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Built on the latest security printing technology, BRANDSURE helps protect branded packaging from forgery or copying. Thus giving instant visual authentication.

What does BRANDSURE deliver:

  • Security hologram features with Blockfoil’s bespoke creation
  • Personalisation of the secure image with a brand logo, date, event etc
  • Authentication with the naked eye
  • Forensic security features
  • Multiple viewing angles
  • Cost-effective, genuine brand protection

This secure process is very impressive to see live and the photos below do not do it justice. A copy of the BRANDSURE insert is in the Blockfoil brochure

Foil blocking FAQ’s

What is foil blocking?

Foil blocking is the process whereby metallic foil or pigment foil is transferred from a foil roll onto a substrate. To do this you need a hot foil stamping machine and a foiling die. The process is achieved using heat, pressure and dwell time.

Does hot foil transfer onto every material?

Generally speaking there is a foil out there for every material. The grade of foil being used will depend on what material is being foiled onto. If you are unsure what foil can be used on your material please get in touch. It should also be noted that the colour of the substrate being foiled onto can affect which foil should be used.

What is make-ready and how is it used?

The right make-ready greatly assists in the quality of the finished foiling job. Make-ready consists of a broad range of items; high temperature tapes, presspahn, epoxy glass board, spray, blankets and foam to name a few. For the full range of make-ready consumables see our associated partner Profoil Systems.

Which press will be used?

The machine used for each foil printing job will depend on several aspects. These include the paper size, the substrate, sheet quantity, foil coverage and how fine the print detail is.

What is dwell time?

The longer the dwell time the more foil will be transferred onto the substrate. Solid areas generally require more dwell to finer areas.

Is hot foil printing bad for the environment?

No! foil has no visible effects in slowing down the rate of BIO-DEGRADATION of the paper or board, which means foiled print is also COMPOSTABLE. Foil can also be successfully removed during the flotation de-inking process used in the PULPING process therefore it is as PULPABLE as the ink on the substrate. Finally, foiled print is of course RECYCLEABLE meaning it can be re-purposed and used again.

Which die material should I choose?

At the end of the day, it is up to the client but we can point you in the right direction. Magnesium, brass and copper all have different characteristics that might benefit or hinder your foiled image.

Artwork Requirements

Please refer to the bullet points below for our foiling artwork requirements for the work itself and the die:

Foiling Artwork Requirements

  • Always provide us with a file containing the layout with registration marks
  • Please include the printable area within a separate file or layer to the foiling areas
  • The files must be 100% sized and preferable a.pdf, vector file or Illustrator file
  • Please specify the foil shade and substrate at this stage

Die Artwork

  • Allow 10mm all around the image to allow for die fixing and metal wastage during cutting
  • Files must be .pdf, vector files, Illustrator files, and at least 1,200dpi. We charge accordingly for artwork modifications
  • If using file extensions please name them
  • If using Illustrator files convert all fonts to outline or supply with attached screen fonts
  • Check all graphics are hi-resolution
  • Don’t supply images in greyscale, CMYK or RGB. Black and white only.
  • We make dies to the size of the artwork supplied unless otherwise stated
  • If your artwork is correctly formatted it should be under 2MB. We cannot accept .jpg files
  • All orders are subject to our terms and conditions

If you’ve got any questions regarding the sending of artwork please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Blockfoil Brands Video

Since their inception in 1981 Blockfoil has seen some major retailers and brand names come through the door. These include Tesco, Elemis, Champneys, Thorntons, Homebase, Nivea, River Island, Boots, Aldi, Nurofen, The English Whisky Co, Yves Saint Laurent, Arsenal FC, De Beers, Oxford University, V&A Museum, Bentley, Harrods, Manchester United FC, Cathedral City, Fudge Kitchen, Johnnie Walker, Top Trumps, Chelsea FC, Baileys, Bombay Sapphire, Starbucks, Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Leeds United FC, McVities, Moet & Chandon, Virgin Wines, Versace, Heinz, Waitrose, Pizza Express, Kelloggs, Bettys Tea plus much much more.

Technical Tips

Here are some of our top foil printing tips:
  • Foiling areas must be wax-free with a surface tension of 38 dynes per square cm or above, we might sometimes be able to work with a lower dyne level
  • Allow at least 25mm from grip / lay edge to the area to be foiled
  • Up to SRA3 put the grip edge should be at the top of the sheet and lay to the right edge
  • Above SRA3 the lay edge to be to the left
  • Always consider the choice of paper or board before offering foil printing as a finish
  • Do not reverse out foil blocking areas to assist with registration
  • Larger text size works better than smaller text and typefaces generally appear bolder once foiled. Be aware of this during the design phase
  • If foiling two areas; a solid area and a fine area, expect to make two machine passes
  • When preparing artwork for embossing always remember to accommodate for the bevel
  • It is not yet possible to foil onto spot UV varnish or certain inks and other varnishes
  • Always consider what will be on the reverse side of the hologram as it could detract from the hologram effect
  • For the best hologram effects avoid square corners if possible
  • If sealing use an aqueous rather than solvent-based sealant

We are always on hand to discuss jobs, produce proofs or trial various substrates. Please contact your nearest Blockfoil office – we’re always willing to help out.

ISO 9001 Quality Assurance

Blockfoil are proud to have held ISO 9001 certification since 1993, and it has covered all 3 branches since 1999. ISO 9001 shows that we meet the expected criteria for quality assurance.

What is ISO 9001?

It is a worldwide standard that specifies requirements for a Quality Management System (QMS). Companies showing the ISO 9001 logo must show the ability to provide a product and service that meets customers needs.

Hot Foiling Advantages

Foil is a bright metallic reflective finish bringing print to life.

Most clients within the printing and packaging industry have heard of the foil blocking process and the benefits it can bring. We’ve broken hot foiling advantages down into 7 areas to help you understand, in more detail, how foil can be of benefit to you.

Many designers have heard of foil blocking but the potential is often unrecognised due to unfamiliarity.

At Blockfoil we strive to open people’s eyes to the huge range of different possibilities available using foil. 

Foil enhances a printed product lifting the appearance to a new level.

A common misconception with foil blocking is that the costs are prohibitive. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Working with our team of experts it is normally possible to find a solution to suit any budget. 

 Foil is the best way to separate your product from the crowd.

In today’s crowded marketplace the importance of creating a memorable image is paramount.

A potential customer’s first impression is of extreme importance and a carefully designed print using vibrant foil colours will grab the customer’s attention. 

 Foil establishes premium brand positioning and enables premium pricing.

The strategic decision to add foil to your product is an important one.

A rich, metallic finish gives a perceived added value to the product which is proven to arouse the interest of a potential customer. 

Foil offers brand protection.

Buying a particular product has a lot to do with confidence in the brand.

The addition of foil blocking assures the customer of its quality and authenticity. 

Foil sells more

When used effectively foil increases visibility in the retail environment. Not only will the product leap out at you from a visual perspective it stimulates the urge to ‘touch and feel’ the product.

Encouraging the customer to ‘engage’ with your product is an essential part of ‘making the sale’.

Foil blocking is not a dark art

The experts at Blockfoil will not only guide you in how best to use foil but will give you an overview of the blocking process, if requested, to enable you to speak with confidence to your clients about the process in future.

What can we foil block onto? Find out here.

The Foil Blocking Process

Here is our guide to the hot foil blocking process, from artwork receipt to the finished product.
  1. We receive the client’s artwork in our in-house design studio as a pdf, 100% black and actual size (unless specified). Along with the guide for foiling position that is all we need at this stage. See a full list of our artwork requirements here.
  2. We produce either a CNC engraved or an etched die in-house. Dies are metal plates produced in either magnesium, brass or copper. We etch them to a standard 1.2mm depth but deeper finishes are available upon request. More information on our hot foil printing dies can be found here.
  3. We position the die onto the heated machine bed of the selected hot foil blocking press. The machine reaches a heat of between 100-175°C. We then prepare the substrate for foiling. Find a list of substrate types we foil onto here.
  4. Using a combination of heat, dwell time and pressure, we transfer the foil (supplied on rolls) onto the substrate. You can find out exactly how the foil works here.
  5. The hot foil transfers onto the substrate in the exact position required by the client and will remain on there.
  6. All jobs are quality checked and signed off by experienced managers. We check running sheets to ensure the quality remains throughout. That’s the hot foil stamping process complete.
  7. The finished sheets complete with hot foil get sent back to the printer or 3rd party for further finishing (die cutting, gluing etc)

A printed copy of our ‘how foiling works’ insert can be found in our brochure. Click here to request a full Blockfoil brochure.

Hopefully this page has helped you understand the hot foiling process but if not don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local Blockfoil office.


Interested in what we can do for you?

Call +44 (0)161 655 3842

Or enquire online and get your FREE brochure & shade book

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