Much of our notebooks, journals and stationery has an element of hot foil blocking. This is a letterpress process whereby either type or an etched die is pressed, whilst hot, into the material, paper, board, plastic, cloth or leather. A thin coloured foil, on a plastic backing, is between the type and the material - this foil is released by the heat and fixes to the material.
A wide variety of coloured foils is available but mostly we associate the main ones as being gold and silver. These are the most popular because, in printing, you cannot achieve the same affect with ink or a digital based method. With ink printing gold often looks similar to a shade of brown and silver is grey!
Another benefit of hot foil blocking is that it can be used on quite a wide range of materials. Whilst we have to carry out tests using our large range of foils, we can foil most substrates from paper and cloths to plastics and leather. Ideally a substrate should have a surface that will allow the foil to stick but with skill and experience we can achieve results on tricky surfaces!
For logos and designs we organise a metal embossing die which is either brass, magnesium or copper, depending on the quantity required and the material type - again, experience is needed.
We have a number of hot foil blocking machines, automated and manual. Our old John T Marshall (age unknown!) is very flexible allowing quite a thick item to be blocked where our auto Heildelberg will only go up to thick card. We often use this for foiling onto cloths and other book covering material. For personalising notebooks and journals we use our small blockers which are quick and easy to set up - personalised notebooks are usually one-offs!