Considerations When Using Foil Paper Stock For Custom Printed Labels

February 2, 2012

Foil paper stock is popular for product labeling because of its elegant appearance.  When you design a label that uses foil paper stock, take the following considerations into account:

  • Foil comes in two finishes:  shiny and matte.  Copy printed on a shiny finish is more difficult to read, especially in direct light.  Label copy is easier to read when printed on a matte finish.
  • Be careful of ink color selection when using foil paper stock.  Inks used in label printing are water soluble and translucent.  Ink is not absorbed by foil paper stock, which makes the translucent nature of the ink more pronounced.  Consequently, dark inks such as black, standard brown (PMS 477), reflex blue, standard burgundy (PMS 208), violet, and standard hunter green (PMS 349)  provide the best contrast when printed on shiny foil stock.  Avoid the use of yellow, standard golden yellow (PMS 123), and standard orange (PMS 165) on shiny gold foil stock.  Matte stock is more forgiving when it comes to ink color, but stick with darker inks when using a matte foil stock, as well.  To avoid problems with ink color selection, request samples of foil paper stock that have been printed with the ink color(s) you plan to use to determine readability.
  • Foil paper stock is not weather-proof.  If your foil label is exposed to the elements or abrasion, add clear lamination to protect it.

If you have any doubts about the suitability of a paper stock or adhesive for a particular label application, always request samples and test them on the material to which they will be applied and in the environment in which they will be used.

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