Foil Cards 101 - What Makes Our Collection Unique
So what is hot foil stamping anyway?
Hot foil stamping is a form of relief printing in which foil film is transferred to the paper via high temperatures, pressure and custom copper plates. Relief printing literally refers to the indentation left behind by the plates, giving our cards that signature "foil you can feel" look that you love. Heat and pressure are the most important components of this method, and our 1950's presses are more than up to the challenge.
After we finalize the design to be foiled, custom copper plates are ordered from a shop that specializes in metal dies. Once they arrive and the press is hot, the plates are attached to the press, heated and then stamped with enough pressure to seal the foil film to the paper. Foil film comes in a wide range of colors but the tried and true wedding stationery favorites of rose gold, gold and silver reign supreme.
Getting the registration on the press correct and consistent takes time and skill, but once you have it dialed in you can print thousands of cards at lightning speed. And just watching the press in action is enough to lull even the most anxious mind into a shiny, foil covered trance.
How did you learn how to print?
We're still learning! When we first took the leap to add presses to the Marrygrams printing team, we had no idea where to begin. Lucky for us, the previous owner of our machines graciously agreed to give us a crash course for a few days but then we were on our own. Trial and error (and the internet) are the biggest allies in printing press troubleshooting. Every time we fire it up we learn something new. And once you hit that sweet spot and are able to just churn out hundreds of gorgeous cards in no time at all, there's no greater feeling of accomplishment.
I've seen other shops advertise foil cards, but how do I know it's authentic?
Etsy is riddled with vendors selling inauthentic "real foil" cards, which is actually a form of lamination and not letterpress. There is nothing wrong with this style of printing if the quality is acceptable to you. But if you're after that rich density and textured, visible indentation that comes from foil stamping, you're going to be disappointed.
Basically, sheets of toner reactive foil are fused to preprinted sheets of paper via a custom laminator. You can get one yourself at any craft store, and they're a very popular option for the DIY lover. However, some things to note, you will NOT get any indentation from this style of printing. The foil will be flush with the paper and sits on top of the toner already printed via a laser printer. Another way to tell if the foil you are looking at is authentic is to zoom in and look for little flecks of black toner still visible in the design. Because of the nature of this style of printing, the density and quality of foil coverage varies greatly.
Why can't I customize the foil collection?
Because of the process described above, the foil collection cannot be customized. This includes foil colors AND wording changes. We spend countless hours deciding which designs, titles, and colors are the best options for the foil cards and although we try very hard, we can't please everybody.
But that is why our standard collection exists! When you don't have to order custom copper plates for each new design, it's a lot easier for us to add someone's name or adjust specific wording. Always reach out to us before ordering something custom and we can help make sure everything is clear and correct.
How do I order?
What kind of pen should I use?
Our foil collection is printed on our signature Marrygrams shimmer stock for a look that is as gorgeous as it is unique. We love Ultra Fine Point Sharpies, but any archival pen or marker should work just fine. And we always try to include a sample of the stock to test your ink on when you purchase foil cards.
What's next for foil?
So many things! We have big plans for the growth of our foil collection in the upcoming year, so make sure you follow us on Instagram to stay updated!