People’s ideas are generally the most valuable entity ever produced by the companies that employ them. Each idea represents an original vision that is intended to benefit the world as it profits the company. Whatever is inside that envelope or that package is the fruit of those ideas, and it is the heart and soul of what unites that business with its clientele. Nothing is more important than getting ideas turned to products into the hands and beneath the attentive gaze of potential clients. Here is one way to achieve that goal.
Foil stamping, sometimes called hot stamping, or dry stamping, is a specialized printing process. It uses specialized machinery and brings together the application of heat, pressure, cast design dies of magnesium, copper, or brass, and adhesive metal foils to create shining metal-like designs, texts, and graphics. Foils are embossed or debossed according to the preference of the client, both considered to be enhancements. The ability of hot foil to denote texture is a large part of what distinguishes it from lesser processes.
Hot foil stamping offers a variety of beautiful appearances, from popular gold and silver foils to artfully colored foils, and even foils with holographic effects. Products with hot foil stamping look pretty. They look official. They draw the eye and catch a person’s attention without effort. Whatever is adorned with foil stamping stands out from the others of its kind, whether that is on a store shelf or from within a stack of mail.
Hot stamping with foil is known in the industry as high visibility advertising. When applied to documents such as diplomas, certificates, business cards, seals, labels, invitations, and the like, foil stamping essentially demands, “Look at me! Pick me!” It holds a special place of prominence in the high-end luxury product packaging market. Ordinary means of demarking products, such as silk screening or pad printing, rarely garner the same attention as foil stamping.
One study commissioned by the Foil and Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) revealed that high-visibility luxury product packaging engages potential clients faster and holds their attention longer than similar products with ordinary packaging. A wide variety of surfaces accept hot foil stamping, including paper and plastic. B2B and marketing materials likewise benefit from highly visible foil stamping techniques.
Take Advantage of Cultural Programming
It has been true in our culture for decades if not centuries that a gold seal means quality and authenticity. It is a marketing message that has been ingrained into society for generations. It is one of the rare traditional messages currently not under attack and one that has lost none of its validity or value over the years. A gold seal is still the universal symbol of quality, and always denotes excellence.
It seems clear that something that makes foil stamping such an effective means of advertising is the way in which it capitalizes on how human beings are hardwired. People instinctively reach out to touch the fuzzy coat sleeve on their way into the store so that they can feel how soft it is. Similarly, they find themselves drawn to bright and shiny objects, as well as to things of beauty. Hot foil on the exterior does more than merely indicate the authenticity and quality of what is on the interior. Foil stamped materials seduce the senses. Something that is bright and shiny makes people want to reach out and touch it. Once they touch it, they pick it up. Once they do that, the chance that they’ll purchase the product tends to skyrocket.
There is little question that industrial hot foil stamping prevents forgeries. As a result, companies around the world are placing increasing attention on the creation of original packaging and upon documentation that cannot be counterfeited. Hot foil stamping provides authentic products ranging from B2B marketing materials to lotto scratch-off cards and everything else in-between.
Hot foil techniques guarantee authenticity and have a higher perceived value. Not many methods of advertising accomplish as many diverse goals at one time as hot foil stamping! Security is increased, quality is assured, and the chances of that particular product being chosen from the many on the shelf are enhanced.
Stand Out from the Competition
Hot foil stamping gives business owners the opportunity to exercise their creativity. Whether they start with a logo from which they wish a die to be cast or choose to design an original image, the ability to have unique input is priceless in a generic universe. Foil stamping takes a carefully designed element and transforms it into a metal die, which is a type of mold or etched plate that is then used to uniquely identify packaging and mail pieces with hot foil in any number of colors. Savvy business owners scrutinize the packaging and product labeling used by their competition and design theirs to be more visually attractive to consumers.
Die Foil Stamping: A Dependable and Reproducible Process
There are a couple of different machines used to achieve foil stamping effects on business products and packaging. One is through the tried and true method of creating a die and foiling the products in the traditional block method. This is the option that a business owner should choose if the desired effect is to be embossed or debossed. Once a die has been cast of a company seal, logo, or another image, it can be used many more times. How many generally depends upon the kind of material that was used in the creation of the die.
Magnesium is the most common die material, as it is the most affordable. It is a lightweight material, one that heats up and cools down quickly. However, magnesium dies cannot be reused as many times as can those made from more durable metals, such as copper and brass. Eventually any die made from magnesium will need to be replaced.
Copper dies are heavier and last longer and will survive more printing runs than will magnesium. Copper can handle more design detail. However, brass dies are the best of all for foiling intricate designs. Brass dies can be used almost indefinitely. Regardless of the material that dies are made from, they are one of a kind and are integral to the foiling process. It is important that they are stored securely when not in use to prevent them from being stolen.
Foil Stamping Machine Types
There are three primary types of foil stamping machines: flat flat, round flat, and round round. Although there are slight differences in the way these machines operate, the foil stamp they produce is of identical quality. Flat flat machines come with both fixed and variable plates between which are positioned the foil and the paper or packaging and are pressed together with heat. Flat round machines cost less to use when the job is small. Round round foil stamping machines operate much the same way as a printing press, where each side has rotating cylinders that move opposite each other. It is the best suited to high-volume and intricate orders as it is capable of rendering foil stamps containing a great amount of detail in a short amount of time.
Digital Foil Printing
Another option is to digitally print the foil directly onto the desired material. This is a good option for smooth-surfaced paper or packaging in applications that do not require embossing. Digital foil printing allows for a variety of colored foils to be used including combinations of colors. It prints directly from a digital file and thus avoids the need to cast a die. As a result, this can sometimes be a less expensive manner of hot foiling product surfaces. Those seeking to impress the most may wish to stay with traditional block foil stamping methods as they provide the embossed texture that sends the message of luxury to the next level.
Hot Foil Stamping Is Superior to Cold Foil Stamping
In talking to printers about foil stamping services, be careful to emphasize that the area of interest is hot foil stamping and not cold. Cold foil stamping doesn’t offer the same range of advantages as hot foil stamping. Only hot foil stamping can be used on textured surfaces, and only hot foil provides the slightly raised effect that speaks of the more exclusive process. Only hot foils stamping can produce raised or depressed image areas.
Hot foil stamping is one of the best ways to not only ensure the integrity of company products but also to give them a little extra polish, whether they sit upon a shelf or come through the USPS in a stack of mail. Either way, they’ll announce themselves and be discovered in a sea of otherwise nondescript packaging.
Inside of this package there is an amazing product, one that was conceived with enthusiasm and which will hopefully be received with equal enthusiasm. Often, the most effective way to get a company’s message or its business products into the hands of potential clients is through the use of industrial hot foil stamping. No other method of advertising sends such a clear and universally recognized message as hot foil stamping. Furthermore, there is no other method of advertising that is going to yield the same results as this unique method of drawing a potential client’s attention to a company’s best products.