Monday, July 13, 2015

Gold Foil printing or Flat Gold Printing?

Gold foil invitations are on trend right now and I've got several listed in my Etsy shop here. I get lots of questions from brides about gold foil so today I took this quick video showing the same invitation printed two ways: one with flat gold colored ink (on the left) and one with gold foil (on the right).

Why is gold foil so expensive?
I get this question all the time. The simple answer is that foil (like letterpress and engraving) can only be printed with an old-fashioned printing press, which is quite an ordeal. First a die is cast in metal for the gold foil section, then it has to be put on the press, then the printer has to align it correctly to the placement on the card and print a bunch of samples in the process before it's finally ready for production. Once the press is ready for the foil, the printer feeds in cards one at a time. Because of the laborious set-up press time, quantities under 100 are not economical.

What is the flat gold colored ink?
Any matte, non-metalic ink can be printed beautifully from a digital press. A digital press is basically a huge, really awesome printing machine that can print multiple colors and on various card stocks. Think of it as your desktop printer on steroids. The set-up costs are minimal compared to the foil press, so it's possible to have as few as 10 prints and as many as 1000 or more!

Watch the difference in this video:

It's definitely worth the extra cost for the foil process, but it doesn't fit in all budgets. If you would like a touch of metallic gold (or any metallic color) but it's not in your budget, don't give up hope! A more economical way to bring gold into your invitation is with a ribbon, or a metallic gold paper envelope liner.


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