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UV Printing VS Foil Hot Stamping

When we receive a package box, the first visual sensation it brings us is the printing on the box. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and you might wonder what technique was used to achieve it. Is it hot stamping or UV printing? This article will provide a detailed explanation of the differences between these two printing techniques and their respective advantages.

What UV printing is ?

UV printing is a printing technique primarily used on gold card /sliver paper, silver card paper, or PVC and PET boards. Since these materials have smooth surfaces and are not easily absorbent to ink, conventional printing methods may result in inadequate ink absorption and incomplete drying, leading to smudging or detachment of printed content. UV printing, however, utilizes ultraviolet light to rapidly cure ink, forming a solid, thin film on the surface, ensuring quick solidification of the print and preventing smudging or detachment of printed content.

Characteristics of UV Printing

UV printing involves immediate curing of ink during production processing, eliminating the need for waiting time and allowing for immediate further processing, thereby enhancing production efficiency and product qualification rate. UV printing offers high surface hardness, making it resistant to detachment and oxidation, and it exhibits strong adaptability. UV printing can be applied to various materials including paper, PVC, PET, glass, metal, acrylic, etc.

Applications of UV Printing

UV printing is just a part of the production process; it cannot be sold separately. After UV printing, additional processing is required to complete the work. From what I understand, the main application areas of UV printing currently include:

Packaging Printing: Such as gift boxes, food packaging, tobacco and alcohol packaging, etc.

Advertising and Promotion: Customized billboards, flyers, exhibition display stands, promotional


Commercial Printing: Commercial posters.

Main Material for UV Printing.

Gold and silver card paper are special packaging materials, typically coated with a glossy or matte film on the surface, imparting a metallic texture. Due to the inability of ordinary printing to absorb ink on its surface, the printed content cannot be cured. UV printing technology perfectly addresses this issue. Through UV printing combined with the inherent metallic luster of the material, it brings a sense of luxury or high-end sophistication to packaging that cannot be replaced by other materials.

Processing Difficulty of UV Printing

UV printing requires high precision from printing equipment, typically necessitating UV printing machines or UV curing devices. This incurs high usage costs and involves complex operations. The ink formulation for UV printing is intricate. Compared to regular printing inks, UV printing inks require strict control of light exposure and temperature variances to ensure rapid curing. UV printing imposes stringent demands on process materials. Control over printing speed and light intensity is crucial to guarantee printing quality, considering that different materials have unique requirements for time, ink, and light exposure. Post-processing for UV printing is complex. UV printing can be divided into spot UV or UV gloss finishes, matte UV finishes, etc. Subsequent treatments may include hot stamping, embossing, and other techniques.

What Is Hot Stamping

Hot stamping is also a printing technique that mainly involves transferring the coating of electrically oxidized aluminum foil onto the surface of the substrate after heating a copper or aluminum plate, creating a special metallic effect. The primary material used in hot stamping is electrically oxidized aluminum foil, so it can also be referred to as aluminum foil stamping. Hot stamping does not necessarily mean that what is stamped is gold in color; “hot stamping” is just a general term for the process.

Types of Hot Stamping Techniques

Cold Stamping

Cold stamping refers to a processing technique where a specially customized adhesive is used to transfer the electroplated aluminum layer onto the substrate, achieving the effect of hot stamping. Since no heating is required throughout the process and it does not cause environmental pollution, it is also known as cold stamping.

What is the Hot Stamping

Hot stamping primarily involves heating the base template to a certain temperature and transferring the electroplated aluminum onto the surface of the stamped object through pressure transmitted by the template’s temperature. In simpler terms, the mold is embedded or fixed on a heating plate, and then the electroplated aluminum foil is placed between the mold and the material. When the mold is pressed down onto the substrate with pressure, heat is released through conduction, causing the coating to transfer from the electroplated aluminum foil onto the final material.

Considerations for Hot Stamping

Hot stamping refers to the process of stamping electroplated aluminum foil onto the desired material using specific temperature and pressure, commonly known as hot stamping or hot foiling. Below are the requirements I have summarized for hot stamping production.

There is a certain requirement for the precision of hot stamping plate production. The higher the accuracy, the finer the craftsmanship. When producing hot stamping plates, try to use AI, CRD, or vector graphics as much as possible.

Different materials have different requirements for hot stamping plates. The material of the hot stamping plate depends on the thickness and hardness of the stamped object. The content of the hot stamping plate should not have lines thinner than 0.2mm, as lines that are too thin may break, resulting in an incomplete logo.

The effect of hot stamping on different aluminum foils varies greatly. Choose the appropriate hot stamping foil according to your material and requirements.

Advantages of Hot Stamping

Enhances product value and aesthetics, Hot stamping utilizes metallic foils with rich colors, exuding a sense of luxury. Compared to regular printing or UV printing, hot stamping results in a shiny, metallic appearance that significantly boosts consumer attention and enhances brand recognition.

Provides certain anti-counterfeiting functions, making products more secure and reducing the risk of counterfeit products.

Low cost,Hot stamping requires no complex molds, greatly reducing development costs.

Fast production cycle,Hot stamping can typically be completed within 2-3 days, with no need for waiting, thus greatly improving production efficiency.

Leaves no ink residue, Hot stamping leaves no ink residue or unpleasant odor, ensuring air cleanliness.

Simple process, Hot stamping is easy to execute and applicable to a wide range of materials including paper, leather, plastic, etc.

Advantages of UV Printing

UV printing can be done in multiple colors or single colors, with glossy or matte finishes. It offers a smooth surface and excellent brightness. Its printing adaptability is exceptional. Additionally, UV curing is a photochemical reaction process, providing strong durability, corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance, and resistance to aging for both ink layers and all layers of UV gloss.

The curing speed of UV is exceptionally fast. After UV printing, the next step can be carried out immediately without waiting, greatly enhancing production efficiency.

UV printing features clear halftone dots that are unaffected by material or weather conditions. It produces vibrant colors with high saturation, making it suitable for high-precision printing with multiple colors and content. Its high printing consistency adds various colors to products.


UV printing and hot stamping are two completely different printing techniques, each with its own characteristics in terms of materials and applications. They are suitable for different scenarios and offer unique advantages. When choosing a printing technique, it’s essential to weigh and select the most suitable one based on the purpose of the printed product, budget, usage scenarios, and desired effects. This will add unique value to your packaging.


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