screen 3D hot stamping, but it is faster and simpler to produce. However, it is not suitable for making small lines because the pattern is easy to blur when the spacing is small.

2) Scodix Foil™ + Spot UV 

Scodix UV

To enhance the brilliance and texture of the hot stamping pattern on the prepared Scodix Foil™, apply a layer of UV varnish measuring at least 0.1mm in thickness. This process results in a striking and glossy finish with a more pronounced tactile quality.

Notably, this approach yields a greater raised effect compared to traditional silk screen 3D hot stamping, significantly enhancing the three-dimensional impression of the design. While it ensures durability, making the hot stamping material resistant to wear, it may not be ideal for rendering fine lines due to its heightened relief.

3) Scodix Foil™ + Crystal

Scodix Crystal

Add colorful sparkle effects with spot Crystal and create real 3D items and effects with a high-build polymer. There is no limit to the height of the crystal, and the effect is unparalleled and sparkling. This method is more suitable for card boxes or collection single cards.

If you want to explore more metallic or anti-counterfeiting effects, please check out Printing Ink.