Combination stamping, or foil embossing unites foil stamping and embossing into one press pass through the use of a combination die, usually a brass-sculptured embossing die with a foil breakage edge to end the image area.
Combination stamping requires a special counter die. The counter die is molded from the brass die and is used to press the paper (or stock) into the die to emboss or deboss the image. The brass and counter dies should be aligned exactly using alignment pins, to ensure proper registration. Counter dies are usually made from epoxy, fiberglass or other resins.
As you might guess, careful consideration must be taken when choosing paper colors, textures, weights and inks for your combination project.
The thickness of the stock may limit you to the type of press on which you can run the job. For example, very thin text stocks can cause problems on some large sheet-fed presses.
Your choices of paper stock may also affect the final foil appearance. Papers such as 25% cotton, 100% cotton, vellum, laid stock and other porous papers will dull certain foils. The solution is to communicate to you stamping supplier the stock you’ve selection so they can order a metallic foil formulated especially for that stock.
Although technology has advanced the process, foil stamping and embossing is still a craft where experience goes a long way toward success. An experienced stamper can guide you through what you can and cannot achieve with foil and embossing, and most will welcome your inquiries as it will make their job easier in production.