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Market Trends

Foiling & Embossing

Adding value to printed work is a surefire way of capturing the attention of both consumers and your own customers. So, what impact can foiling and embossing have on applications and how can you implement these methods?

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Duplo’s new DuSense DDC-8000 B2 sensory coater includes in-line foiling to the spot UV

Making an impact

There is no doubt that print’s place in the modern marketing mix has been improving in recent years. Marketers are capitalising on the many special effects that are only possible with print as a way of connecting with the consumers and ensuring their products stand out on packed shelves.

Foiling and embossing are among the most common special effects used in this market, with these methods applicable on everything from packaging and posters to leaflets and discount vouchers.

With these potential opportunities in mind, Print Monthly explores some of the latest kit in this market and how this can help print service providers (PSPs) add a whole new layer of effects to a range of printed work.

New Levels of Quality

First up, Martyn Train, managing director of Duplo UK, says one of the major advantages for companies that offer foiling and other embellishment services is the increase in the scope of products they can offer their customers. He says the added value of a little bit of foil or UV foil to the print complements the artwork and takes the quality to a whole new level.

“We’ve found that consumers of print have been amazed by the effect of not only foil but the Duplo 3D foil technique as well,” Train says, adding: “By bringing this service in-house, not only does a company have complete control over their costs, but they are a lot more flexible and therefore can offer way more value to their customers.

“The results are luxurious and premium, which means the brands and products that have these effects are in turn premium and luxurious. The embellished products become more valuable than the cost of producing them.

“The speed of which a company can produce these high-quality embellished products, against one that does not have the capabilities is huge. From the moment of ordering these digitally foiled and embellished products to delivery is incredibly fast especially when Duplo automation is involved.”

What about the importance of upgrading this sort of kit and ensuring you are running the latest solutions available on the market? Train explains that it is not easy to differentiate a print business unless through customer services or a unique print service offering. So, the addition of these extra elements to a printer’s services will widen the gap between the competition.

“It helps make them stand out from a crowd of printers who simply think in terms of four colours and standard-sized prints. Having these extra elements in the finishing department is a major differentiator that will keep buyers coming back for more,” Train says.

“Adding these abilities to enhance print with specialist finishing and foiling also gives print companies more scope to capture work from agencies during the tender process.”

 Train goes on to say that PSPs should look to highlight to both marketeers and designers the creative applications at the finishing stage as possibly the most important step when proposing bids for work. He explains that the effects and extra finishes that foiling and embellishment can achieve need to be actively sold to the marketeers and the designers – to make the most out of each sheet of paper, card, or board.

“With print runs decreasing and becoming more targeted and personalised, gone are the days of trying to sell on incremental increases in margins,” Train says, adding: “With these specialist finishing techniques, printers can return to high margin work.”

Train leads on from this to highlight some of the areas PSPs can target with this sort of work. He says while many segments of the print industry have been foiling and embossing for years, digital foiling and embellishment has not been taken up quite so much. He offers the example of the bespoke short-run market for book jackets, PPC covers, and greetings cards as areas that are on the rise.

“Foiling and special effects on these add a value that end-users are drawn to,” Train says, adding: “We’ve already mentioned luxury print, with the realms of bespoke high-end products, their packaging, and all the printed items that go around these products becoming simpler to achieve.

“Seasonal print becomes more about the colours of foil and texture in combination to the imagery. Simply look at the shelves at the supermarkets and you can see the amount of glitter, gold, and shiny reds on display during Christmas. Did we see anything but green on the shelves on the run up to St Patricks day?”

So, what does Duplo have to help? Duplo offers Bagel laminators and foilers in the UK; the MiniLam B3 and iLam offer technologies like digital hot stamping, which resembles foil stamping with metallic foils, holographic foils, flood varnish and spot varnish. Bagel’s 3DF module that can be added to its laminator range is a silicon roller that allows specifically designed elastic foil to be laid over Duplo’s DuSense spot UV embellishment without defects.

Duplo offers the range of Bagel laminators and foilers in the UK, including the Bagel iLam Pro 3DF

“Available in both B2 and B3 sizes and a range of different categories from entry-level to high production machines,” Train says, adding: “This solution is perfect for near-line production to our DDC-810 sensory coater.”

Also new from Duplo is the DuSense DDC-8000 B2 sensory coater, which includes in-line foiling to the spot UV.

“There is no need for laminate, with perfect accuracy to its width detection capacity and enables users to optimise foil use and reduce waste,” Train explains, continuing: “With the DDC-8000, users can produce excellent foiling results, even with intricate details on substrates up to 600gsm opening the door to more high-value applications.”

New Markets

Also in this sector is Intec, which offers its ColorFlare range of foiling and laminating equipment and consumables to the market. Terri Winstanley, product and marketing manager, explains that adding this type of kit to your production line-up could allow you to enter new markets by adding all manner of effects to your printed work.

“With the ColorFlare range, you can provide foiling, laminating, and holographic effects from one machine, with the added benefit that it will be the same source of supply for both hardware and consumables,” Winstanley explains.

“Intec’s range of ColorFlare coloured metallic flaring toner foils and films will add dynamic special effects to your print. The range will enhance both visual and tactile aspects of your printed product, providing the perfect finish for you and your customers.

O Factoid: ColorFlare toner foils from Intec are designed to work with all toner-based output, not just Intec devices O

“The benefits of the ColorFlare range include class-leading affordability, some of the most technically advanced foils and laminates available today, ensuring the highest quality results on both lithographic and digital prints.”

Winstanley goes on to say some of the markets PSPs should be looking to target with this type of technology include packaging, point of sale, labels, gifts, wedding stationery, promotional items and direct mail, citing this latter market as a key growth sector that PSPs should pay careful attention to.

“Easily add stunning metallic and coloured foils, or lamination including matt, gloss, and digitally over-printable silk-touch, as well as a wonderful range of holographic effects to transform ordinary printed sheets into ‘extraordinary’ premium print,” Winstanley says.

Looking more closely at the solutions in this range, Winstanley picks out the premium CF1200 foiling and laminating equipment for high-volume finishing, as well as the CF350 desktop-based model, both of which she says can be accommodated within most studio or print environments.