|Hot Stamping: Die, Gold Foil, and Finished Product|
|Catching Fire, the second book in The Hunger Games Trilogy (2009)|
In order to hot stamp a book, a few items are required: a die (which has the text or image you will imprint, backwards and in relief) and heat and pressure. Many hot-stamped books will use a color foil, such as gold on the book above and black at right, but others are printed without the addition of foil at all, leaving the image or text subtly pressed into the book's cover or spine. Just as different color foil is chosen, the artist can also choose to use no foil at all.
|Hot Stamping Dies|
The accuracy and beautiful of a hot-stamped image depends on the quality of the die, the heat of the die, the amount of pressure applied during stamping, and—to me, the most difficult part—keeping the pressure direct and straight during pressing. Wobbling a little to the left or the right can create a sloppy or blurry image that can appeared stretched or difficult to see. Indirect pressure can also have the image or text appear deeper in one area than another, leading to an inconsistent color or style.
Despite the learning curve, hot stamping is really fun and creates a beautiful touch to both hand-made and mass-produced books. The CBA occasional gives a short workshop on using the press, so be sure to check out our website (www.centerforbookarts.org/classes) to see if one is being given!
Have any stories about hot stamping? Want to give us suggestions or comments? Comment on this post, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit us on Facebook (/centerforbookarts) or follow us on Twitter (@center4bookarts). Can't wait to see you there!