Design Considerations for Foil

File setup for foil artwork can be a complex process and should be completed by an experienced designer. 

General Setup

Some products are only available with foil, like our Premium Black business cards. Other stocks allow for ink printing as well as foil stamping. When combining the two processes, you will need to submit a separate file for the artwork to be produced in foil  and the artwork that is to be printed. It’s also important to note that printed artwork can only be registered to foil artwork with offset printing. If you are trying to align foil with other printed artwork, please keep in mind that shifting up to 1/16" will be expected.

Fine Detail

The finest detail recommended for foil stamping is 1pt line thickness. If you are using white foil, the minimum is 2pt.

Lines as thin as 0.5pt may be used in some cases; however, you will need to accept the risk of unwanted output. Fine details under 1pt may cause the edges of the foiled area to look jagged, or have small breaks.

Separations File

You will need to create a black and white file of your foil artwork, where the black areas indicate where you want the foil placed and the white areas will show where you do not want foil. This can be done in many ways in your design program by setting up new layers, defining a new artboard (new page) or creating a separate file.

The areas for treatment (foil) will need to be defined in black ink, and the black color used must be CMYK Black only, with no grey colors or other inks.

The design must be created in vector format (such as in Illustrator or InDesign). 

K100 Black

CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 100


Export each separation as a press-ready PDF file. If you have multiple colors of foil in your order, you will need to create the artwork for each color as a separate file. 

Name your files according to the TYPE, COLOUR, SET and SIDE. For example, One set of cards with gold foil on the front and silver foil on the back would be as follows: "Foil_Gold_Set1_Front" and "Foil_Silver_Set1_Back".

See: Setup for Print-Ready Separations Files

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