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Custom Leather Book Labels

Any Font or Design - Digital Gilt Foiling

About the labels...

The labels are produced on an advanced, U.S.-made digital foiling machine using thin, quality bookbinding leather from Hewit in the U.K. Any font or design can be printed in gold  -- including 22k real gold -- without the need for the metal type or custom dies required by traditional hot stamping.
The Process. The machine, invented some 30 years ago, has been used mostly for commercial foiling -- report covers and spines, personalized datebooks/diaries, garment tags, invitations, certificates, etc. It is also in use by some small press book publishers. I've  adapted the machine and the process for use on quality bookbinding leather.  

Customers have been well satisfied with the look and durability of this digital foiling. Traditional hot stamping offers generally sharper type and a stronger bond of the foil pressed into the material (debossing). But it is also less flexible in terms of fonts and design and more expensive. I normally add an archival sealer (see below) to enhance durability. For some labels, a ph-neutral sizing agent is applied to the leather to enhance detail The labels can be easily attached with white PVA glue and/or wheat paste -- see instructions (pdf).

While this digital foiling may not be appropriate for very rare books or expensive fine bindings, it has worked nicely for a wide array of books -- some dating back to the 17th century -- protective boxes, albums and other projects. I'm happy to answer any questions and provide samples.


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.

price labels illustration


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. Discounts available for multiple labels or other applications  - contact me.

Other Applications illustration

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.  I've done spot foiling on paper, book wraps, report covers, title pages, scrapbooks, etc..

More Customer Comments

   I received the labels and decorations. They look perfect!    

Bookseller, WA

    Thanks for a great job. I absolutely hate stamping titles, so I am going to be sending you more ... 

Bookbinder, PA

   They are great and I'm sure will look really good on the portfolios..   

Bookseller, UK

Hoboken, NJ.


Asterisk Books has been selling used and rare books in the New York-New Jersey area for 25 years and making custom leather labels for over 15 years.