5 stunning ways to use foiling in your print designs

(Image credit: Aurora Creative Studio)

Christmas is approaching fast, and with the festive season just around the corner, there’s no better time to experiment with foiling in your print designs. Foiling is an accessible yet impressive-looking print technique, which can add an element of luxury to your print designs. It’s ideal for adding charm to invitations, stationery and greetings cards, but can be used to give a premium feel to any print project. 

There are plenty of different ways to incorporate foiling into your work. Below, we’ve outlined five ways you can use it in your designs this holiday season to ensure your prints are delightfully memorable.  

01. Use foiled text

Make your message stand out with foiling

Make your message stand out with foiling (Image credit: Max Pirsky for Kickflip)

If you’ve got a message that you want to highlight, then you can convert your text from ink to foil to create a stunning foiled design. By focusing on text, there’s no need to create complex imagery or worry about balancing foiled and non-foiled elements.  

Foiling is popular in the wedding industry and this invite design is a classic approach to wedding stationery. It embodies simple elegance, but the added glint of the foil when it catches the light makes it extra special. 

Route 1 Print has gold, silver, green, red and copper foil available. A seasonal message in red and green foil on your Christmas cards could help spread some (probably much-needed) cheer this year. And it’ll certainly help make your cards more memorable, too.  

02. Create foiled illustrations 

 Dark backgrounds like this one will make your foil stand out 

 Dark backgrounds like this one will make your foil stand out  (Image credit: Silvia Amadei)

Adding foiled text to your designs is one thing, but if you want to take things up a notch then foiled illustrations may be for you. Foiled illustrations are ideal when your design is quite text-heavy. You can leave the body copy as it is but let foiling create some magic in your imagery. 

Before you decide on your final design, you’ll need to consider how your foiled illustrations will fit in with the rest of your piece. If you like contrast, then bright metallic flashes of foil on a dark background could work well. Subtle illustrations in foil can also be beautifully striking, as foil will add an extra layer of texture. The example here shows how simple shapes in foil create a high-impact print. We can imagine stars in a night sky or a Christmas tree with baubles on it could look particularly sophisticated in foil, either as part of a card design, or perhaps a bespoke party or event invite. 

There’s plenty of time to hone your Christmas designs this year, but Route 1 Print will help you get started with free next day delivery on everything. There’s no minimum order required either, so you can start small and then build up to something bigger.

03. Make line art

Sharp geometric patterns are ideal for foiling

Sharp geometric patterns are ideal for foiling (Image credit: Cohezion Design)

Line art that uses foiling is particularly popular, as adding foil to simple or even minimal lines ensures they stand out. Geometrical patterns also work well with foiling, as foil’s metallic finish enhances straight lines and angles, giving a modern feel. A Christmas party invite dotted with beautifully shiny geometric shapes could be just the thing to get you in the festive mood, or perhaps a client might enjoy a more subtle bespoke design for the holidays consisting of gold and silver line art. 

It doesn’t all have to be all about clean angles though, a 1920’s art deco aesthetic can also work well with foiling, as foil perfectly captures the era’s sense of luxury and indulgence. 

If you’re unsure about the type of paper that will work with your foil, or have another print-related question, Route 1 Print’s dedicated account management team are on hand to help.

04. Use selective accents

Highlight elements of your work with foil to add texture to your prints

Highlight elements of your work with foil to add texture to your prints (Image credit: Sanna Annukka)

For image-heavy designs with little text, or more complicated pieces, foiling can create gorgeous accents to help your work grab attention. Simply pick a few choice elements in your piece and allow them to shine by adding foil. You don’t have to just use one foiling colour, either, As these greetings cards by Sanna Annukka show, multiple foiling colours can add layers of texture and charm. We can imagine some gorgeous Christmas scenes being brought to life in this way – a nativity scene or image of angels and wise men would look  particularly striking with foil accents. 

If you’re worried about how your design will come out in print, then it’s best to check with the experts. Route 1 Print offers a free 30 point artwork check, so you can ensure your design will come out perfectly. 

05. Harness negative space

Make your design stand out with negative space foiling 

Make your design stand out with negative space foiling  (Image credit: Damask Love)

If you want to go all out, you could always flip things on their head completely and use foil in the negative space of your image. This method only really works when you have a very minimal design – perhaps stars, fairy lights or a seasonal message such as ‘peace, love and joy’ could work well. Taking the time to think about it will be worth it, as with the right elements, negative space foiling is really something to shout about. It also usually means you get to use foil in a larger area, and who wouldn’t want to do that?

Whatever technique you use, the use of foil is sure to add a premium feel to your prints this Christmas, and foiling enables you to create designs that have real standout quality, especially when compared to standard print. Your foiled design is bound to engage your audience – whether they’re a friend, a client or a potential customer – as they’ll immediately want to pick it up and touch it. And they won’t forget it in a hurry, either. 

If you’d like to experiment with foiling in your designs, order a free sample pack from Route 1 Print today.

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