Foiling for Print

A guide to foiling for print

 Foiling for print is often best exemplified with business cards or invitations – the shiny coloured foil that highlights important elements is achieved by foiling. 

Foiling is eye-catching, and adds a degree of luxury to your printed products. At Roller Banners UK we can add foil to your products via digital foiling or hot foil stamping. Learn about the different techniques below in our foiling for print guide. 


foiling for print - foiled items

Digital Foiling

Digital foiling is a cost-effective foiling method , which is also quick to achieve. This is because all we need to add foil digitally is an artwork file; this artwork file then tells our digital foiling machine whereabouts to ‘print’ the foil onto your custom printed products. 

The pros of digital foiling:

Cheaper for smaller print runs. If you’re wanting to have foil on a small number of printed products, digital foiling will work out cheaper. This is because it costs money to create a die – which is used for hot foil stamping. There’s no point investing in a die for a small number of products. 

Speedy turnaround time. Hot foil stamping takes longer because a die needs to be created. Digital foiling can start as soon as we receive your order! 

The cons of digital foiling:

Digitally foiled products need lamination. Digital foiling generally needs a laminated surface in order to achieve a good result. For best results, add a matt or soft touch laminate to your bespoke printed products. 

Lesser presentation quality. Digital foiling looks good – but it can’t quite match up to the result achieved with stamping. This is because the stamp method provides a little debossing effect, whereas with digital foiling the coloured foil sits on top of the surface. It still looks gorgeous, but won’t pick up the light as efficiently. 

digital foiling on print
Digital foiling at Roller Banners UK

Hot foil stamping

Hot foil stmaping provides a better aesthetic than digital foiling. Here, the area to be foiled is made into a die, a sheet of coloured foil sits between the die and your printed paper product and a press ‘stamps’ the foil onto your printed product. This provides a debossing effect which catches the light better than digital foiling.

Additional costs. You’ll also have to pay an additional fee for the assembly of your foiling die – this will vary depending on the size of the area you’re looking to foil on your printed items. (As mentioned above, the extra cost won’t be as much of a problem if you’re after a large quantity of foil-stamped items.)

brass die block for foiling
Custom brass die block for foiling
rolls of coloured foils
Coloured hot stamping foils

The pros of hot foil stamping:

Better aesthetic results. Hot foil stamping allows you to create foiled sections with more detail and as such is preferable for small text. As mentioned, the stamp also indents the foiled area slightly, which helps it pick up the light.

More cost effective for bigger print runs. The costly factor is the die creation – and this only happens once. So once you’ve created your die, the more you use it, effectively the less expensive it gets. 

The cons of hot foil stamping:

Longer turnaround time. Setting up a hot foil job takes longer due to the production time needed to create the die block. If you’re making an urgent order at the last minute, you’re better off going with digital foiling.

Whatever your choice, Roller Banners UK can provide both digital foiling and hot foil stamping in-house from our Southampton print factory – so there’s no need to worry about extra outsourcing costs.

Hot foil stamping machine
Hot foil stamping machine

If you have any additional questions about any type of foiling for print then call us on 023 8087 8037 or email us.

Scroll to Top