What is foil stamping?

Foil stamping—also called hot stamping or foil imprinting—is the process in which artwork is transferred from a magnesium plate onto the finished product. The etched magnesium plate is pressed into the unrolled foil film, and the heat and pressure seals the foil onto your photo folder or frame. We foil stamp cardboard photo folders, paper picture frames, and photo cards using this timeless technique.

Plate used for foil stamped photo folders | Studio Style

This is the etched magnesium plate (sometimes called a foil stamping die) used for imprinting your folders. Notice the sharp edges and precise details, especially in the fish.

Gold foil for custom imprinted portrait folders by Studio Style

Our foil comes in rolls like this. The foil stamping plate is pushed into the unrolled film, which then tansfers the foil film onto your folder or frame and seals in your imprint.

Foil stamped photo event folder by Studio Style

The finished product! We take pride in making precise imprints of your artwork, and we use high-quality foil that won't rub off. Shown here on our contemporary black portrait folder.


How to prepare your artwork for foil stamping

A great looking foil imprint starts with a crisp, clean, black and white image. Your artwork can be a graphic, a logo, typographic lettering, just text, or a combination of these elements. Artwork should not contain fine lines, gradients, drop shadows, or textures as these will not produce a desirable result.

File formats we accept: PDF, AI, EPS, PSD, JPG, JPEG, TIF, TIFF, and PNG file formats. As a general rule, we require a minimum of 300 dpi for foil stamping. See our artwork guidelines ➜

If you are unable to provide us with factory-ready art, our art department is here to help. Our experienced graphic designers can transform your art so that it comes out exactly how you envision it. Art that requires extensive cleanup may require an additional art charge.

Good logo for hot foil stamping

Good logo for hot foil stamping.

Bad logo for hot foil stamping

Bad logo for hot foil stamping.


The foil stamping plate

Once your art and layout have been approved, the image is etched onto a magnesium foil stamping plate (also known as a metal die). New imprinting orders are charged a new plate and machine set-up fee. Foil stamping plates are kept on file for one calendar year. If your order is repeated within a one year time frame, the order will only be charged the machine set-up fee.


Foil films — choose from 23 standard colors

The foil coloring that is transferred to your frame or folder comes in large rolls. Foil film comes in a variety of color options. Our 11 most popular include: Silver, Gold, Blue, Red, Green, Copper, Purple, and Teal metallic (mirror finish) foils or Black, Orange, and Reflex Blue non-metallic foils. Please call for availability if you require a color not listed.


How we transfer your art onto your folders with hot stamping

So now we bring all the individual components to create the finished product: the product that will be imprinted, the magnesium plate, and the foil film. The stamping process can now start on a specialized foil stamping press.

The foil film is unrolled and sandwiched between the magnesium plate (which has been heated to an appropriate temperature) and the blank photo folder, frame, or card. The plate and product are then pressed together. Through heat and pressure (hence the term "Hot Stamping") the thin layer of foil is transferred off the roll and onto the product.


Pricing for foil stamped photo folders, frames, and cards

All pricing is for 1 color, 1 location imprints. Foil imprint pricing details can be found on our product pages. Please review the "Personalization & Shipping Details" on those pages before ordering.

If your job requires additional colors or locations (example: logo on front cover, and text on inside window border), please call us to place your order, as additional charges will apply.


Have more questions about foil stamped photo holders?

We're here to help. Call us at (800) 346-3063, chat with us, or send us an email anytime.


Learn a little more about foil stamped portrait folders

Watch and learn as we chat about imprint design tips, turnaround times, color options, and more.

Foil stamped photo folder gallery

Click on any image to view larger Foil Stamped Portrait Folders by Studio Style Foil Stamped Photo Envelopes by Studio Style Foil Stamped White Photo Folders by Studio Style What is foil stamping? FAQ by Studio Style, portrait folder and photo frame manufacturer Foil Stamped Photo Pocket Folders by Studio Style

What photo products can you imprint?

We manufacture an expansive line of portrait and event folders, easel back frames, and photo insert greeting cards. You'll find that adding a foil imprint makes our blank, stock product uniquely your own. Look for the personalization button when purchasing your items to create your custom imprinted product.

Here are some of the paper products we can imprint:


In addition to hot stamping, we also offer 4-color process printing and embossing services.