Hot foil stamping

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Hot foil stamping consists in transferring a film or aluminium foil onto paper using heat and pressure. A wide variety of foils are available outside of gold or silver: pigmented colours, iridescent, pearlescent, holographic, and coloured gloss or satin metallic foils, based on aluminium foils with lacquer.


  • Do use papers from 160g for double-sided hot foil stamping applications.

  • Do make the most of smoother papers, such as Conqueror CX22 or Opale Premier, for mirror finish foiling. Despite the pressure applied during the foiling process, the texture of the paper will show through the foil.

  • Do print with offset lithography or screen printing before going through with the hot foil stamping process.

  • Do ensure the films are suitable for subsequent laser use when foil-stamping letterheads.

  • Do think in terms of creative contrast: for instance hot foil stamping gold or silver foils works well on dark Curious Collection Skin papers.

  • Do check with your printer or paper merchant when using metallic foil on black paper. The foil could react with the carbon dyes present in some papers. Conqueror Calligraphy, Keaykolour Deep Black, Pop’Set Black and Extra Black and Rives Tradition Le Noir, for example, are safe: they do not contain any carbon black.


  • Don’t use papers with low bulk or rigidity. The hot stamping process could crumple or tear the sheet.

  • Don’t pick heavily textured papers, such as Keaykolour Embossing Dragoon, for foiling images which contain very fine detail (such as a royal crest for example), unless you consider plate-sinking the area to be foiled first.

  • Don’t use clear foil on coloured Curious Collection Skin papers. Use UV varnish instead.

  • Don’t choose magnesium plates for heavily structured or textured papers, as they will become blunt and lose detail quite quickly. Copper plates, although more expensive, will render a finer job.

  • Don’t forget hot stamping is a craft, where much depends on the special know-how and skill of the printer.

Design by The Bakery (Russia)
Print by Generation Press (UK)
Paper: Curious Matter (Désirée Red, Adiron Blue, Andina Grey).

Design by Stereochromie
Hot stamping tools by h+m
Hot stamping foils by Kurz