Foils Ain’t Foils Consider the creative, cost effective and quick options available

I fondly recall my visits to the local newsagent in search of the perfect greeting card for my mother. Almost always I would reach towards the ones with the most ‘bling’ as this would certainly elicit the best ‘Oh!’ response from Mum and as a result produce a great return on my investment – the big smile. Back then, the ‘top shelf’ cards were always the foiled ones.

Back then there were a vast number of choices: gold and silver… These days, things have changed significantly. Not just content with the run of the mill foils, we are now offered a plethora of choices. Metallic gloss and matt, pigment colours, holographic, security foils – the list goes on…
I have written previously about innovation and my obsession with using foils. With great determination my research led me to the US where I sourced technology that allowed me to digitally print with foil. It’s not that easy to do, yet with persistence, experimentation and some good luck you can get some amazing results.

Digital foiling is not a new process, but rather a significant refinement from the Omnicron technique (for those of you old enough to remember!). We call it ‘digital foiling’ because the printed sheets come off our digital printing press in preparation for foiling on another device. This new enhanced technology can significantly change the dynamics of how we can now produce things for the design community.
For instance, these new techniques allow for foiling the finest of details and halftones, we can print over foiled patterns, print individual foiled variable data names and images.

We have even successfully digitally foiled onto Brillianta linen. This was showcased in the recently completed Footpath Philosophers, arguably Australia’s largest book produced digitally. The cover had a halftone image with white foil, and all digitally printed!

This technique had never been produced before and allowed for detailed halftones to be foiled on to fabric and then case bound. With a little imagination and creative flair, coupled with innovative and ground-breaking techniques, the scope is limitless.

So, if you, like me are aiming for a return on your investment, come aboard the innovation train and think… foils!

Theo Pettaras is a self-confessed design junkie and veteran in the printing industry. He was one of the first commercial printers to become an exclusive digital print producer. Since commencing his Sydney company, Digitalpress, in 2006, his company has achieved multiple state and national print awards including 2008’s most innovative printing company for a staff of 10 or under in New South Wales.