Foil Blocking: That extra special printer finish that you've been looking for

November 16, 2010

Foil Blocking is an amazing printing technique that adds a distinct element of quality and professionalism to your designs. It is a very special printing finish that gives print design projects an extra punch and it helps them to stand out amongst other print design works.

What exactly is foil blocking? Foil blocking is a printing process whereby a thin metallic foil is added to a specific area of your design. Gold, silver and magenta foils are the colours most commonly used in foil blocking however, most printers also offer quite a wide variety of different foil colour options to its clients.

Foil blocking is most commonly added to a specific element of a business card design, brochure design, book design or corporate invitation design. Some designers even go so far as to combine foil blocking with other printing techniques such as embossing to help give their designs an even more stunning 3D effect.

Here are some great foil blocking projects that I have come across lately. They are great examples of foil blocking and I hope that they give you some good ideas as to the potential of this fascinating and unique printing technique.

SUHA

This is a slick foil blocked annual report cover designed for the South Ulster Housing Association. Designed by Willow, gold foil blocking was used to make the cover of this annual report pop.

SUHA gold foil blocking by Willow 1

SUHA gold foil blocking by Willow 2

Bloomsbury Party Invite

This is a very classy invitation and menu for a high-class 1920's themed event in London's Bloomsbury Ballrooms. Created by James Ritchie, this invitation uses silver foil blocking to give the event invitations a bold, stylized and classic feel.

Bloomsbury Party Invite by James Ritchie 1

Bloomsbury Party Invite by James Ritchie 2

Bloomsbury Party Invite by James Ritchie 3

Bloomsbury Party Invite by James Ritchie 4

Diamonds In The West

This is a fantastic project created by Liam Bonar. He created the publication below as an exploration of the injustices in the diamond trade industry. He uses both gold and silver foil blocking throughout his design to help communicate that diamonds are a luxury commodity. Well done!

Diamonds in the West by Liam Bonar 1

Diamonds in the West by Liam Bonar 2

Diamonds in the West by Liam Bonar 3

Silver foil business cards

This is a nice example of just how great a business card can be it is kept very simple and just a touch of silver foil is added. This business card designed by Ben Gleadall is elegant, clean and professional. A perfect hallmark for a great designers work.

Silver foil blocked business card by Ben Gleadall 1

Silver foil blocked business card by Ben Gleadall 2

Silver foil blocked business card by Ben Gleadall 3

Render Architecture & CGI Studio

This is a great example of how you can use white foil to make your designs stand out. This identity design project was created by Effektive, an independent design studio in Glasgow.

Render by Effektive 4

Render by Effektive 2

Render by Effektive 1

Render by Effektive 3

Render by Effektive 5

Impressive Print

This is an amazing design project created by Kerr Vernon. He was asked by Glasgow Press, a letterpress printer, to create a design for them that would show off the potential of letterpress as well as the potential of the other types of printing processes that they offer to their clients. He decided to create an old school cassette box that contained six musical themed cards. Each card showed off the different printing techniques offered by Glasgow Press including foil blocking. This is an absolutely amazing design project that will blow you away.

Impressive Print by Kerr Vernon 1

Impressive Print by Kerr Vernon 2

Impressive Print by Kerr Vernon 3

Impressive Print by Kerr Vernon 4

Impressive Print by Kerr Vernon 5

Impressive Print by Kerr Vernon 6

Pernod Ricard Wonderland

This is an end-of-year promotional cover illustration for a Pernod Ricard booklet. It was created by Graeme Stephenson and it was foil-blocked with super-diffuser mirri.

Pernod Ricard Wonderland by Graeme Stephenson

Julien Hauchecorne's lime green foil blocked business cards

These business cards are so HOT! Denis Mallet created this design with an absolutely stunning lime green foil. These business cards "are printed on two subtle duplexed uncoated smooth paper manufactured by GFSmith to reach 700 gsm and both cards have a deep debossed monogram logo on the front side. The 500 cards are printed on the backside with a powerful lime green foil on an ebony black and dark grey duplexed substrate with a lime green foil fore-edge printing process on the outside edges of the business cards." It all sounds pretty technical but it was definitely worth it. I would hire anyone who handed me business cards like these.

Julien Hauchecorne business cards by Dennis Mallet 4

Julien Hauchecorne business cards by Dennis Mallet 1

Julien Hauchecorne business cards by Dennis Mallet 2

Julien Hauchecorne business cards by Dennis Mallet 6

Julien Hauchecorne business cards by Dennis Mallet 5

Julien Hauchecorne business cards by Dennis Mallet 3




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