Foil Board Tips

Creating White Layers for Printing on Foil Board Stock

Printing in white ink on foil board can be a great way to impart a distinguished, designer look to your project. You can also use white ink as a base layer to print pastel or vibrant colors on a darker base. When you’re looking to achieve the high-end result that white ink on foil board can create, here are a few important things to keep in mind when prepping your files for print.

  1. In your native program (InDesign or Illustrator) create a layer called “White Ink.” This layer should be above all other art layers, but below your dieline layer. The dieline layer should be the top layer, with the “White Ink” layer just below it. Keep in mind, even though the layer is on top in the file, the white ink will go down first with the CMYK on top when it prints.
  2. In the color pallet of your program, create a spot color called “zWhite.” This must be a spot color, so it is shown as its own separation or ink.
  3. Color the “zWhite” swatch 40% Cyan or any color you choose. This allows you to see the white ink on your screen while you’re working with it. Don’t worry, it will not print in this color.
  4. If your art is mostly printing in white ink with only a few items that need to show through the foil background, draw a box on the white ink layer that covers the entire dieline and bleed area. Color the box 100% of the zWhite color you created and set the box to overprint. This will print white ink under all the items on your box.
  5. For items or areas where you want the foil to show through, you will need to copy and paste items from your art layers to the white ink layer and “cut” them out of the white box. The best way to do this is to use the pathfinder menu, select the object and background, and use the “subtract” button. This will create a window in the white ink box. No white ink will print in this created area. When the white layer is knocked out properly, you should be able to see your artwork underneath any area that does not have white printing underneath it.
    NOTE: Please do not use objects colored in white on the white ink layer to knock-out the white ink. This will prevent the printing of any objects under these white areas.
  6. For projects that only have a few items that need white to print under objects (with the majority of the box printed directly on the foil board), the preferred method is to create your white layer, copy the items that need white under them to the white layer, color them 100% of the zWhite ink and set them to overprint. Do this for all items that need to be printed on top of the white ink.

If you have any questions, please contact your sales or customer service representative at SPC. If you would like more information or need specific details on prepping your files, our prepress team can work with you to get you on the right track.