Gilding of cards or books (never saddle-stitched ones) involves the heated application of coloured foil to the sanded edges of a book or single cards. Think of a book, like a Bible, which often has gilded edges.


Success story

A printer wanted us to gild perfect bound books with black foil. All foil gilding requires the sanding off of 1/32” of the surfaces (face, head and foot) to be gilded. We communicated with the client to make allowances for the sand when trimming the books. This job was a learning curve for us because I thought “black” was black! Apparently, there are several different blacks. Because of this, we then had to establish whether the printer (and ultimate customer) wanted a matte or shiny black. In the end, they chose shiny. The job was delivered on time and with the full count … absolutely no rejects!



  • From a functional standpoint, the foil protects the printed piece from environmental issues such as acidity, dampness and the natural oils of the human hand



  • Foil gilding dresses up a book or card set, in a classical and timeless way
  • Gilt edges on a book or card speak of prestige, trust and quality
  • In recent times, we’ve seen foil edge gilding make a major comeback and it’s no longer a finish reserved for leather case bound books.
  • Designers are now combining or adding this unique finishing process with other design elements.
  • Even though foil gilding is still unusual and differentiates a product, we produce gilded jobs on a regular basis.




  • Until recently, gold was basically the only colour that could be used … NOT NOW!
  • We can now foil gild scores of colours. About 75% of the colours that can be foil stamped on a flat sheet we can now foil gild. Keep this in mind when designing with corporate colours (think IBM blue, Scotiabank red, CN Rail orange, etc.).


Factors to consider

  • Time! These jobs don’t happen over night, so plan ahead.
  • We have to source your preferred colour of foil from any one of six suppliers
  • We may have to test a variety of foils for the best result … sometimes as many as four times for a job
  • Count on about a 4-5% spoilage rate
  • Gilding might be relatively expensive but this cost for the right project can be more than worthwhile!



2480 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON M1P 2R7 Canada