There are numerous specialty printing techniques available in today’s innovative print world. Each one was developed for the purpose of giving printing customers design options that would set their finished customized print products apart. To make each process more useful and marketable, print companies also strive to make these techniques cost-effective while still maintaining a high level of quality. Competition among print companies has driven this innovation further and faster, to the point where customers now have so many specialty product choices, it may be hard to know where to begin. Choosing between premium printing techniques that seem similar to one another may be especially difficult. That’s why we’ve decided to take two popular metallic-based printing techniques – foil stamping and full-color foil printing – and break down their similarities, differences, pros and cons so that you can more easily decide which is best for your business card, postcard, flyer, or other print project.
These printing techniques’ primary similarity is that neither one involves actual “printing,” per se. Both of them actually require bonding pieces of foil to paper or cardstock using heat and/or pressure. They are also similar in that they both result in a partially metallic finish, giving your print project a polished look that tells recipients that you truly pay attention to detail.
The primary difference between the techniques is color. Whereas foil stamping gives users two classic color options – gold and silver – full-color foil printing gives the designer the freedom to choose from a whole rainbow of colors. In foil stamping, the printer applies “unadulterated” gold or silver foil to the surface of your business card or flyer. In full-color foil printing, on the other hand, high-quality inks are combined with the metallic material, resulting in a colorful metal finish that can be adjusted to your taste.
For this reason, customers who are looking to add a simple precious-metal flair to their business cards would be better off choosing foil stamping, whereas those looking for a funky, full-color metallic design should choose full-color foil printing. Both of these techniques result in unique, top-quality business cards that attract attention and get results – the look you desire will be the deciding factor in whether you should choose one over the other.
Because it requires an extra step, namely the mixing of the inks with the foil accents, the full-color foil process costs just a little more – about $20 more per 1,000 cards – but both techniques are very affordable when you choose a high-volume printer who employs the gang-run printing technique.
Examples of those who would be best off using the classic silver or gold foil-stamping print technique are classy restaurants or lounges, spas, high-end night clubs, banks or other financial institutions, and professionals like realtors, lawyers, and accountants. Those who might benefit from choosing flashy full-color foil include musicians, beauty professionals, artists, concert venue managers, child care professionals, entertainers, restaurant owners, and anyone else looking to convey a high-energy, high-impact message on their printed materials. But then again, your personalized business cards and flyers are exactly that – personalized – so feel free to think outside the box! After all, there is no reason why a brain surgeon can’t have a peppy, colored metallic card if it goes along with his personality!
So there you have it. In a nutshell, full-color foil printing gives you more color options and costs just a little more than foil stamping, which gives you a choice between gold and silver accents. With any luck, this information will help you decide which specialty printing technique is best for you. But if you’re still having trouble making up your mind, feel free to reach out to a qualified print professional for additional advice.
Jennifer has been apart of the EliteFlyers.com team for over 10 years. Her personal portfolio includes high-end design and/or printing of business cards, flyers, post cards and more for businesses and individuals from all over the world.
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