PaperSpecs releases free Foil Cheat Sheet to help designers discover new creative options

PaperSpecs new free Foil Cheat Sheet features impressive examples of digital foiling techniques.

There are few value-added special effects that liven up a printed creation quite like the eye-catching shimmer of foil. Yet few designers realize that this option stretches far beyond hot-foil stamping and cold-foil transfers! Today, a range of new and emerging digital foiling techniques makes it possible to add the beauty and shine of foil to as few as 1, 10 or even 100 pieces – and to customize those effects on each and every piece. To give creatives an overview of all these options, PaperSpecs has created its Foil Cheat Sheet – a new guide that lets users compare all the various types of foiling at once. A free download is available at

Created in cooperation with the Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA), the Foil Cheat Sheet is a single go-to source for everything that graphic designers and other creatives need to know about using foil in their print work. From hot and cold foil to toner-based and varnish-based digital foiling, they’ll find tips and insights that help make their work look its very best.

Sabine Lenz.

“There are ample references out there for hot foiling, of course, and some cold foil ones,” said PaperSpecs Founder Sabine Lenz. “But when it comes to digital foiling with the ever-increasing options available, there really was a need to see all the benefits and limitations of each system laid out side by side. To the best of my knowledge, this has never been done before. It’s certainly never been done this clearly.” To provide designers and others with real-world examples of these value-added techniques, PaperSpecs, in collaboration with FSEA and Orlando, Florida printer Sundance, produced a limited-edition print version of the Foil Cheat Sheet distributed to select audiences. This Wire-O bound publication features a wraparound cover and interior pages that actually use some of the same digital foiling options discussed inside, as well as soft-touch lamination and impressive French folds. “To me it was important that creatives have an overview of their foiling options – especially the short-run ones provided by digital,” added FSEA Executive Director Jeff Peterson. “Something that they could turn to as a reference time and time again.”


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.