So, you’ve received your foil proof from our design team but you’re not too sure what each page represents. Not a problem. We understand that printing with foil can be a new experience for many of our customers. In this guide, we will walk you through understanding your foil proof and what you should check before giving your approval.


With or without a laminate

The foil printing process changes slightly depending on whether a laminate is applied. When a laminate is applied the printing order is as follows: print > laminate > foil. Without a laminate the printing order changes to: foil > print. This difference in the foiling process also changes the way our design team set up your artwork for foiling.


How is the foil proof supplied for orders with a laminate?

We will start with the easier of the two. For orders with a laminate, the foil proof is supplied as follows:

• Page 1: Everything in black is the front foil

• Page 2: Front print

• Page 3: Everything in black is the back foil

• Page 4: Back print

You may notice that this is very similar to the way we ask for your foil print artwork to be supplied.


How is the foil proof supplied for orders without a laminate?

Without a laminate the foil will be applied first. This means we must be more observant about the way that the print and foil interact with each other. It is important that the print does not completely cover the foil as it will change the way the foil looks, which we don’t want. For orders without a laminate, the foil proof is supplied as follows:

• Page 1: Everything in black is the front foil

• Page 2: Front print and foil together, foil highlighted as a spot colour

• Page 3: Everything in black is the back foil

• Page 4: Back print and foil together, foil highlighted as a spot colour

But wait, why does the foil look different on each page? Well, when the foil and print touch each other on the design, any movement in the print will result in a thin white line between the print and the foil. To avoid this, we make the foil area slightly thicker than necessary, so that when the print is applied, no white lines form if the print moves. This process is referred to as trapping.


Why does my artwork need to be trapped?

Unfortunately, it is impossible for a machine to be 100% perfect every single time. Paper being fed into a machine has the potential to move, expand, and contract, which can result in tiny differences between each print. These differences can be seen in the form of a thin gap between the print and the foil.

Trapping is the process used to combat the effects of the print movement. By making the foil thicker than required, if the print was to move it would not be noticeable. But don’t worry, once the print has been applied the foil won’t appear to be as thick and will look the same as your original artwork files.

The example below demonstrates the difference between a file that has been trapped and a file that has not been changed. The print has moved slightly during the printing process.

As you can see, the trapped artwork has not been affected by the print movement. The non-trapped artwork, however, has left a gap between the print and the foil.

There are some exceptions to the trapping process. If you would be liking foil only or the foil and print are not touching each other, your artwork would not need to be adjusted.


When do I need a laminate?

There will be occasions when our design team will advise that your artwork absolutely must have a laminate. Our dedicated team check over each and every file they receive. If they advise for you to have a laminate, it is because they have determined that your artwork will not print to a high standard without it.

Artworks that absolutely must have a laminate are:

• Incredibly intricate and thin foil designs

• Print with a high coverage i.e. dark print backgrounds

• Foil designs for white, pink and purple foils

• Designs with a printed background on our thicker papers

If you are unsure as to whether you need a laminate, don’t worry! Before placing an order, you can send in your files to our team who will check them and provide feedback on what they would recommend.


What should I check on my foil proof?

When our team send over your proof, this is your chance to check over your artwork and make sure everything is correct before it is printed. It is important to check your proof, as once your order enters production the artwork cannot be changed.

Whether you are having a laminate or not, you should always check your proof for:

• Spelling mistakes and punctuation errors

• Colour differences

• Design mistakes i.e. any parts of the design you want to change

When checking your proof for orders with a laminate, you must remember that the foil is applied on top of the print. Make sure that the foil is not going to be covering any important areas of your print design.

When checking your proof for orders without a laminate, you must remember that the print is applied on top of the foil. Make sure that the print is not going to be covering any important areas of your foil design.

Our team will also check over your artwork. They will be looking for anything they believe may be an issue in the printing process. This includes:

• The thickness of the foil file

• How the foil lines up with the print

• Colours they believe will have a large difference in appearance once printed

• Alignment of the design

• Material you have chosen to print on

• Whether you have chosen to have a laminate

If our team do spot anything they believe may be a problem, they will let you know and will provide a solution. Be aware that our team will not check over any spellings or the aesthetics of your design. This is up to you to look over and decide whether you are happy to proceed.


Get in touch with us

Thinking of creating a foil design but are unsure as to whether your artwork will be suitable? We are here to help. For any concerns, email in your files to info@thefoilprintingco.com and our team will look over your artwork and provide their expert opinion on how to proceed.