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Home / FAQs / Business Card FAQs / What is the difference between hot foil stamping and cold foil?

What is the difference between hot foil stamping and cold foil?

Foil is a premium addition to your labels and marketing products. It draws the eye with its texture, metallic sheen, and depth. There are two different types of processes: hot foil and cold foil.

Hot foil stamping involves having a die of the design foiled and mounted above the substrate.

The die is heated and forced against the substrate, with a heat-activated adhesive running in between the two.

Once pressure is applied from the die onto the material, the foil design then fixes onto the substrate surface.

Hot foil stamping creates a luxurious, raised effect. It’s a popular feature in packaging, invitations, and high-end branding materials.

A wide selection of dies can be used in varying reflectivity.

The usual dies are metallic like gold, silver, and brass. Other finishes like pearlescent and holographic effects are also used.

Meanwhile, cold foil process is where UV light is used.

A UV-curable adhesive is printed on the substrate shaped according to the desired foil design.

The foil is pressed onto the material, and the excess parts (those without adhesive) are stripped away.

A quick run under UV light cures the adhesive.

Cold foil works best as a simple accent for labels and smoother surfaces such as film.

If you have a more intricate design and will be placing it on a textured material, you should opt for hot foil stamping instead.