Monday, 24 October 2011

Team print foil blocking

The basics:
Foil blocking is a dry printing process in which a thin layer of foil is transferred via a die to the surface to be printed. A combination of heat and pressure releases the pigment and leaves the image on the printed surface.

Although it is most widely known and used in its gold and silver forms, there seems to have been a recent resurgence amongst Team’s designer clients to use coloured foils, especially white, black and clear. This can achieve really striking results, such as in the example opposite, where a blue foil has been used on a blue uncoated stock. Clear foils can be extremely effective in cases such as this but on certain stocks a slight ‘mottling’ effect may appear where the fibres of the stock show through, especially if the stock has a very open and tactile surface. The coloured foil provides an excellent solution here, and nowadays it is relatively easy to find coloured foils to match a design.

Clear foils can often be much more effective than spot varnishing. Be imaginative. As well as the wide range of colours available, there is also a wide range of special effect foils, such as pearlescent, opalescent, holographic and textured.

Preparing your artwork:
Treat your foiled area as a single coloured colour plate, clearly identified as a foiled area. It is worth considering that different coloured foils achieve different results on different stocks. This can greatly affect the fineness of detail that can be achieved, especially when foiling text in very small point sizes. In general, a smoother sheet will usually be preferable in these cases. There are always plenty of samples of foiled jobs in the Team portfolio.

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