'Reflecting' on the past - The origins of foil stamping security images
Foil stamped security images appeared more widely on security documents during the 1980's and evolved into holograms.
Whilst we are all familiar with security holograms on credit cards, identity documents and other items of value; some of the earliest hot stamped products involved creating images in the foil during the stamping process; embossing detail into silver foil and making colour copying of documents very difficult for the counterfeiter.
Hot stamped embossed features - The Gladiators
Our Operations Manager, Mark Filby talks about one of the most unique hot stamped and foil embossed products to make it into everybody's homes - The Gladiators stickers
The British TV series 'The Gladiators' from the 1990's was the inspiration for a series of promotional stickers placed on a well known breakfast cereal product. We were tasked to produce a 'high impact' visually striking sticker that could be collected by children from the front of their favorite breakfast cereal packets. Enhanced 'point of sale' products using hot stamping foil was to become very popular in future years.
The set of stickers focused on the characters of the TV series as you can see in the images above.
The artwork and printing plates were created and manufactured in-house - die manufacturing taking at least 7 to 10 days per plate. The foil embossed features were stamped with Heidelberg SBD cylinder presses.
The stickers were produced sheet fed in mirror silver embossing and then converted into reel fed self adhesive stickers suitable for application in the customers product packing lines.
The striking lenticular effect embossed features require very meticulous machine set-up to ensure perfect relief of the embossed image. Production speeds were low but very high quality.
These products were the forerunners of other micro-embossed hot stamped images which have evolved into our high definition security products (DuogramHD, DatafoilHD & Holo-Sign).
Stamping die technology, holographic foil and application equipment have evolved exponentially since The Gladiators stickers were produced but I think you will agree that they still look stunning today.
Mark has worked in the security print sector for more than 21 years having previously occupied various roles in pre-press, production, and QA in print finishing, specializing in hot stamping and embossing.
He was an active participant in Project Genesius, a partnership between the UK Print industry and the Metropolitan Police to seek law change which resulted in the Security Printing Equipment and Materials (offences) Act 2015. He received a local business award for Community Safety and Crime Prevention in the same year.