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Fully Understand What is Hot Stamping

Hot stamping revolutionizes packaging with its luxurious metallic sheen. From traditional gold and silver foils to modern aluminum, its versatility shines through five distinct methods, adding depth and security to designs. Perfect for standing out in a competitive market, hot stamping blends artistry and anti-counterfeiting measures for captivating packaging solutions.

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Hot stamping is a popular technique in product packaging, known for its luxurious appearance and anti-counterfeiting properties. It involves using metallic elements like gold or silver foil or electroplated aluminum for a metallic sheen. There are five main hot stamping methods, each with its unique features for enhancing designs.

silver hot stamping

What is Hot Stamping?

Hot stamping is a technique commonly used in product packaging, making the decorated products appear luxurious and grand. Generally, it has a unique metallic sheen and strong visual effect.

Before the 1930s, people used chemically stable gold or silver for hot stamping, creating thin metal foil by rolling and pressing, then applying glue on one side for stamping.

In modern hot stamping, gold foil has been replaced by electroplated aluminum due to its low cost and good metallic sheen. Aluminum is a silver-white metal and can only mimic silver foil for stamping. To achieve a gold color similar to gold foil, a layer of gold dye can be applied. Additionally, various colored dyes like red, green, and blue can be added to create a variety of colors.

Modern hot stamping methods can create patterns with multiple colors and metallic textures on the surface of printed products. Besides its decorative function, hot stamping also serves as an important anti-counterfeiting measure. Many certificates and packaging boxes use hot stamping and holographic stamping for anti-counterfeiting purposes.

modern hot stamping

Hot stamping’s unique metallic sheen and strong visual effect make decorated products stand out. Many business cards use hot stamping for subtle variations, showcasing a beautiful and unique feel. However, excessive use of hot stamping can make designs look tacky, so caution is needed in its application.

Five Hot Stamping Printing Methods

Hot stamping has become a common part of printed products, and the technology is mature. Below are five hot stamping methods that can be applied in printing, each with its own characteristics. You can choose different hot stamping methods based on your design.

Flat Stamping

Flat stamping is the most commonly used hot stamping method. Only the parts that need stamping have metallic elements, while the rest remain blank or printed. The purpose of flat stamping is to highlight the stamped areas by adding a golden color to the most important information. Compared to other techniques like reverse stamping and multi-color stamping, flat stamping is less difficult and has fewer chances of errors. Additionally, it leads to minimal paper waste due to its simplicity.

flat stamping

Reverse Stamping

Reverse stamping is the opposite of flat stamping. It uses metal hollows to highlight blank areas, with the stamped parts acting as a backdrop. Typically, a large graphic surrounds the text or image to be highlighted; the surrounding graphic is stamped while the text or image to be highlighted is left blank, creating a reverse stamping effect. When doing reverse stamping, a larger area of stamped foil results in higher costs. Also, the lines of the highlighted text or image should not be too fine (requiring at least 6pt), or the final effect may not be ideal. If using special paper for stamping, consider the paper’s texture, as uneven surfaces can affect the precision of large stamped areas.

Reverse Stamping

Print and Stamp Overlap

Print and stamp overlap is a highly skilled processing technique that cleverly combines hot stamping with printing colors. The process involves printing first and then hot stamping, requiring high precision in positioning during stamping. The final printed products exhibit excellent quality and offer a playful touch. This method not only tests the skill of the stamping master but also challenges the creativity of the designer in color combinations.

Print and Stamp Overlap

Multi-color Hot Stamping

Many designers use multi-color hot stamping to highlight text or graphics. This method requires high-precision stamping and is similar to print and stamp overlap but focuses on overlapping multiple hot stamping colors. When multiple colors need to be stamped several times, consider the compatibility of stamping positions and foil colors. Setting the stamping positions too close may lead to colors blending together.

Multi-color Hot Stamping

3D Hot Stamping

Combining hot stamping with embossing creates 3D hot stamping, where the stamped parts stand out, forming a three-dimensional relief effect. However, note that the back of 3D hot stamping will have a concave effect. Therefore, remember to leave the reverse side blank during design to avoid affecting the appearance of graphics or text.

3D Hot Stamping


In conclusion, hot stamping is a valuable technique in packaging design due to its ability to create visually appealing and secure packaging. The five hot stamping methods offer flexibility and versatility in highlighting designs, making them stand out on the shelf. Overall, hot stamping adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to products while also serving as an effective anti-counterfeiting measure.

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