magnesium logo die

There’s nothing more satisfying that seeing your brand in print.  Whether it be on letterhead, mailers, T-shirt or in the case of our discussion on a professionally made custom portfolio book, ring binder or clamshell box.  It just screams success, “I’ve arrived”, “Look at me” and most importantly “Look at what I am presenting to you”.

There are a number of techniques that can be used to print your logo onto your custom made portfolio book.  The first process we will discuss here is called Foil Stamping.

FOIL STAMPING

Foil Stamping is a heat process in which a metal die is inserted into the foil stamping machine, it’s heated up, and then with a lot of pressure the image is transferred from a strip of colorful foil to your presentation piece.  The metal die is raised in the areas that will print and is recessed in the negative space.

What people love about foil stamping is that it creates a very rich solid color unlike any other process. Some foils are matte and some are glossy but they all have a finish that is smooth and consistent.  This process also creates an impression into the book cover from the heat and the pressure.  The pressure from the machine is distributed evenly over the raised surface of the die so if it’s a very small die the impression will go deeper because there are more pound per square inch whereas with larger dies the pressure will be spread over that larger area and the impression will be shallower.  The same goes with the types of lines used in the artwork.  If there is a large solid area the impression will be shallower whereas with the thin lines of a font which will press more deeply into the book or box cover.

testing colors for foil stamping
blind embossed (debossed) roses

While foil stamping does produce an amazing and truly impressive image it does have a few drawbacks.  This process doesn’t work well with very fine lines or photographic images, it is really best for straightforward graphic images, text and lines that are no thinner than 1/16″.  If the lines are too fine the metal can actually break down from the pressure.  If there are both thin lines and bold areas in the same artwork the amount of pressure needed to print the bold areas of color will end up overprinting the detailed area.  Secondly the colors are limited and quite finicky.  We are not able to exactly match logo colors and while there are hundreds of colors of foils out there, they don’t universally print on all fabrics and will all style of artwork so it requires a lot of experimenting and testing to know if a particular color will work with your artwork and on the surface that you chose.  For this reason the foil stamping colors that are available on our website are limited to some basic colors.  If you are wishing to use a color that you don’t see please let us know.  If you do require a specific color screen printing may be the better option or you can opt for a blind emboss (deboss) which has no color,  just the impression of the image as seen in the image above.

gold foil on ring binder spine

PROS

-rich smooth color

-beautiful impression

-classic professional look

CONS

-cost

-limited colors

-doesn’t lend well to very fine lines or photographic images

-limited size

-cannot layer colors

 

SCREEN PRINTING

Screen printing is a great and virtually limitless alternative to foil stamping.  When you place your order we will send you a digital template showing the boundaries of cover and the fabric.  You will plug in the color separated artwork, creating a separate file for each color and email those back to us.  From that artwork a fine meshed screen is made where the negative space is blocked out so that the ink cannot go through in those areas.  Where the mesh is exposed a thin layer of ink can be pushed through and onto the surface.  Multiple colors can be layered using a sophisticated registration process and the colors of your logo can be matched exactly.

We can cover an entire portfolio in screen printing, the only size limitation is the size of the screen which is almost always larger than the book that is being printed so these limitations are very seldom an issue.  The printing can wrap around the spine and onto the back of the book or box as seen in the image below or even run off the edges of the book.  This process can be a lot of fun and can really test the limits of the traditional formal artist presentation.  We can help you navigate this process so please reach out with any questions you may have.  Below is a breakdown of the Pros and Cons of Screen Printing

black wrap around screen printing
5 color screen print on white
neon orange printing bright pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROS

-any color can be matched

-any number of colors can be layered

-there is no size limitation

-image can wrap around edges and spine of book or box

CONS

-color may not seem as rich or vibrant as foil stamping

-there is no impression into the surface

-production time, screen printing will add a week to production time

 

If you have any questions about either of these processes or which would best apply to your artwork and project please call or email kristin@kdbooks.com. We’d love to hear from you