FAQ Hot Stamping

What is Hot Stamping?

Hot stamping in the graphics industry is primarily regarded as a print finishing method. It is an attractive ancillary finishing technology for embellishing print products with unique glossy, metallic, diffractive, and tactile effects. Read more to receive detailed informations:

Hot stamping as such is a physical operation. The optically active layers of the stamping finishing are transferred to the print substrate by means of a heated stamping die and mechanical pressure. During the transfer process, the raised surfaces of the die come into contact with the hot stamping foil. In the areas of contact, layers are released from the carrier and simultaneously bonded to the print substrate as a result of the heat of the die and a defined contact pressure.

Depending on the level of automation of the hot stamping process, it is possible to distinguish between semi automatic and fully automatic hot stamping machines. Semi automatic machines can more and more frequently be found in book-binding shops. They differ from fully automated systems in the manual feeding and removing of the sheets. Hot stamping machines can also be differentiated according to the manner in which the hot stamping operation is performed: Flat on flat, round on flat, and round on round stamping systems. Every system is matched to a different use and offers different benefits. If you wonder, what is the best hot stamping machine for you, please feel free to contact us. We will advise you about your possibilities.

It depends. The contact time affects the adhesive strength and the edge definition of the hot stamped image. It is directly related to the temperature. Higher temperatures, for example, allow shorter contact times. The contact time is also determined to a large extent by the machine system being used. Only a perfectly coordinated time-heat adjustment guarantees that even edge zones can be decorated neatly. All modern machine systems provide computer-controlled programs to ease the handling.

Depending on the type of print substrate, different hot stamping approaches are needed. The roughness and other characteristics of the print substrate surface are important criteria for assessing the right stamping adjustments. A thickness of 0.15mm for paper and 0.60mm for card stock are entirely sufficient to produce a visually optimum relief image in one-step foil embossing.

Blind embossing is not a hot stamping process, but rather is considered a simple impression method, because no stamping foil transfer occurs during the operation. As a result, no gloss, no diffractive effect, and no extra color are applied onto the substrate. Thus, the very special three-dimensional appearance of hot stamping designs, made by the light effects of the foil, is missing. 

Whether hot stamping or cold transfer, the KURZ finishing processes are connected by the special optical effects like high gloss and diffractive or hologram effects on a large surface or the smallest details. Typical applications are: Commercial print and packaging. Furthermore, cold transfer is used for the embellishment of labels. The main differences occur with the tactile effects: Hot stamping is the one and only finishing method to realize beautiful reliefs on paper and cardboard substrates, by the use of hot stamping dies.

Learn more about KURZ cold transfer here.

As already mentioned before, all of the KURZ finishing methods embellish the design with stunning, brillant surface effects. While KURZ digital transfer is the optimal addition to existing digital printing systems with a focus on speed and gloss, hot stamping’s strong point is the tactile change of the surface for amazing 3D effects. These are realized by special stamping dies, which are missing for the digital finishing process. In summary, by choosing between hot stamping and digital transfer, you have to choose between tactile effects and speed.

Ready for more details about digital transfer? Read here.

KURZ offers a wide range of hot stamping colors and effects. Our hot stamping product family distinguishs between the following programs:

  • LUXOR® for shiny gold effects
  • ALUFIN® for metallic silver effects
  • LIGHT LINE® for sparkling diffractive effects
  • COLORIT® for matte effects

Every hot stamping foil type is available in a number of different colors. Many hot stamping foil types are also available in a variety of gloss levels.

Hot stamping creates premium gold effects on paper and cardboard substrates. In contrast to other printing methods that use printing inks or lacquers, the hot stamping foil contains various coatings to produce the stunning metallic gloss. With this, realistic representations of metals such as gold, silver, copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel, chrome, anodized aluminum, with a mirrored, polished, brushed satin, sand blasted, matte, satin-gloss or extremely matte finish, can be achieved.

Holographic hot stampings exhibit breath-taking three-dimensional effects, allow virtual animations to be created, and produce color movement effects as the angle of incidence of the light source, or the viewing angle changes. If you want to get inspired by our holographic effects for paper and cardboard designs, we would like to equip you with our latest brochure. Please get in touch with us.

The great success of hot stamping lies within our high-quality stamping die production. Each design needs an individually produced die to accomplish perfect tactile effects and accurate stamping results. With the micro and nano structures of the brass dies, the hot stamping foil can be transformed neatly, even if the design consists of the smallest lines or gradients. To achieve the best possible hot stamping results, we rely on our partner H+M. Look here for more information.