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Foil Printing Vs. Foil Stamping – What’s the Difference?

Posted on: July 15th, 2013 by No Comments

There’s nothing like adding some outstanding sparkle to your flyer or postcards when you’re aiming to get a customer’s attention… which we’re all trying to do when we print flyers or postcards, right? But what is the best way to add in the metallic edge to your printed materials? There are several options available, the most popular of which are foil printing and foil stamping. Here, we’ll review the differences and similarities between these two outstanding and unmistakably eye-grabbing printing methods.

First, we’ll go over the similarities. Both foil printing (also known as full-color foil printing) and foil stamping use metal, specifically aluminum, pieces. These pieces are die cut to your specific design. With, you may specify that the metallic part of your flyer, postcard, or business card takes up a small portion of the page, or that it creeps into all the nooks and crannies of your design. The choice is yours. Our professional print system creates the custom die cut pieces to your precise specifications.

Full color foil printing, full color foil process, EliteFlyers.comIn both full-color foil printing and foil stamping, these pieces will then be affixed to your high quality, full-color, 16pt card stock printed piece, be it a business card, postcard, or flyer. But in full-color foil printing, there is one additional step that needs to happen before the die cut piece is adhered to the card. Here is where the differences come in.

In full-color foil printing, or foil printing, actual ink is used. (This is not the case in foil stamping.) Once the die-cut piece of foil is created for your design, a full spectrum of inks – tinctures specifically created to bind with the aluminum base they are being applied to – are used to “color” your foil according to your design specifications. This means that your metallic pieces can be made to pop with color – any color or colors you choose. This of course creates a pretty mesmerizing effect on the beholder. This combination of color and light-catching metallics is what makes full-color foil printing a first choice among first-rate party promoters, concert marketing professionals, designers, artists, and photographers, just to name a few. When you want a flyer, postcard, or business card to shine with all the lustrous colors of the rainbow, full-color foil printing is the greatest option at hand.

Silk laminated business cards with silver foil stamping, EliteFlyers.comFoil stamping is another first-rate printing technique, although technically, foil stamping requires, well, stamping rather than printing. Just as with full-color foil designs, our printers cut pieces of aluminum foil to your specific design needs. With foil stamping though, you choose either gold or silver foil rather than a host of colors. This foil is then directly “stamped” onto your otherwise already-printed postcard, business card, or flyer. It’s affixed there with the use of heat, pressure, and if applicable, UV coating, which adds a glossy sheen and also protects the flyer or card. This last part – the “stamping” and adhering – is common to both full-color foil printing and foil stamping techniques.

So what are the perks of foil printing and foil stamping? Well, the most important part of any print ad campaign grabbing the target’s attention, and these dazzling printing techniques assure that base is covered every time. Both foil printing and stamping can be combined with other print techniques, like silk lamination, for example, when you want to really knock your viewer’s socks off. For more great design ideas and to get started on your custom business cards or flyers right away, go to If you need assistance, our design and printing professionals are always a mere email or call away.


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