There is something special about the timeless elegance of foil printing and embossing, the way it brings depth and intrigue to an otherwise blank piece of paper. Despite being a centuries-old printing practice, foil printing and embossing still maintains style and relevance today, bringing designs to life to give them a premium, luxe edge that can help a brand stand out from the rest.

In this piece, an alchemy of heat, pressure, metal and foil come together to produce a timeless and impactful print that demonstrates how foil printing and embossing can create a high-end, sophisticated result.

The print you have in your hand was a labour of love

We envisaged a set of prints that would not only serve as pieces of art to be enjoyed and appreciated, but that could be used by you, artists and creators, to inspire your own designs. They are tools to spark creativity in your own work, and to help you imagine just what’s possible in bringing your visions to life.


In collaboration with Popgun Creative, we wanted to create pieces that showcased the various printing techniques we call on at Laserfoil. In a nod to these practices that have existed for centuries, the foil and emboss art print embraces elements of Art Deco styling. Hints of the era feature – film reels, a biplane, balloons, and a particular reference to the Heidelberg printing press, an original machine that we still use today. Despite advances in technology, it remains the best machine for achieving premium results.


With a design decided on, we then needed to carefully create the separations required for printing. With foil (and all letterpress printing), each colour requires a new plate and a separate pass on the press to print. This print required six different plates for six passes on the press. First we test, then once satisfied, we order each of the printing plates.

Foil printing is achieved with a combination of heat and pressure. These metal blocks are heated to the desired temperature, transferring the heat to the page upon impression. For this print, we chose brass blocks which were CNC lathed to the design. Brass plates are very precise and have excellent heat transfer.


To help you understand the craft behind the foil and embossing process, here is a breakdown of each of the passes needed to produce this one print. First, we began with the black foil, laying the banner behind the words ‘foil and emboss’. The second plate put in place the gold foil. The third plate was the silver holographic foil, and the fourth plate was the white pigment foil. The fifth plate was the blind indented stars you can see in the background and the sixth and final plate was the multi level emboss.

As you can imagine, each plate had to be carefully aligned to the page and to the previous plates to make sure everything aligned correctly. The embossing was particularly crucial as this ties all the other passes together and would show up any misalignment of the previous passes. It was also the most exciting as it was the first time we saw the final product come together!


We weren’t done yet. To add the text to the reverse side, we used white toner on a dark grey card. Getting the alignment right was critical, to ensure the back was correctly positioned once both the front and back sides were duplex glued together. The final step was to die cut the card. While these prints are rectangular and could be trimmed on the guillotine but we chose to die cut these prints instead to avoid squashing the embossing under the clamp, which would reduce the overall impact of the art print.


Whether to add a subtle hint of luxury or to produce a dramatic and impactful design, foil printing and embossing sends a message of style, sophistication and elegance. It’s the process, patience and precision behind these prints that has the potential to produce a premium edge that helps your work stand out from the rest.


Curious to know more about what’s possible? Our capabilities don’t stop there – read more about our digital and offset print and our letterpress and deboss print, too.

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