To Foil or not to Foil

Posted on Wed, 13 Mar, 2013

Hi everyone, have you ever had one of those foiling jobs you’re just not sure whether you should take it on or not, well we have just recently had one of those jobs. A customer phoned up to ask if we would be interested in foiling a job for trade the job consisted of foiling onto a green colour plan with a heavy embossed front cover and a smooth inside for a local college, we were to quote for one impression on the front cover, the college motif and name. David said of course we would quote for the job we would be supplied with the art work all sounded simple.

Once the art work came through David realised their maybe a problem the college motif had solid shading running around 3 circles they had on there emblem David phoned the customer saying this would be very difficult to foil and it would be easier if the shading was taken out of the artwork, now at this point the customer said this may be a problem with his customer as it would not be representative of the college badge, now this is were your expertise as a foiler and printer needs to come to the for front to explain the difficulties with a customers art work, David did this very diplomatically and the customer agreed to having two blocks made one with the shading and one without and we were to supply six samples 3 of each for his client to have a look at. Now at this point the customer also decided to let us now that his customer would also like the back page foiled with the college website address and the inside cover was to have text foiled within it. It seems at the moment that whatever job we quote for the parameters change and the most simple of jobs suddenly become a challenge. So we had now gone from foiling 5000 single impressions to 5000 times 3

Lisa changed the customer art work and we sent the art work for the blocks to be made the customer supplied us with several sheets off the colour plan for his samples and the finished size with was to be 430 by 300. Having a look at the front cover I was worried that it may be a problem to foil as the emboss with very heavy and as we all know this breaks up the finished once foiled, once the blocks came in of I went to produce the samples for the customer once, as we expected the solid shaded block didn’t turn out great however saying that it wasn’t bad but the block with the shading taken out was very clear and looked really good, the website address on the back was no problem however the inside cover was a major head ache as it was bang on the limit, I was using a Marshall 98 which has a 9*6 print area and the paper guide was pretty much on the bottom of the plate and the block was right at the top of the mounting plate, however it fitted and off I went and produced the 6 samples for the customer.

After the customer had collected and shown his client the samples he phoned to say that they would have the block with no shading, David sent the renewed quote for 15000 impressions instead of 5000 and we waited for a response the next thing we knew we got a phone call saying that the paper would be delivered within the next few days, at this point I said David did he think that we could cope with this size of job as 15000 impressions by hand is a lot then David let me know that actually it was going to be 5400 *3 as the job was going to a another printer after us for finishing and he would need overs this now meant I was going to be foiling 16200 by hand so I asked the question again did we think this was to bigger job for us, however David made the point that generally July is a quiet month and we should be able to cope with this job, I’ve got to say I was still a bit sceptical however it was agreed we would do the job. A couple of days later the paper turned up 320kg 2200 sheets of A2 on a pallet which I diligently moved into the unit, David was upstairs training and when he came down stairs he had a look at the paper and called me over and said Steve does this look alright to you and having a look I said no the embossed finish was so light that you could hardly tell it was embossed David phoned the customer and explained that the paper was incorrect, he arranged for the paper to be collected, so this meant it all had to be moved back outside and loaded onto a pallet at this point I was getting the feeling that this was going to be one of those nightmare jobs that never go right.

A few days later the paper turned up again so off we went again and moved the paper back into the unit, now at this point we also found out that the samples I gave to the customer were not going to be the same as the finished job I was to supply to the finishing house they were to put a 5mm spine down the centre plus they would need the paper over sized now this was going to be a problem as I could only just fit the centre inside cover on the machine at finished size now I was having to supply oversized, I phoned the printers who were finishing the job and asked them what size they actually needed me to supply them, they phoned me back a few hours later and told me the size they needed would be SRA3 450*320 ok I said then he said but could you take 10mm of the head so I confirmed with him that the size he needed was 450*310 great I thought and off I went into the finishing room to start to cut the paper to size, 3 hours later all the paper was cut to size and I then had the job of moving all the paper upstairs.

Having to foil a job that is oversized brings a challenge as you have to sit down and start to work out were the centres are I’m lucky as I have a digital creaser that I set to create the 5mm gutter from their I measured in 8mm from each edge a drew a line and from the foot I measured up 10mm from the foot this gave me the outline of the finished folder from their I found my centres, whilst I was preparing the covers David was calculating how many rolls of foil we would need to complete the job he did this by using ? We phoned Bill and Steve from Foil and Tool in Redditch explained to them that we were going to be foiling colour plan paper with a heavy emboss, Bill said very difficult to do but I know the foil that will work for this job.

I laid the first block in position and waited for the foil to turn up which arrived the following day Bill and Steve sent it out to us first class, so after all this I was now ready to start foiling the job, my heart was filled with dread just looking at all the paper which now I had to foil.

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