Hot-foil stamping has its origins in the decoration of book covers and only later was it used for commercial job printing.
For our hot-foil stamping, the printing die is produced in brass with extremely high precision using computer assisted techniques. A combination of heat and pressure in the embossing press causes the metallic coating or pigment in the hot-foil to be sealed onto the substrate.
Strong effects are the métier of hot-foil stamping: nearly all embossing foils cover the background on which they are stamped and therefore produce impressive contrasts.
The color palette of the foils includes matt and high-gloss metallic surfaces, highly-pigmented shades of color, textured surfaces and even holographic foil effects.
The results of hot-foil stamping are usually flat but, if so requested, and if the printing substrate allows, can also be slightly recessed. Should the image be required in relief, hot-foil embossing may be the technique of choice or flat foil stamping may be used in combination with blind embossing.
Confusion about the name
There is probably no other finishing process that is called by so many different names: hot-foil stamping, foil stamping, stamped foil printing, foil stamping, hitone embossing, dry embossing…
We should, at least, delineate the process called “cold foil”, an in-line finish which is used mostly in large-format printing for packaging purposes. This is not an embossing process, however.