How do foil printing, digital printing, and lithography differ?

We are one of the most trusted names in the UK when it comes to providing foiling services. Our focus is on ensuring that clients get the best results possible. Something else we strive for is to give access to environmentally friendly options. Being green is more important now than it ever has been. Fortunately, we have the means to supply recyclable foils.

Since the early days of printing processes, print technologies have come a long way. Now you have multiple techniques available. Each one has their own applications and features. Foil and digital printing, and lithography are among the most popular methods. Let’s look more deeply at how the three differ.

Foil printing

Recyclable foilsThis technique has a number of names, such as foil embossing and foil stamping. It consists of you applying foil to an exterior. Applications for it include packaging, invitations, and business cards.

You need to use a print plate with this kind of printing, something that’s created by etching your artwork or logo into a sheet of metal. Hot foil is a common technique. It uses a heated plate or die to move the foil onto the surface.

Foil rolls for use here are comprised of thin sheets of synthetic or metal. These days, it is also possible to use recyclable foils. Foil printing gives your packaging a luxurious finish with incredible effects and designs.

Foil design options are considerable here, with numerous finishes and colours available. Metallic foils for example come with a shiny finish and change in gradient colour with the right lighting conditions. Matt foils possess a solid effect as well as a slight shine. In all conditions the colours stay the same. Gloss foils come with a glossy effect and have a shine whilst maintaining colour. Satin foils have a shiny effect alongside a subtle metallic quality. Lustre foils provide a soft sheer effect.

Digital printing

This is a contemporary printing method that uses laser or inkjet printers to create top tier prints. It is popular thanks to its rapid turnaround time and versatility. As such, it is perfect for small runs. The opaque ink also offers outstanding coverage on materials like fabric, cardboard, and paper.

Due to the quick turnaround time here, you can have on-demand printing. You can do so whilst having customisation at the same time. High quality prints are possible with fine details and vibrant colours. Moreover, it is cost efficient for short print runs.

Another notable application is wide format printing. Digital printers are able to accommodate many paper widths and sizes. So, they are appropriate for large-scale printing projects.


Finally, we have a classic printing method that uses ink and plates to move images onto paper and other exteriors. This method is famous for its durability and high quality. Uses include large-scale printing projects like posters, magazines, and newspapers.

Lithography prints are durable and high in quality, with vibrant colours and fine details. It has the means to accurately reproduce complex images. You can also use it with all kinds of print sizes.

Our recyclable foils have many uses

At Foiling Services, we provide foils for decorative and protective purposes. No matter what it is you want to do with your foil, we are the leading choice to help you. We can share our knowledge and experience so you choose the right materials.

An additional benefit is, since we work with recyclable foils, we can support any business in achieving its environmental goals. Feel free to get in touch with us if you need our services.