Design Printing Guide: What is Foil Embossing

Foil printing is when you heat up a custom made metal die, place a sheet of foil paper between the die and the item you want printing on – the heat from the die then transfers the foil onto the item you are printing on. Embossed printing is when you use a custom made die to raises a design on the paper to create a 3D image. Foil embossed printing is when you combine the two processes – first foil printing the design is done then have the same design embossed as seen in the pictures below.

This process can be used for to create a range of items: business cards, envelop seals, labels, stickers, letter heads, magazine covers, and craft paper.

Henry Embossed Foil Printed

Options: Foil sheets can come in a range of different types. You have the metals like aluminum, copper, and gold colored sheets. You can also foil stamp with hologram paper.

(Other terms for foil printing include dry stamping, leaf stamping, hot foil stamping.)

How Is Foil Embossing Done?

There are 2 ways to go about it:

The first way is to do the printing in 2 machine runs: the first run is the foil printing, and then you’d come back and run the materials again for the embossing.

The second way to do it is to have a combination die made which allows you to do the foil stamping and embossing all at once. Combination dies are more expensive and take more time to make – so if you have a small printing job it would be better to go with the first option and do 2 runs.

Henry Embossed Foil Printed Henry Embossed Foil Printed Carluccios Tags Honor Foil Embossed Print Anthem Printed Cards

And to see how foil printing works have a look at this video that shows the making of the $50,000 Hermes Leica Camera (the foil printing happens at 2:47).

Our listing of printers on our Directory page has a range of high quality printers who can do embossed, foil, or letterpress printing. We have also included examples of their work, making it easier to find the right printing company to work with.

Image Credits: Henry Co Posters, Anthem, Honor, Carluccio’s

Here is our Gallery of Foil Embossed Business Cards. For other printing resources have a look at our related posts:


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