What is Foil Printing?

Foil printing is the process of applying a thin coat of metallic or pigmented foil to paper stock using a combination of heat, and pressure. It is used to create a special looking printed piece on your artwork. Foil printing is the best way to give your products a high-end and customized look with effects such as elegant metallics, ultra-glossy colors, and high-tech effects.

Foil Printing artwork guidelines.
  • Always use solid color behind the Foil application. We do not recommend having any artwork or text under the foil mask since it might be visible through the foil mask.
  • Foil Coverage should be no more than 30% of the artwork, otherwise, the foil will be wavy and will not look good. The only time a 50% coverage is acceptable is with patterns, thin strokes, or small shapes. Ideally, the size of the area, shape, or image covered with foil should not exceed 1in x 1in.
  • We do not recommend having fonts smaller than 10pt on the Foil Artwork. However, if you use fonts with thicker strokes or bold fonts, we do not recommend having fonts smaller than 12pt.
  • The line strokes should be no less than 1 pt.
  • Avoid thin line-arts and fine details for Foil application
How to setup Mask files and prepare files for Foil Printing?

When submitting files for print, foil jobs need a ‘separate’ file also known as the “Mask” file which is in addition to standard CMYK artwork files. The ‘mask’ file reflects the area which will have the special print treatment. This is how you can prepare files for Foil printing:

Step 1: Identify the area(s) you want to apply the Foil to.

Identify the areas (text/logo) from your standard CMYK artwork file.

Step 2: Prepare a separate mask file in Vector Format.

For each printed side that has a foil application, create a separate file with only foil elements. The file will be black and white, where the black represents the areas of foil application.

Note: The elements should be created in 100% black and as a vector format

Step 3: Check alignment and remove CMYK elements.

You should practice and make sure that your artwork both the standard CMYK and mask file are aligned correctly.

Once you are satisfied with the alignment, you can delete the elements from the standard CMYK file which are available within the mask file. Thus, ensuring that you provide a solid background to the foil printing.

Step 4: Saving the artwork files for submission

Save your artwork files with proper naming conventions, so that it is easy to identify which file is to be used for the printing process. For example, a Foil job with Foil application on both sides will have the following names:

  1. File-Name-Front-CMYK
  2. File-Name-Front-Mask
  3. File-Name-Back-CMYK
  4. File-Name-Back-Mask

Final Product

Can you print Foil and Spot UV on the same Card?

Yes, we can print Foil and Spot UV on the same card provided Foil and Spot do not overlap. Also, while submitting the files for printing you will need to source Mask files for Spot and Foil separately.

Can I print Foil in Gradient?

Yes, gradients can be printed in akuafoil printing. However, foil printing offers 7 different solid foil colors.

Check our akuafoil print products.

Can I print 2 different Foils colors in my job?

In foil printing we offer 7 foil colors, however, a print job can only have 1 of these 7 colors. If you need 2 different foil colors on the same print job check our akuafoil print products.

Can I print Foil on a Paper with smooth feel?

We offer Foil printing on a 14pt Uncoated & 16pt C2S Premium Gloss Paper. If you wish to have a smooth fill, you can choose 16pt C2S Premium Gloss Paper with a Silk Lamination. You will get a Foil Printed product on a smooth feel paper.

I do not have a Mask file. Can you create them for me?

Yes, we offer design services for mask file preparation. Contact Us or send us an email with your design files at contact@printmagic.com