Designing with Specialty Effects

Designing with foil stamping, embossing and other decorative effects such as specialty UV coatings, film laminates, laser cutting and more adds value and quality to a product, creates brand recognition and sets a product apart from others on the shelf.

The FSEA has created many tools to help designers utilize these processes in their designs. From Designer Tips and Case Studies on how to successfully utilize these processes to Green Initiatives proving the sustainability of foil stamped paper and board and an online directory of print finishers, designers will find a host of resources in this section.

Looking for a print finisher or binder? Visit to locate one in your area.

Decorative Processes

Enhance your work with Digital Foil Cold Foil Process UV Coating UV Film Casting Film Laminating Foil Stamping Embossing

Numerous options are available for designing with foil and other specialty effects, and the list of those options grows continually. Below is an overview of informative details and articles on print enhancement technologies available to printers and designers.

Design Resources

Foil Cheat Sheet

The Foil Cheat Sheet is a single go-to source explaining the different techniques available for creating metallic foil finishes. From hot and cold foil to toner-based and varnish-based digital foiling, the guide describes each technique and provides the advantages and disadvantages of each.

It outlines all these options with this easy-to-understand guide. The coil bound collector’s item features a wraparound cover and interior pages that actually use some of the same foiling options discussed inside, as well as soft-touch lamination and fabulous French folds. It even includes a fold-out table that summarizes the process, colors available, overprintability, best paper stocks and suggested print runs. is a quick reference tool to source a wide range of print finishing processes at the click of a button. Whether searching for a specific finishing process (such as foil stamping/embossing, registered hologram stamping, diecutting, UV coating, film laminating, folding/gluing, specialty processes and more), press/sheet size capacity, geographic location, or product, the website is designed for easy navigation – instantly sourcing the finishing process needed. It also sources a wide range of suppliers to the trade, including equipment, services and supplies.

Application Case Studies

PostPress magazine features brief Application Case Studies in each quarterly issue. Design inspiration abounds – along with interesting information about production challenges. From greeting cards or presentation folders … hardbound book covers to wine labels … cartons and boxes to calendars, these case studies provide examples of fine finishing and binding work.

Application Case Studies

Green Initiative

As environmental sustainability and responsibility continue to be hot topics in the graphic arts arena, the FSEA continues to develop green initiatives such as its most recent study on the recyclability and repulpability of foil stamped paper/board that was commissioned by a third-party research firm. This study, along with GreenBlue’s report on the Sustainability of Decorative Processes are two valuable sources available to you to help sell these processes to customers who dictate sustainable choices.

GreenBlue Report on the Sustainability of Decorative Processes
FSEA Study on the Recyclability and Repulpability of Foil Decorated Paper/Board