When it comes to custom printing one of the most popular techniques asked for is foil stamping. What is this though, and how is it different from simply using metallic inks? This is just one of the many common questions that you may have, and comparing these two methods will help you determine which one is right for you and your printing projects.
What is Foil Stamping?
Foil stamping is a printing process that uses heat, pressure, and dies to adhere a foil layer directly to the stock instead of the traditional printing materials like ink. Because the process uses pressure, the result is a texture difference as well as a shiny appearance that really stands out. Foils can be found in metallic colors, but also in non-metallic shades, clear versions, and specialized products as well.
Envelopes and letterhead with foil accents can make consumers far more eager to open your mail and find out what you want them to know.
From our article, 6 Advantages Letterhead with Foil can Give Your Company. Read more.
What are Metallic Inks?
The process used for metallic inks is completely different than what is used for foil stamping. Metallic inks are special inks that include small particles of metal in the liquid. After the ink has dried, the metal particles are close to the surface, providing sheen and reflecting light. The metals used are typically copper, aluminum, bronze, and zinc. Gold and silver are rare due to the cost of these metals.
Always work closely with your printer, and start early in the design process…Then get a press proof of the final piece so you know for certain before you commit to a long print run.
Custom Printing that Makes a Fantastic Impression
Both of these specialized techniques can give you the appearance of custom printing for a lower price, and both can make a fantastic impression on everyone who sees the printed piece. If you want to wow and awe everyone who receives your item then either method can help you do it in style. Each technique has certain benefits and potential drawbacks that should be considered though.
Which Method Lasts Longer?
When it comes to durability, the winner is foil stamping, because this technique will provide a printed item that lasts longer without losing any appeal. Since metallic inks have metal particles, these components can become brittle or degrade over time, causing the ink to appear cracked or broken. This is not a problem when foil is used instead.
Properly done, foil stamping provides a beautiful, deep, and very durable impression.
Which Technique Costs Less?
Comparing the cost of metallic inks and foil stamping will show that it is usually less expensive to go with a metallic ink, and the cost per square inch will usually be lower. It is important to remember that cost is only one of many important factors that you should examine though, and using foil can offer some benefits that may offset the higher cost.
Which One Will Give the Shiniest Finish?
If you are looking for a custom printing appearance and you want the shiniest finish possible then you may want to go with foil over metallic inks. The foil layer is applied last, while metallic inks must be applied and then covered. Metallic inks also may require repeat applications that may contribute to a dulling of the shin that is provided, and more applications mean less shine.
An important thing to know about metallic foils is that they fall into two categories when it comes to their “metallic” value—gloss and satin.
Is One Method Better Than the Other?
Both foil stamping and metallic inks can be a good choice in some situations, but the wrong pick in others. There are a number of factors that have to be evaluated and considered before the right choice can be made. The available budget and the personal preferences of the business owner may also play a role in any final decision made. Both methods can be ideal at times, depending on the circumstances.
Which Method Should You Use for Your Printing Projects?
If you want custom printing results and you are hoping to make a fantastic first impression with materials that offer an incredible shine then you will need to compare both methods and decide which one will work best for you. The printer that you are using can help guide you if you cannot determine which one is best.
A nice sheen can make the difference between the best materials and items that may seem ho hum or average. If you want to make your materials very noticeable then adding shine can do this for you, but you also need to consider your budget and other important factors as well.
Have you ever used metallic inks or foil stamping, and were you happy with the results?