How does foil blocking work?

Foil blocking (sometimes known as foil stamping) involves adhering a very thin layer of metal foil to a surface. A metal ‘die’ is produced that has the design or lettering you require carved in relief. The die is heated up and used to stamp a thin sheet of foil to your required surface. The heat and pressure cause the foil to bond to the surface.

Products suitable for foil blocking

Historically, foil stamping was mainly used to highlight the title or author’s name on the covers of literary works. As the process became more mechanised in the early 20th Century, people began to use the technique on greetings cards and invitations. Even everyday items such as letterheads and business cards can be given a touch of grandeur by the use of foil blocking.

Types of foil

There are four main types of foil paper that are used to achieve four very different effects:

Types of foil

Metallic foil

Gold, silver and copper foils may be the most familiar, but metallic foils are also available in colours that you’ll never glimpse in an earthly element: shiny metallic blues, pinks and greens.

Gloss pigment foil

A high-gloss finish that will give a shiny but non-metallic appearance to the area of application. Available in any colour you choose.

Matte pigment foil

For a dull, smooth finish to your area of application, opt for matte pigment.

Holographic foil

Creating the illusion of a 3D image that leaps out of the paper.

To a limited extent, these techniques can be combined, but not all foils work with all others. If you have any queries in this regard, talk to our experts who will be able to help you achieve the look you are after.

Contact us

From the Colour Print printworks in Norwich, we print and fulfil orders throughout the UK.

Get in touch to chat about your latest print project.
Call us on 01603 488001, email or fill out this contact form and someone from our team will be in touch.