Silver and gold are common ingredients for jewellery and as such are considered highly valued. Gold is valuable because it is so rare. Its current spot price is about US$1225 an ounce. Silver is much less at about US$16 an ounce. Both are shiny metals and can immediately give a look of outstanding quality.
Just as silver and gold foil can enhance Christmas cards and other printing, silver and gold foil can also enhance the quality of custom labels. However, there are a few different options available to you without the expense of the foiling process.
Silver or gold foil is not actually a printing colour but a finishing process and is an expensive process when there are multiple kinds or small print quantities. However, you can get a metallic gold or silver ink which has metal flakes through it which is quite appealing but it does require printing plates and not all label printing companies have the equipment to print in this format. Again, not a cost-effective option if there are multiple kinds or small print quantities.
The majority of label printing provided nowadays is digital using CMYK – four colours (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) blended to produce a colour or picture. The CMYK process can produce various shades of grey which is similar to silver and also different forms of yellow and brown which might be similar to gold. However, grey and yellowy brown are not the same as silver and gold and do not create the same positive impression of high value as do the actual colours of silver and gold.
For digitally printed custom labels, the most effective option is the print CMYK or white+CMYK directly onto a metallic gold or silver label stock. Common label material types include a metallised silver or foil adhesive paper or a foil film. Our preferred stock is a silver or gold propylene which is the world’s second-most widely produced synthetic plastic, after polyethylene. This synthetic stock means that the label is strong enough to withstand moisture.
There is also a cold foil stamping process whereby labels already printed with CMYK colours then receive silver or gold colouring via the transferring of foil material, usually silver or gold (but other foils are available). The foils are transferred onto the substrate, i.e. the label stock, by using printing plates and an ultra-violet curing lamp. This process can stamp large or small areas of the printed label with foil and is suitable for smooth label stock surfaces only.
Another process is hot foil stamping. A block is produced using a combination of zinc, magnesium, copper or brass. The block is then heated and the metallic (usually silver or gold) foil is branded onto the label material. This process is similar to the engraving process for trophies. Hot foil stamping is used on rough surfaces such as Estate 8 label stock, commonly used in wine labels.
Who Will Use Custom Foil Labels?
The reason businesses use custom foil labels is to enhance the quality of that label and this will give the impression of a high quality product. Foil labels are used more often for expensive products such as a bottle of wine. Wine labels do affect buying decisions so if you use foil on your custom wine labels, then this will help to make your bottle of wine stand out in a bottle shop or other retail outlet.
Bath and beauty products lend themselves well to the opportunity for custom foil labels. Elegant packaging provides a perception of high quality which can only help to drive more sales.
However, it is not just custom labels where foil is used. One of the local real estate agents has gold foil in its logo. This means gold foil is added to every business card that we print for them. Foil is more expensive than printing without foil so you need to weigh the cost and benefits particularly when it comes to custom foil labels for your products. As always, the best way to keep your unit prices low is to increase your buying quantities. Whichever process your label printing company uses, there is a setup fee and hence, foils are generally avoided for short runs.