Hot Foil

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What is hot foil and how can you describe the benefits of using hot foil in 2-3 sentences?
Hot foil can be divided into four distinct areas: plan, relief, structure and micro-embossed. It is one of the most popular finishing methods and adds significant perceived value to a printed piece.

What is special about hot foil?
A wide range and variety of foils – pigments, metallic and diffraction – and substrates – in high grammages up to approximately 700gsm – are available and possible. And multiple substrates are feasible – nothing is beyond possibility: applying hot foil to plastic has already been trialed and implemented and hot-foil imprints can be processed immediately.

Foil is foil, right? What is the difference between cold foil and hot foil?
Hot foil offers greater flexibility with a wider choice of foils available and better suited to a variety of processes, quantities, embossings and substrates. Cold foil is particularly suited to format-filling motifs but only works with coated glossy papers.

Which applications are most suited to hot foil?
Packaging is an extremely important application, likewise labels of all kinds. High value, luxury business printing projects such as letterheads, business cards, brochures and posters are also primary applications.

And which projects are suited to cold foil?
Cold foil is well suited to a variety of products. The striking metallic luster achieved with cold foil makes it particularly well suited to Point-of-Sale applications – where the consumer has a direct touch-point and association with the product.

How does hot foil work?
General (the technique)?
The motif is applied to the substrate by means of a pre-press stamp, high-temperature and pressure.
What is possible / what is not?

There are limits on the size and detail of filigree motifs, font size and large area coverage – all is dependent upon the embossing machine being used.
When should I use hot foil?
Hot foil relief embossing is often used in applications such as book cover design where the process can speak directly to the consumer. Holographic foil embossing can offer an excellent security feature and benefit providing protection against product counterfeiting – this is particularly evident in the case of banknotes
What makes sense and what makes a little less sense?
Hot foil can be used for both small quantities and high print runs – everything is possible. If budgets allow! Hot foil is an additional process and will increase costs. To ensure the best price/value ration it is important to plan projects in advance.
What is to be observed with the paper?
The smoother the paper, the glossier the film. Very smooth or coated paper is recommended for large surface applications. Products like EXTRASMOOTH, EXTRASMOOTH RECYCLING and SMOOTH are especially well suited as are all coated papers. Alternatively the contrast between a foil and an EXTRAROUGH or ROUGH surface can also be very interesting.

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