Inexpensive, Straightforward Means to Emboss/Stamp/Mark Faux Hard Book Covers?

CliffSpielman

Well-known member
I'm about to start self-publishing a couple of different books. The plan for Day1 is a simple heat binding process using hard covers, such as Unibind Steelbook. I'm going to print a nice dust jacket on my Versant but I'd also like to mark the hard cover itself just not to have a completely blank cover. If even just with the title. It doesn't need to be a graphic or anything fancy just yet.

Can anybody recommend a fairly inexpensive and straightforward method or solution for marking these faux leather hard covers? It needs to be something I can do in-house rather than sending covers to a vendor. Hot Stamping seems to be popular but I read different things about which foils to use with faux leather. Or is there any way to print something on the Versant that then adheres to the hard cover via adhesive or heat? (I know that could start looking cheap though)

When I say fairly inexpensive, I'd love to find a machine appropriate for this for under $1,000 is possible. Ideally that would include brass Type or whatever else I'd need. Or if there were a way to print something on the Versant and transfer/affix to the hard cover, that would be interesting to know about.

Thanks in advance.
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
For foiling, yes. You can buy foil that has a toner/heat activated release liner. Using your Versant, you print the areas you want to be foiled in black toner. Then place the foil over the sheet, pass it through a laminator, and the foil will only stick to the areas with foil. Here's a YouTube tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNBvNzvJGH0
 

CliffSpielman

Well-known member
For foiling, yes. You can buy foil that has a toner/heat activated release liner. Using your Versant, you print the areas you want to be foiled in black toner. Then place the foil over the sheet, pass it through a laminator, and the foil will only stick to the areas with foil. Here's a YouTube tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNBvNzvJGH0
This seems like a great option for foiling paper or anything other stock that can be printed on. But I'm trying to get this artwork directly onto a hard cover. Or have a way to affix that printed foiled output to the hard cover.
 

gsbatch

Active member
Find a good used Kingsley foil stamper. Simple and gets the job done. Many book stores use them to personalize Bibles etc.
 

CliffSpielman

Well-known member
I just noticed some nice looking import machines on Amazon for under $500.
Yeah, I've noticed that. On eBay as well. Some (or most or all) of them don't stamp more than a few letters, or one line of letters, etc. Some of them list a stamp area of let's say 10x13cm but then they show the rack that only holds one line of text. So I've stayed away from those so far. I'll give it another look.

There's a machine I've seen on MyBinding that seems perfect for stamping hard book covers. It's pricy at $1250 but what bugs me more is that a set of type is about $580. I'm trying to find out if the rack it uses can use fonts from a different mfg, perhaps some vintage type on eBay.
https://www.mybinding.com/masterbind-goldpress-4-hot-stamping-machine.html
 

Lorenzo lab guy

Well-known member
We have an Impress Foil Xpress machine that does exactly what you are looking for. It sells into the book cover market. The only issue is what you consider "inexpensive" I think we paid around $7000 for ours. We have used it to foil decorate photos, leather tags and a number of other things. I would say it paid off in about a year for us. Ask for Rita and tell them Larry and Rochelle sent you - good people.
 

CliffSpielman

Well-known member
We have an Impress Foil Xpress machine that does exactly what you are looking for. It sells into the book cover market. The only issue is what you consider "inexpensive" I think we paid around $7000 for ours. We have used it to foil decorate photos, leather tags and a number of other things. I would say it paid off in about a year for us. Ask for Rita and tell them Larry and Rochelle sent you - good people.
I've been looking at something like this. These are a different beast though. From what I understand, the "print head" moves and can cover large areas like a printer does. Maybe for my next birthday. :) I'm trying to stay around $1000 for a hot stamper that can fit the entire book title, or perhaps something cheaper that can only fit let's say my company name. The primary artwork will be on a dust jacket. I just don't like the idea of having absolutely no identifier on the cover itself.

Another option I was thinking about, though I doubt it will look the way I want, is to print cover art on synthetic white stock, laminate it, cut to something like 5x5" (TBD) and then glue (the ugly part) to the cover itself. I don't like this but I may play with it.

I'm finding the hot stamping investigation frustrating.
 

Lorenzo lab guy

Well-known member
I've been looking at something like this. These are a different beast though. From what I understand, the "print head" moves and can cover large areas like a printer does. Maybe for my next birthday. :) I'm trying to stay around $1000 for a hot stamper that can fit the entire book title, or perhaps something cheaper that can only fit let's say my company name. The primary artwork will be on a dust jacket. I just don't like the idea of having absolutely no identifier on the cover itself.

Another option I was thinking about, though I doubt it will look the way I want, is to print cover art on synthetic white stock, laminate it, cut to something like 5x5" (TBD) and then glue (the ugly part) to the cover itself. I don't like this but I may play with it.

I'm finding the hot stamping investigation frustrating.
We have an old hot foil stamper that we used for photos but have stopped using it. The lead type rounds off after a while and we had trouble finding new lead type. Also, old fashioned lead typesetting loses its glamour after a few hundred jobs. The Impress is digital and sets up fast. It has a limited print area but works fine for everything we do. I forgot to mention foiled Christmas cards - there is a big opportunty there if you are in the greeting card business. Like any highly specialized device, the key is to find several niches for it. We get a 75 cent upcharge on a foil add-on Christmas card and I think it uses 3 cents of gold foil for that.
 
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gregbatch

Well-known member
Yeah, I've noticed that. On eBay as well. Some (or most or all) of them don't stamp more than a few letters, or one line of letters, etc. Some of them list a stamp area of let's say 10x13cm but then they show the rack that only holds one line of text. So I've stayed away from those so far. I'll give it another look.

There's a machine I've seen on MyBinding that seems perfect for stamping hard book covers. It's pricy at $1250 but what bugs me more is that a set of type is about $580. I'm trying to find out if the rack it uses can use fonts from a different mfg, perhaps some vintage type on eBay.
https://www.mybinding.com/masterbind-goldpress-4-hot-stamping-machine.html
There is a machine on Amazon for about $430 that has a 5x4 heat plate. I don't think it includes a chase, but they never give you much anyway. Usually a small single line chase. You would want to order a good self-centering multiline chase anyway. Another option is just to have a die made for each title. Honestly, in the long run it may give you the best results for the investment. You have unlimited options for type styles and layout. You can include graphic elements as well.

I know you want to keep your investment in the $1000 range, but its worth mentioning that there are digital machines on Amazon for much less than Foil Xpress - about $3,300.
 

CliffSpielman

Well-known member
There is a machine on Amazon for about $430 that has a 5x4 heat plate. I don't think it includes a chase, but they never give you much anyway. Usually a small single line chase. You would want to order a good self-centering multiline chase anyway. Another option is just to have a die made for each title. Honestly, in the long run it may give you the best results for the investment. You have unlimited options for type styles and layout. You can include graphic elements as well.

I know you want to keep your investment in the $1000 range, but its worth mentioning that there are digital machines on Amazon for much less than Foil Xpress - about $3,300.
The $200-400 hot stamper on Amazon is the direction I'm leaning towards, along with a couple of custom dies obtained elsewhere. I noticed those cheaper foil printers but they make me nervous. Buying through Amazon is likely less risky than through Dhgate or AliExpress, but I'd rather get one of the $5K-7K range machines at some point. First I have to make a few bucks from this self-publishing project. Thanks.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
The $200-400 hot stamper on Amazon is the direction I'm leaning towards, along with a couple of custom dies obtained elsewhere. I noticed those cheaper foil printers but they make me nervous. Buying through Amazon is likely less risky than through Dhgate or AliExpress, but I'd rather get one of the $5K-7K range machines at some point. First I have to make a few bucks from this self-publishing project. Thanks.
I specifically mention the $430 machine because of the foil take-up system. It will make life much easier. Some of the cheaper ones don't have this. They will hold a spool of foil, but nothing to manage the spent foil. Good luck with your project.
 

CliffSpielman

Well-known member
I wound up coming full circle and getting a basic import:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H97H9RQ


Foil stamping is new to me. Few or none of the machines I've seen (besides the incredibly cool foil printers) are truly what I'd like. So I'll cut my teeth on this basic model. If I can get custom dies and stamp a logo I'll be happy for now. The book dust jacket will have the complete title, artwork, etc. I appreciate everybody's input.
 

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Color is in demand in all types of documents, making color management a critical part of Digital Printing 5.0. Managing color on one device/press can be an easy task with the correct tools and processes. But managing color to ensure printed pages are consistent and repeatable across the different substrates and color gamuts of toner and inkjet can be a much bigger challenge. Properly implemented color management workflows can help achieve consistent color results across multiple devices. Although many end-customers are claiming satisfaction with “pleasing color,” two challenges are still in play. Link to Article

 
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