Metallic or foil printing for business cards?

Opting for metallic business cards can give you some big advantages because of their distinct quality. They will be able to stand out from the others, making you more memorable. Competition here can be huge, so having special finishes on a card can increase the chances of someone holding onto it. You can also show off your green credentials if you use sustainable foils and other materials.

There are two individual techniques you can employ to create metallic business cards; foil stamping and metallic ink. Each procedure differs in the end result and technique. We’re going to discuss how they work and what you should think about with your next print.

The processes

Sustainable foilsLet’s begin by talking about the processes in detail. You create metallic ink business cards by utilising inks infused with small metal particles. Copper, gold, and aluminium are good examples. Once this ink dries, the compact particles reflect light. The paper receives a metallic aesthetic. You can then introduce a varnish or laminate over the top to safeguard the ink.

Since we consider metallic inks to be spot colour, you can run them on the same print press as CMYK colours. However, it may require multiple layers of ink to build up to the right colour.

With hot foil business cards, you make them with stamping. This is the process of introducing foil to paper with pressure and heat. The design you’re foiling gets printed onto your paper with a toner. Then you heat this so it sticks to your foil. It leaves a layer on top of your paper or card.

The foil sheets here come in a plethora of colours, like silver, copper, and gold. You have plenty of choice and the operation can be very fast. If you’re interested in finding out more about sustainable foils, talk to our team.

Which is best?

As for which of the two comes out on top for business cards, you have to consider certain details. This includes the budget you have for you print and how you’d like them to look.


Another area to look at would be reflectiveness. Of the two, foil stamping comes out on top here. Foiled cards are leagues ahead in regards to the shine they create. The process employs a foil sheet. So, the end result is a consistent opaque layer on top of your paper. It’s one that reflects plenty of light. The paper texture doesn’t influence the foil’s appearance. So, there will be consistency.

To contrast this, cards with metallic inks have an appearance that is considerably more subtle. As we said, the ink contains compact metal particles. When you introduce it to the paper, the distribution isn’t equal. Often, you need many layers simply to even see some shine.


Foil stamping wins if you look at how durable the finish is as well. The reason is the material foil stamping uses in comparison to metallic ink. The metal in the inks can react to the environment surrounding it. As a result, it can lead to cracking over time. This won’t happen with foils.

We’ll rise to the challenge and use sustainable foils

At Foiling Services, when working with any foils, we use up to date machinery. Whatever pattern or shade it is we’re working with, we can meet any challenge you present to us. You might need our services for protection or decorative purposes. Whatever the case, we’ll be able to help.

So, speak to us if you want to print with sustainable foils. They are perfect for business cards and much more.