What is Raised Foil Printing?

Raised 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, which appears as a raised surface on the printed stock. It is used to create a special looking printed piece on your artwork. Raised 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.

Raised Foil Printing artwork guidelines.
  • Ensure that the Foil Coverage should be no more than 30% of the artwork, otherwise the foil will be wavy and won’t look good.
  • Do not have any Text behind the Foil.
  • Avoid thin line-arts and fine details for Raised Foil application.
  • Use Bold fonts with proper kerning between characters.
  • We do not recommend having fonts smaller than 10pt on the Raised 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.
How to setup Mask files and prepare files for Raised 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 Raised 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 raised the foil application, create a separate file with only raised foil elements. The file will be black and white, where the black represents the areas of raised 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

Why mask files are to be designed in Vector Format?

Mask files are produced for the printer to know the exact location of the special finish to be applied on the product. Vector format files are recommended for their quality output. As raster formats are based of pixels they appear distorted/Jagged edges with the different color tones at the border/edges, so there are chance that the mask files might get rejected at prepress. Artwork in the mask files are to be produced in 100% K. To avoid rejection and get a High-quality output it is always best practice to design Mask files in Vector format.

How can I tell the difference between Raised Foil and Regular Foil?

Foil has a flat finish foil whereas Raised Foil has a raised foil finish, if you run your fingers over the card you will feel the foil. The height of the foil is approximately 60 microns.

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