What is Polyfoil?
The short version is: Polyfoil is a technique to foil imprint upon coated sheets using polymer, foil, pressure, and UV curing. The result is a raised foil imprint that is applied without a die.
How it works: Each sheet requires printed dots for the machine to read the registration. Poly is laid down on the area to be foiled, heat activates the poly, the roll of foil applies with pressure over the sheet, then pulls up leaving foil only on the imprint areas. Then the machine ultraviolet cures the sheet.
Benefits of Polyfoil
1) Raised without Embossing. Because the foil is applied over the polymer, it is raised off the sheet without the cost of an emboss die, or the impression on the other side of the sheet. This is particularly appealing to those designs that incorporate two-sided print, allowing for a raised effect on the cover without affecting the inside copy. Also, at certain quantities, it is less expensive than the combo cost of running through a press twice or a special die to create a foil emboss the image.
2) Low Quantity and Variable Data Options. This foil is actually a digital process, allowing for variable capabilities. In the old days, you know like two years ago, it would be impossible, or at least outrageous to imagine foil stamping 100 or 50 folders, now it’s not only possible but cost-effective. Also, as a digital process, we can (and do) variable data foil. In fact, maybe you received one of the 20,000 custom foil imprinted folders Pocket Folders Fast sent to printers across the country this Spring. If you have a client looking to make an impression, foil is an effective way to pop the message.
3) Complimenting Effects. This foil goes over a variety of finishes, for example, a shiny silver polyfoil over a matte lamination creates a classy contrast. Also, creative design incorporates dimensional UV effects both around and over the foil stamp areas, adding to both the visual and textural impact of the piece.
Considerations with Polyfoil Design
1) Foil Colors. At this time, not all foil colors are available. At Pocket Folders Fast we offer shiny and matte gold and silver, as well as black foil and rose gold. We are testing new colors that have come to the market and expect to offer red, green, and blue before the end of the year.
2) Stock Limitations. Paper merchants and the developing Scodix technology are working to increase the viability of uncoated stocks. For now, with pocket folders, only coated stocks are available to design and utilize.
Like conventional foil, certain images and typestyles are better suited than others. In the case of polyfoil, heavy solid areas are not advised. Also, like conventional foil, the pricing is dependent on both the size of the area and how many areas. Therefore, when working on a quote for a project, you’ll need to provide the square inches of each area to garner an accurate quote. If you’re curious if a project is better suited to polyfoil, conventional foil, or print with effects, send the logo and design (starters even) and our team at Pocket Folders Fast can help guide the process.
(c) Mardra Sikora originally published in NPOA Industry News and Updates