Archive: Jun 2020

Hot or Cold Foil? – That is the Question.

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With the variety of manufacturing options available to add eye catching effects, one of the most talked about is the difference between hot foil and cold foil.

Cold Foil

cold foil label

During the cold foil process, a UV-curable adhesive is printed on the substrate in the shape of the design that is to be foiled. The foil is then pressed onto the material and is stripped away where no adhesive was printed. After a quick run under the UV light, the product is finished.

Cold foil runs fast on press and precise registration is able to be achieved. It is available in a wide variety of patterns and colors, and no tooling is required for the process. Cold foil can be overprinted easily and may be utilized on heat sensitive materials. Cold foil is not a replacement for hot stamp, but rather another option for foiling on a package.

Hot Foil

hot foil labelWith hot foil stamping, a die of the design to be foiled is mounted above the substrate and is then heated. The hot stamp foil, a metalized PET film with a heat activated adhesive, runs between the die and substrate. When pressure is applied from the die onto the material, the foil is fixed to the substrate’s surface. Because pressure is a main ingredient to hot foiling, the foil has dimension and a distinct feel.

Hot stamp foil delivers a luxuriously rich, raised look. Very fine lines and text can be incorporated into packaging designs, in many different colors and patterns. Hot stamp foil does not require a print station and may be used in conjunction with porous and
uncoated materials.


Better quality, brighter.
Hot foiling can be combined with embossing and stamping
to produce a tactile effect. Cold foiling can’t.

You don’t need an ultra-clean environment to hot foil; you do to cold foil.
You don’t experience problems with UV lamps which can be common during cold foiling.


Significantly cheaper. Adequate where very high quality isn’t a concern.
In-line foiling means it can be completed after or in between printing processes.
Much quicker process than hot foiling.

Cold foiling also has the appeal of being generally cheaper than hot foiling
which is why we offer both techniques.