Foil blocking is one of the most visually stunning print finishes available. Also known as foil stamping, it provides a metallic finish that can be used for anything from a small final embellishment to the coating of a large area.
In modern-day printing, foil blocking has many applications and is growing in popularity. It is often used in business logo’s and can be found on business cards, high-quality stationery, brochures and packaging.
Foil blocking is not only limited to paper-based materials, but it can also be applied to a variety of other materials including plastic, leather, fabric, vinyl and wood.
Many people assume that foil blocking is limited to silver or gold, but there is, in fact, a wide range of colours and special finishes now available.
Foil Blocking – The Production Process
Foil blocking is a relatively simple process that hasn’t dramatically changed since the ancient Egyptians first devised it.
To start, a metal block is created of the text or artwork that is to be foiled. The block is then attached to a pressing machine and heated. Once the block reaches the desired temperature, a film which carries the foil is fed over the top.
Next, the item that is being foiled is pressed onto the metal block so that that the foil is trapped between the two surfaces.
The combination of heat and pressure transfer the foil from the carrier film onto the material.
When to Use Foil Blocking
Foil blocking has a large number of applications, but it also has limitations.
The finish is best employed when you want to apply a light coloured embellishment to a dark background.
Foil blocking is not suited to ultra-fine finishes or high detail. In these cases, die-stamping may be a better solution.
The surface of the material to which foil blocking is being applied can affect the final finish. Rough or uneven surfaces can be challenging to use for this type of finishing.