Hot foil and Cold foil finishing options can provide the ultimate in decorative label appeal. They are not limited to gold and silver foils, but extend to an impressive range of pigmented, pearlescent, opalescent, holographic and security foils. All of these can be combined with embossed images to produce a label with varying tactile effects – any one of which will really boost the printed message and provide great shelf appeal.

At AJS Labels, we can offer the full range of hot and cold foiling, on both conventional and digital labels, whatever the run length. So which option is best for you?

Cold foil process

Cold foil is a versatilite and efficient process.

The process uses an embossing motif printing plate. An adhesive is pre-printed, which bonds with the subsequently applied cold foil and is cured using UV light. The cold foil is then peeled off the web to leave only the embossing motif in foil form on the print substrate. The process runs at normal press speed and a single pass is all that is needed to apply the foil and then overprint it with normal inks.

Advantages of Cold foil

  • A highly cost-effective way to add metallic colour
  • A very high degree of register accuracy
  • Good for fine lines, shadowed text, negative text
  • Cold foil can be added during a continuous printing process
  • Halftones and gradients can be printed
  • Tooling not expensive
  • Temperature-sensitive materials can be decorated
  • Quick to set up

Disadvantages of Cold foil

  • Lower quality foiling
  • Cannot achieve very fine designs
  • Difficult to foil on textured substrates

Hot foil process

Hot foil printing is one of the oldest forms of printing using the letterpress principle and produces excellent results.

A male block is produced using zinc, magnesium, copper or brass. This is process engraved. The block is heated on press and a metallic or coloured foil is branded on to the material. The results are stunning giving your label a premium look and feel.

Advantages of Hot foil

  • Very high degree of vibrancy and brilliance possible
  • Ideal on dry, porous materials where the cold foil process is less effective
  • Combination Hot foil stamping and embossing to give the label a textured effect
  • Finer detail can be achieved
  • More foil colour shades and decoration variants are available
  • Full-surface or partial decoration

Disadvantages of Hot foil

  • Rotary foil tooling is expensive
  • Set up time is longer

Metallic Inks

If you're looking for the most cost-effective option of adding metallic embellishments to your label, then why not consider metallic ink? The new inks have been developed to produce packaging with bold, stand out product appeal, cost effectively.

The choice is yours!

Please contact our Customer Service Team with any of your foiling requirements. We'd be delighted to help.