Foil Printing Pit-Falls

15 October 2018

A Case Study: When developing artwork for foil printing, is it better to use BOLD or SOLID fonts & logos, or KEY LINES?

The answer to this question will depend entirely on the look you’re trying to achieve.

Foil printing is a cost effective method of applying a logo or text to a PVC or polypropylene product.  The typical colours used at Plastics Australia are Black, White, Gold and Silver, although many other colours are available if required.

Foil printing is a process where by a stamp, or plate of the required artwork is pressed against the foil substrate, which in turn is pressed against the product to be printed.  Through heat and pressure, the foil substrate is transferred onto the product.


A recent review of many of our foil printed jobs highlighted the following:

  • Large areas of bold print have the potential to distort the polypropylene material, causing a ripple effect on the edge of the sheet.  This was due to the heat and pressure required to fill in the print area.
  • Large areas of bold print have the potential to stipple or appear dotty.  This happens if there are temperature variations.
  • Key line styled artwork requires far less pressure and heat to adhere the foil to the polypropylene.  For large print areas, this results in much less distortion of the polypropylene and much clearer print outcomes.
  • It is difficult to foil print fine detail and solid areas in one operation. The pressure required to fill in solid areas, causes the fine detail to fill in too.
  • Foil printed gold & silver results in a shiny, gloss finish compared with screen printed or digitally printed silver and gold.

Regardless, however your artwork has been designed, we can review prior to printing and ensure the best possible outcome.