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Adding a die cut or emboss to your print job can make a striking visual impact; it's a way of sculpturing and increasing a reader's engagement with your work. Learn about the various types of embossing and die cutting as well as the proper ways to set up your documents to achieve consistent results. Author Claudia McCue covers manufacturing concerns like cost, time, choosing the appropriate paper stock, and file formatting; preparing your artwork for embossing and stamping; and then designing your die-cut project in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign.
When you're creating artwork that's going to be used for foil stamping it might be nice to keep in mind how foil stamping works. The foil actually has a bit of adhesive on the back and that's what makes it initially stick on the paper, but what makes it stay there is pressure and heat from a die and a counter die, and what you're creating artwork for is that die. Ideally you should supply black and white vector art. If you're going to supply an image it should be a high resolution bitmap, at least 600 pixels per inch. And when I say bitmap I mean an image that has only black and white, no grayscale. Don't have any screens, no textures, anything like that. It really needs to be solid areas.
And as you create text provide a little extra space between the letters and keep in mind that there's always sort of a little fringe where foil is applied, a little fringe around the outside, and that could result in letters that are too close, sort of running into each other. And you'll see that same effect inside text with small counters so keep that in mind as you choose the font that you're going to use. This is another reason why you want to avoid anything like cross-hatching, or similar textural effects. You're best off with just solid shapes. Convert all your text to outlines.
And then provide whatever the die maker or the printing company asks you to supply. Whether it's an EPS, or an Illustrator native file, AI, or a PDF file. If you're using multiple colors of foil. Clearly identify each color. It's helpful if you know the official name of the color. But if you don't, at least name it something that's obvious, that's in keeping with your plan. And create those as spot colors. And it doesn't hurt to put them on separate layers either. Keep in mind that any errors might result in a reprint because you can't unfoil a piece of paper. So plan far ahead, consult with the printer, consult with the die maker, and make sure you understand the best way to create and supply your art so that the job is successful.
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