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Watermarx deliver a fantastic product while also being a pleasure to deal with - I only wish I got to work with them more often.

– Erin Harris. January 11, 2012

What is Foil stamping?

Foil stamping is also often referred to as foiling, hot foil stamping, hot stamping foil printing, dry stamping, foil imprinting, leaf stamping or foil stamp design are all terms used to describe the art of hot foil stamping.

When foil stamping is combined with embossing – it can also be called foil embossing!

The process of foil stamping involves pressure and heat. A foil stamping die (metal or polymer) is mounted to a bed of a foil stamping machine and heated. The die holds the image that is to be foil stamped as a raised image.

Pressure from the machine exerted via the die + Heat which enables the foils pigment or metallic film to be released = Foil stamped image.

Unlike PMS colours – Foils are available in set colours. Contrary to popular believe however, there are many more colours available than just gold and silver. Call us to discuss the selection of foils suitable for your job.

Watermarx Graphics recommends you talk through your design and paper stock in the design phase.

To see our Foil Stamping photo gallery click here.

Here are some handy tips for consideration when designing for foil stamping:

Designer Tips and tricks for foil stamping

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  • Please supply your art as either a PDF or EPS file.
  • Save art as 100% black (k)
  • If there is more than 1 colour – please supply each colour as a separate file
  • Include all registration marks
  • Ensure your files are saved as vector file – (so all fonts are outlined) or a very high resolution jpg saved as black.
  • We ask you also supply a composite file of the job in colour as a PDF – which also serves as a positional
  • If you are foil stamping over a printed image – Never reverse out a solid in the art
  • It’s always best to check your art with us before you start production and maybe even consider running a test if you are in doubt before commencing
  • Remember… Poor quality art in = poor quality image out
  • Watermarx will check you files prior to running film, however we can take no responsibility for errors in client supplied files.
  • If a printing error is a result of incorrect artwork supplied by client, the client will be responsible for reprinting and associated costs.


[slider title=”Foil stamping paper choice / stock finishes”]

  • Not all foils will be suitable for all stocks. Foil grades vary and some stocks just don’t like some foils
  • Glossier stocks will make foil appear glossier – especially for metallic foils.
  • Duller stocks or some recycled stocks may make the foil not look as shiny.
  • If your job is to be laminated – make sure the cello glaze used is a foil friendly one. Some laminates don’t like being foil stamped! (Best to use cello with a dyne count of 38 dynes or higher)


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If your job is going to have a spot UV, do so after you have foil stamped. OR consider using a clear foil +/- and emboss instead of a spot UV on your job – it looks pretty good!

If you are supplying (offset or digitally) pre-printed sheets to be foil stamped – please speak to us before you start your job to ensure the job is planned to eliminate any unwed hiccups!

Watermarx Graphics is a licenced user of CLIQX die systems for foil stamping and embossing.