First things first, I have a (now) funny story to share with you! I met Courtney of Pizzazzerie.com back in 2012 at the first ever Amber Housley Inspired workshop. Shortly after the workshop Courtney reached out to me and asked if I could turn three of the southern sayin' note cards I provided for the swag bags into gold foil prints. "Sure", I thought! If Pizzazzerie asks you to do something, you say yes! At this time I had never had gold foil prints done and I honestly had no clue what I had gotten myself into. I emailed a couple of print shops I had heard of and I literally cried when I read the quotes coming in. They were in the thousands! At this time my shop was still a side gig and I had never invested in product like this before. I asked around to some local industry friends and was introduced to who I work with now and while the process was going to cost me much more than I ever expected, it was less than $1,000 for all three prints. It was definitely scary, but I'm so glad I said yes and that I was able to figure out a way that worked for me!
The second most asked question I get is probably, "Where do you get your gold foil prints made?". I've even had someone call me to ask where I have them printed. I don't know what it is, but foil stamping has had a lot of designers stumped. So, to try and take the fear out of the process, and prevent you from having a mini-meltdown like I did, I'm going to share a little information with you! Let's get started.
What is foil stamping?
Foil stamping is a specialty printing method that uses heat and pressure to literally stamp foil into paper. To do this, a metal die (plate) is created of your design, it's heated and then used to stamp, making the foil adhere to the surface leaving the design of the die on the paper. The metal dies can cost you anywhere from $100-$400 depending on the size of your design. There are thousands of foil options to choose from, though many print shops have their "in house" foils they like to use so be sure to ask for some samples to help you select the right one for your project.
Tips & Advice
The trick to having a healthy profit margin for foil prints is to order a larger quantity. I get requests all the time for custom foil prints and the customer only wants to purchase ONE print. I would have to charge them around $500 for it, which I'm guessing is not the price point they were hoping for! I usually purchase our prints in quantities of 200-400 to make sure we are getting a great price per print. I honestly should have more than that printed so I don't have to place new orders so frequently, but I'm still a little scared to have such large quantities in stock. Also, keep in mind that even though your first run will include the cost of the metal die, it's something you can use over and over so it's considered an asset.
I use McGraphics Inc., a company located in Nashville, TN, for most of my foil stamping projects. If you head over to their website, please don't judge the book by it's cover! For some reason printing companies usually have pretty awful websites, but I am so pleased with their quality of work and have really enjoyed working with them. They don't do any flat (digital) or screen printing so they do a lot of work for printing shops around town. Since I do mainly foil only prints, I cut out the middleman and work exclusively with McGraphics! They will ship to you if you're not local, which they will be doing for me starting in December since I'm moving! If you're interested in working with them, I work with Fred (firstname.lastname@example.org) and you can shoot him an email. Please tell him I sent you!