Foil Stamping, Embossing and Verco Embellishment

Foil stamping

There are several different methods of embellishment. Foil stamping is a special kind of printing procedure where heat, pressure, and a metallic paper (foil) is used to create different shiny designs and graphics on various materials. Foil stamping gives the stamped design a shiny and incredible look. There are many different styles of foil to choose from. From holographic patterns to Pearl colours to metallic to strong vibrant colours that can only be achieved through this method of printing.

Foil stamping is also referred to as hot stamping (because of the use of heat), foil printing, dry stamping, and leaf stamping. There are various types of foil stamping that can be used depending on your design needs. In the foil stamping process, the die or the sculpted metal plate comes in contact with the foil and transfers a thin layer of the foil film onto the intended surface. As the metal plate is heated, the foil sticks to the surface only in the design of the plate and in the required areas with the desired imprint.

Foil stamping is only practical for solid areas and not suitable for screens or very fine detail due to the flooding nature of the foil. The process of foil stamping has gradually evolved from similar processes that were in use many hundreds of years ago.

In the Middle Ages, there was some kind of mechanical machines that were used for printing. Some monks started using these machines and the beat gold to print their books so as to classify them. But the gold was not used directly for stamping. First, only the leather bound books were stamped with the machines so as to emboss the leather. Once the design was created on the leather, the beat gold was added to the stamping by hand.

This was the earliest form of foil stamping and was prevalent till the start of the 19th century. At such time, in order to simplify the addition of beat gold to the stamped design, the gold was fixed on to paper, and entire paper rolls with gold were created. Now, in order to remove the gold from the paper and transfer it to the stamped imprint, heat was used to simplify the process. The heat did the dual job of removing the gold from the paper and also making it stick better onto the intended surface.

As gold was very expensive to use, finally at the start of the 20th century, different types of metallic foils started to be produced to be used in place of beat gold for stamping. Thus evolved the process of foil stamping. Today, foil stamping has found many applications and is increasing in popularity as a method of stunning and an enhancement for printing projects.


Embossing or Blind Embossing is another form of embellishment. It is simply the method of applying strong pressure to a stock’s surface with a metal etched die to result in an embossed image left in the stock, its surface becomes raised and can be raised in several levels. It can even be de-embossed if the die is made in reverse.

Embossing is perfect for stamping monograms to personalise crafts, letters and cards, and for authenticating important documents. The embossing technique can vastly help protect against forgeries and unauthorised copies of certificates, limited edition prints and other artwork.

Verco Printing

Raised printing is done with a Thermography machine that sprinkles a fine resin like powder onto wet ink using a conveyor belt in the delivery end of a printing press. The machine then vacums the excess powder off the sheet and reuseses it. The coated sheet then travels through a heat tunnel that melts the powder thus producing a beautiful glassy raised print. Care needs to be taken in trimming a job that has been Vercoed as the clamp pressure from a guillotine can flattern and dull off the resin coating. Often a rotary cutter is used to cut business cards to avoid this problem.

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