Foil in Design

Foil in Design


What is foil?

Foil is a solvent free, 12 micron vacuum metalised (metallic/holographic) or ink coated (pigment) polyester. All foils have different types of adhesive, which are used to suit different applications (paper, plastic, textiles, board etc.). At Foilco, numbers represent the colour and letters represent the foil's grade (type of adhesive).


What are dies?

Dies are physical creations of artwork (which when heated) will stamp an impression and transfer the chosen foil onto your chosen substrate. Dies can be made of either magnesium, copper or brass. Each material has different strengths and weaknesses and each project should consider which die material will maximise the best finish and yield the best end result.


What are make-readies?

Make-readies are a range of materials that can aid and optimise the stamping process. Make-readies are materials that are positioned on the blocking machine underneath the printed substrate. Consideration of the make-ready can help with large area stamping, fine details, finishes or aid with foiling and embossing.

Foil in Design 3
Foil in Design 2

Why does choosing paper/substrates matter?

We don't just want people to be satisfied with the outcome of their designs, we want people to be blown away with the results and to be encourage and empowered to keep working with it. Choosing the correct substrate and marrying the right foil type can help to optimise the finished product. Positive design, yields positive results.


What machines can you use?

There is a huge range and variation of stamping foil machines within the industry. At Workshop we demonstrate hand blocking machines (hot stamping) and toner foiling (no dies required). Both of these types of machines are for low-levels of production but give you a real sense of how foiling works. We'll also inform you of other types of machines which may be more appropriate to your future project(s).


How accessible is foil?

One of the 5 key principles of Workshop is to show you how easy foiling can be and to provide an overview of the process and dispel some of the misinformation that currently exists for designers and creatives. If we can show you all the different processes that are available and share just some of our extensive foil knowledge, then the outcome of future graphic design incorporating stamping foils can only be positive.