Foils… not in the hair and not an ol’ $20 tinny… these ones are for printing, a fan favorite and one of the finishing processes used in our latest CDL business card called foil stamping. Due to the elegance and high visual impact that it can provide, foil stamping (also called hot stamping, dry stamping, foil imprinting, leaf stamping, plain old foiling, or my favorite the magpies shimmer sheen) can be used to add that extra swagger to products like business cards, book covers, gift cards, office folders the list goes on. Instead of using plates or inks to print words and shapes, foil stamping uses dies, or sculpted metal stamps. The creative options are endless, and after going quite minimal last year with the CDL cards, we’ve mixed it with up with other processes as well. We’ve integrated the foiling with UV Spot, CMYK print, and brought in an overlapping sticker for our individual details. The card has already has had the heads turning when we pop it out of the wallet, ‘two miles an hour so everybody sees you.’



How it’s done.

The heated dies seal a thin layer of metallic leaf/foil onto a surface. The foil comes in a wide roll, large enough for several passes, backed by mylar. The hot die works similarly to a letterpress. Once it’s heated, the die presses the foil against the substrate material with enough pressure that the foil sticks only in the intended places, leaving a slight imprint.


Foil leaf is available in every imaginable color and pattern. Rarer types of leaf come in matte, pearlescent, holographic, opalescent, or glossy finish. There are also semi-transparent foils that allow an under color to show through. Not only does it provide a uniquely vibrant image with depth, but foil stamping can be applied to a much more diverse selection of substrates when compared to ink. Businesses typically use foil stamping to identify folders, cards, signs, and magnets with their logo. The reflective and unusual treatment looks awesome, pops out and will no doubt catch the eye of your next potential customer like a shiny lure to a South Island trout.