How to achieve a good hot foil print

How to achieve a good hot foil print

*please note a spelling error in examples-should be Christmas.

Having read about the Minc on various sites I gathered that the quality of the hot foil print depended on how good your laser printer is and the medium you are foiling onto.

Printer:

Now when it comes to my laser printer, I did not pay a fortune for it as it only cost me £20 (the printer I have is a Ricoh SP 211 from Tesco). However before purchasing my Minc and printer I had read that mono-laser printers work better than colour laser printers unless you go for a higher spec machine. The mono-laser printer only has one job, putting only black toner down when you have asked it to print. Although your entire job maybe a black and white print, according to research a colour printer does not print black toner as evenly and therefore you will not get as good as a hot foil finish as you would with a mono-laser print.

Medium: 

Also in my research before buying a Minc machine, I also discovered that the quality of the medium you are using to print your hot foil on can also affect the quality and finish. I wanted to test this out for myself with my own machine and a variety of different mediums. The mediums I tested (paper and cards) were:

  • Tesco basics white printer paper (75gsm)
  • The Range white card (210gsm)
  • Rennies Arts & Crafts Ltd High white ultra smooth thin card (160gsm)
  • Southfield Premium pure white glass sooth White card (200gsm)
  • Dovecraft essentials Kraft Card (240gsm)
  • Southfield Midnight black ultra smooth paper (120gsm)

From this list I have covered a variety of quality and weight of the medium but how did they fair?

  • Tesco basics white printer paper (75gsm)

tesco-1

It is difficult to see on this photo as it is quite hard to photograph foil, there is a reasonable coverage of the foil over the lettering. However there are a few little areas where the toner is still visible where the foil has not adhere to. This is most noticeable on the first s of Christmas. I decided to try the paper again but increased in the Minc setting to three and put it though the machine twice.

tesco-2

This did give a better coverage over all the letters with hardly any toner visible. However, as you can see in the above there lots of speckles of foil around the Y where small amounts of foil have adhered to the paper at a higher temperature.

tesco-side

Comparing the two finishes one above another, you can see the toner coming through on number one and changing the settings had reduced this, but increased the chance of imperfections surrounding the lettering. For this medium a balance of in between the two settings would give the best hot foil finish though be prepared for a small amount of toner to be visible.

  • The Range white card (210gsm)

range-1

This gave a nice clear and smooth finish with very small amounts of toner still visible, you have to look close to notice these imperfections. A few speckles of additional foil on the rest of the card is noted. For a reasonable mid ranged product the finish is very good and only a few imperfections are noted.

  • Rennies Arts & Crafts Ltd High white ultra smooth thin card (160gsm)

rennies-1

This has produced a very clear and precise print with no visible toner. The finish looks professional with only a few minor speckles.

  • Southfield Premium pure white glass sooth White card (200gsm)

southfields-1

This also produce a very professional finish with no visible toner and a nice clear print. The finish has hardly any speckles visible.

  • Dovecraft essentials Kraft Card (240gsm)

kraft-1

When I took the foil off this medium after it had gone through the Minc there was quite a lot of toner still visible. However, it does give it a distressed look which can work on some projects. I think this is due to the texture of the card as it is not as smooth as the previous mediums.

kraft-2

I wanted to see if I could get a more fuller foil so it could also be used on projects with a cleaner look. Using the settings above a much fuller and clear foil was achieved with hardly any toner visible. However, small speckles of foil are visible surrounding the sentiment.

kraft-side

The above phone shows the second method has increase the number on speckles present, but a fuller foil was achieved.

  • Southfield Midnight black ultra smooth paper (120gsm)

black-1

The finish on this is very similar to the first finish with the Kraft card; not all the foil has adhered to the sentiment giving it a distressed look. This works well as a distressed look as the toner is the same colour as the card, blending very nicely. As with the Kraft card I wanted to see if I could achieve a more fuller foil.

black-2

With the above settings more of the foil adhered however, there are still patches where toner is present and there are many more speckles of foil surrounding the sentiment. I could not achieve as good as full foil  as I did with the Kraft card. black-sideThe above shows just how many more speckles are present with the second settings. Perhaps a setting in between would reduced this, but would also probably reduce the coverage on the sentiment.

Verdict: 

I found it difficult to find that much of difference between Southfield Premium pure white glass sooth White card and Rennies Arts & Crafts Ltd High white ultra smooth thin card, therefore depending on the weight of the medium you want either can give very professional finishes. For value, The Range card works extremely well and is the heaviest medium I tested.

I hope you have found this useful and I hope to test out hot foiling a stamp,. How you ask? Well stay tuned and follow the blog, on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date and find out when the post is up!

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