Schedule and budget: Cold foiling is typically faster than hot stamping foil. Cold foil is applied on press, prior to inks. Because there are no dies, tooling time and costs are reduced. Dependent on layout logistics, cold foiling can be less expensive—but not always.

Coverage: If the foiled image is positioned only on a small area of a sheet, hot foil stamping may be most cost-effective because foil is indexed in the hot foil process. For moderate- to full-coverage, cold foils are generally ideal.
Production Challenges: The cold foil process is not as effective on dry, porous or dark stocks. On these, the hot stamping process excels in performance, opacity, and brightness.For embossing, hot foils must be employed—the cold foil process is a flat application only and cannot be embossed concurrent with application.
Visual characteristics: While the brilliance of hot foils is unsurpassed, significant strides have been made with respect to the reflectivity of cold foil and today it takes a discerning eye to notice the true visual differences. One other nuance is the subtle dimensionality of hot foils which imparts a premium feel vs. the total flatness of cold foils.
Color: For the broadest range of metallic color on one application, cold foil is ideal as it can be overprinted with any color for an infinite spectrum of possibilities. Hot foils can be applied in numerous brilliant shades and some can actually be overprinted as well- but not as quickly and efficiently as cold foils.

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