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Foil and Other Printing Processes

Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:19 pm
by pstaehlin
Hi everyone,

We are seeing more and more advancements in the printing process of playing card decks. From really cool embossings to beautiful foils on the cards and tuck cases. But...how in the world is this done?? I'd love to see some sort of video showing this printing/embossing process.

Can anyone help with this? -- Thank you!

Re: Foil and Other Printing Processes

Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:09 pm
by Mike Ratledge
In most cases, foil is applied using a hot stamp method, but not always.

I am thinking that Lotrek could show us a thing or two. His recent Golden OATH decks are all foil, no ink at all.

Re: Foil and Other Printing Processes

Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:03 am
by dazzleguts
I've made embossing in an art printmaking studio. Thin layers of cardboard are cut into shape and glued to a base sheet of heavier board as a "plate". The plate is sealed with a solvent based varnish to resist water. The rag paper to be embossed is dampened and laid over top of the plate on the bed of a large press. layers of felt are layed over that. The press bed is passed through the rollers, forcing the paper to conform to the plate.

Of course there must be much slicker and less hands-on ways of doing the same to card boxes in commercial production. The arts are always using old industry cast-offs.

Re: Foil and Other Printing Processes

Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:55 pm
by Lotrek
Foiling while simple as a concept, has many difficulties due to its nature. The basic idea is that you have a metal plate on which the parts to be printed (stamped) are raised. This plate is heated and the foil passes between the plate and the paper which is pressed towards the plate and foil.
This is the general idea. The quality and depth of detail is primarily a matter of plate. Quality of foil is also very important although not always related to the price. I have seen expensive foils having poor results and cheap foils being great (and vice versa, of course).
Here's a video showing the process on a manually operated machine. I'm using a big automatic sheet fed machine but this video explains how it works which is basically the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CmX4r1ULWg

Re: Foil and Other Printing Processes

Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:55 pm
by pstaehlin
Lotrek wrote:Foiling while simple as a concept, has many difficulties due to its nature. The basic idea is that you have a metal plate on which the parts to be printed (stamped) are raised. This plate is heated and the foil passes between the plate and the paper which is pressed towards the plate and foil.
This is the general idea. The quality and depth of detail is primarily a matter of plate. Quality of foil is also very important although not always related to the price. I have seen expensive foils having poor results and cheap foils being great (and vice versa, of course).
Here's a video showing the process on a manually operated machine. I'm using a big automatic sheet fed machine but this video explains how it works which is basically the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CmX4r1ULWg.



Thank you for the reply. This is really cool. The video was exactly something I was looking for. (some kind of visual in my head)

Re: Foil and Other Printing Processes

Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:10 am
by maxs
There is also a cold foil method to get the foil on paper. This is achieved by two additional print units, the first for applying glue, the second for getting the foil on the sheet (the foil sticks to the glue).
I assume this technique is used for playing cards, as it doesn't leave an impression on the cards like hot foil stamping does, but I'm not sure.

Here are two videos showing how it's done:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEwx919sdBs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6e6x1qdKHY.