If you’ve been researching wedding invitations for any time at all, you’ve likely come across an image of a design with gorgeous, shiny, gold foil pressed into cotton paper. It’s eye-catching, elegant, and adds a luxurious, formal feel to any invitation suite. You’re not sure what exactly it is, or how it’s printed, but you know you want that for your wedding invitations. Today that changes! I am going to walk you through the foil stamping process and share ways you can incorporate this stunning printing process into your wedding invitation suite.
As part of the Wedding Stationery Guide, I’ve put together a primer on printing processes to clear up some of the confusion that comes with ordering wedding invitations. See other posts in the series here: Printing Primer
Today we’re talking about foil stamping! you may have heard of it referred to as “hot foil”, “foil pressed”, or “foiling” This luxury printing process has been around for over a century, commonly used for high-end packaging and book covers. In recent years, foil stamping has become highly popular for wedding invitations. (Gold foil invitations are one of the most common requests I get from my brides!) Foil adds elegance and glamour to traditional wedding invitation designs. It is the perfect touch of shine for a sophisticated, typographic layout, or an extra sparkle for an art deco inspired invitation suite. Hot foil stamping is also the only way to print invitations that have a true shiny gold, copper, rose gold, or silver finish.
Foil stamping is similar to letterpress printing – it uses pressure to transfer color from a printing plate to paper. It requires experience, special equipment, and time. Foil stamping uses sheets of thin metallic foil instead of ink, resulting in a pressed design with a shiny finish.
Like letterpress, a custom die (printing plate) is made, and paper is pressed one piece at a time. However, with foil stamping, the die is made out of magnesium and is heated prior to stamping. The heat seals the foil to the paper. You need to make a separate die for each color of foil used in a design. You can see an example of a custom printing plate for foil stamping below.
Foil will be the last step in the printing process – it is printed after any letterpress or flat print portion of a design. It can also be printed on top of letterpress – this results in a stunning design with lots of texture.
Foil is shiny and opaque as opposed to letterpress inks that are slightly transparent. This means it can be printed on dark papers with no show through. You can also foil stamp on top of a flat print photograph – this makes for a stunning save the date! I offer four metallic foil colors: gold, silver, rose gold, and copper. Other colors (like white, red, shiny black, or bright pink) are also available.
Because it is a labor intensive process, and due to the cost of creating a custom metal printing plate for each invitation design, foil stamping is the most expensive printing process I offer at Banter & Charm. But it is the only way to have a true shiny metallic finish on your invitation. If you love the look of foil stamping but it’s a little too costly, metallic gold silk screen printing can be a budget friendly alternative. I also offer two ready made foil designs that can be paired with flat printing for a lower price point: Refined and Enchanted.
Foil stamping works best on minimal designs without delicate lines or large areas of color. I offer foil wedding invitations, inserts, envelopes, save the dates, and day of stationery. Banter & Charm’s foil stamp wedding invitation collection showcases designs that truly shine in foil! And I’ll gladly adjust other designs to work with metallic foil printing.
Just like letterpress printing, foil stamping needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated! Head over to the shop and order a sample foil wedding invitation so you can see the shiny gold, silver, rose gold, or copper foil in person!