Cold foiling is a cost effective, more sustainable alternative to metallized polyester film or specialty foil board. The on-press application offer limitless design possibilities on paperboard packaging, including metallic and holographic decorative effects.


Cost Effective, More Sustainable

Cold foil is a cost-effective, more sustainable alternative to metallized polyester film (i.e., Mylar) or specialty foil board. Also known as foil printing, cold foiling is a fast, on-press process for applying foil to a variety of paperboard substrates.

Cold Foil Process

During the offset printing process cold foil is applied to an adhesive image using a standard printing plate. The foil is affixed to the printed adhesive, creating an image prior to the application of printing inks. The foil that does not adhere to the adhesive remains on a thin polyester liner, with waste then directed to a rewind spool. Because the adhesive is applied on press like an ink, no stamping die is needed. Once printed, the cold foil images is often overprinted with UV inks and coating to provide a durable surface. Because it utilizes a printing plate, tight registration is maintained between the foil and the inks and coatings.

Cold Foil Benefits

Cold foils are available in silver and gold, plus stock and custom holographic patterns.

The in-line, on-press application provides many new design possibilities:

  • Overprinting offers a limitless palette of color options
  • Perfect registration between foil and overprinted inks, coatings
  • Retains texture of substrates, as cold foil requires little pressure
  • Flexibility to produce large, solid areas with fine detail, halftones, small fonts, and knockouts
  • Upscale product differentiation

Cold Foil Gallery

Elizabeth Arden
Cold foiling with embossing
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Cold foil with embossing
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Cold foiling
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Procter & Gamble
Soft touch coating with cold foil and embossing
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Overprinting transparent gold ink over cold foil
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Inter Parfums
Soft touch coating with cold foil and embossing
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Cold Foil Introduction (video)

Cold foil adds value and luxury to packaging. Learn how it helps deliver impact in the retail environment.

Cold Foil Module (video)

Diamond Packaging recently invested in the latest cold foiling technology to cost-effectively deliver in-line metallic and holographic effects. The video was produced to demonstrate our new state-of-the-art Compact Foilers CF1000PM cold foil module mounted on a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 offset press.

Sustainable Benefits

Diamond's cold foil decorative effects enhances the printed surface while providing more sustainable benefits:

  • Foiled 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.

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Sustainability Benefits of Cold Foil

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, 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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