About the Labels

Unlimited fonts, designs...gold on thin leather


The labels are produced on an advanced digital foiling machine — made in the U.S. by ImPress Systems — on thin, quality bookbinding leather from Hewit in the U.K. Any font or design can be printed in gold without the need for the metal type or custom dies required by traditional hot stamping.


The Process: The machine's digital print head applies heat and pressure to specially formulated hot stamping foil. The gilt foil is very strongly adhered. It cannot be scratched off without a knife. For some labels, a ph-neutral sizing agent is applied to the leather to enhance detail.

Protective Coating: To provide an extra measure of protection, I normally apply a very thin sealer, consisting of a soft gel isolation layer and a final varnish made by Golden (the same sealer used on many expensive artworks). This does not signficantly alter the look or feel of the leather.


Pricing: I've tried to keep the price reasonable [at $8 for 4 sq. inches for black leather). By comparison, most binders charge $15+ for a hot stamped label -- with limited fonts and designs -- and add surcharges per line of text -- see here and here. Custom magnesium hot stamping dies are typically $30-$50. I am willing to work out a discount for multiple labels or other applications on a case-by-case basis - contact me.

Other applications: The foil machine can be used for a great many other products where foiling is needed on paper, leather, bonded leather, vinyl, or other smooth materials. It does not work well with most untreated book cloths. It can also print on pens and similar round objects. I've done spot foiling on paper, book spines, report covers, personalized diaries/date books, etc..


How to Attach

The labels can be easily attached with white PVA glue -- I recommend Sobo available at craft and hardware stores. A pdf file with more detailed instructions and tips is available here.


Asterisk Books

Asterisk Books has been selling used and rare books in the New York-New Jersey area for 25 years. I've made custom leather book labels for nearly 20 years.