Hot Foil Stamping

Hot foil stamping, also known as hot foil transfer decoration, adds elegance and perceived value to packaging, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Available in a variety of colors and finishes, it is the only technique that can give bright, non-tarnishing metallic effects to paperboard or plastic. Foils can also be overprinted or embossed for even greater impact.

Special Applications

Diamond can also employ techniques such as foil over foil, blind emboss, refractive engraving and overprinting to achieve even greater eye appeal.

Foil Types

  • Diffraction/Patterned – foils consisting of highly detailed geometric designs
  • Flat – opaque foils of intense color
  • Gloss – transparent foils glossy in appearance
  • Holographic – foils producing an illusion of depth, three dimensionality and varying colors
  • Metallic – metallized aluminum foils available in many colors and finishes
  • Pearlescent – similar to gloss foils but with a translucent pearl color
  • Rainbow – foils producing the spectrum of colors depending on the angle of view
Vince Camuto Divina packaging features hot foil stamping and embossing

Foil Stamping, Mylar, or Foil Board?

Proprietary manufacturing methods allow us to produce all types of packaging cost effectively and with excellent results. From a manufacturing standpoint, the process and finished appearance of each are similar but they offer their own advantages:

Hot Foil Stamping

  • Noticeable increase in brilliance compared to foil board
  • Available in a variety of colors, finishes and effects
  • In-house production results in shorter lead times
  • Produced by transferring a very thin layer of aluminum to paperboard using heat and
Read the Case Study
Hot foil stamping

Metallized Polyester Film (e.g., Mylar)

  • The ultimate in reflectivity and brilliance
  • Mirror-like finish is a perfect choice for upscale or luxury packaging (e.g., cosmetics, fragrance)
  • Produced by laminating a thin layer of metallized film to paperboard (e.g., SBS)
Read the Case Study
Mylar (metallized polyester film)

Foil Board

  • Finished appearance of foil stamping
  • Many types of refracted surfaces available
  • More economical depending on the application
  • Produced by laminating aluminum to paperboard
Learn More about Nautica My Voyage
Foil board

Cold Foiling

  • Cost effective, in-line alternative to metallized polyester film or specialty foil board
  • Overprinting offers a limitless palette of color options
  • Precise registration between foil and overprinted inks, coatings
  • Flexibility to produce large, solid areas with fine detail, halftones, small fonts, and knockouts
  • Produced in-line (on press) by transferring a very thin layer of aluminum to a sheet where adhesive has been applied
Learn More
Cold foiling

Hot Foil is Recyclable

Diamond's hot foil stamping enhances the printed surface while providing more sustainable benefits:

  • Hot foil stamped cartons are recyclable*
  • The PIRA study validates the recyclability of paper products decorated by both the traditional hot stamp and cold foil processes

  • The study also finds that neither hot nor cold foil decorated products would give rise to problems found in other decorating processes that may render the decorated paper products unsuitable for recycling

*Source: Pira International. Repulpability of Foil-Decorated Paper. 2008.

Pira International, Surrey, UK, a third party research firm, was commissioned by the Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) to conduct the study and produce the findings, which have been compiled in a 11-page study.

Download the Study
Hot foil stamped folding cartons are recyclable

Georgia Tech Repulpability of Foil Decorated Paper

A study conducted by Georgia Tech’s Renewable Bioproducts Institute and commissioned by the Foil & Specialty Effects Association also demonstrates that foil decorated paper and board do not create problems in the recyclability/repulpability of paper and/or board in a common repulping process.

*Source: Georgia Tech. Repulpability of Foil Decorated Paper. 2020.

Download the Study
Georgia Tech Repulpability of Foil-Decorated Paper Study

FSEA Recycling of Fiber-Based Materials with Transfer Metallic Decoration

The Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) has announced the release of a report detailing the results from a newly completed study on the sorting and recycling of fiber-based materials with transfer metallic decoration.

Through extensive testing at the Van Dyk Technology Center, the study demonstrates that fiber-based transfer metallic decorated materials are currently being sorted by Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) throughout the U.S. and North America to be included in the recycling stream.

*Source: FSEA. Recycling of Fiber-Based Materials with Transfer Metallic Decoration. 2024.

Download the Study
FSEA Recycling of Fiber-Based Materials with Transfer Metallic Decoration

Foil Cheat Sheet

Ready to wow your customers with foil? Interested in learning about the different foil methods for decorating your packaging?

The Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) and online hub PaperSpecs have introduced the Foil Cheat Sheet, a metallic foil decorating reference guide for graphic designers. It includes sections detailing and illustrating each of the following techniques and materials: Hot Foil Stamping, Cold Foiling, Toner Digital Foil, Varnish Digital Foil and Foil Substrates. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of metallic foil process also are given.

Request a PDF Copy
The Foil Cheat Sheet explains the different foil decorating techniques that can be used on packaging, including folding cartons.

Sample Kit

Contact us for more information on our capabilities or to request a free folding carton sample kit. The kit includes examples of different substrates and capabilities, including specialty UV coatings, cold foiling, hot foil stamping, embossing, and windowing. All are designed to attract the consumer’s attention when and where it matters most—at the point of sale.

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