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- ABOUT -

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 -- directly from computer, without metal type or custom dies required by traditional hot stamping.
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The Process. The machine is in use for commercial foiling -- marketing items, garment tags, personalized datebooks/diaries, certificates, etc -- and by a few small press and specialty publishers. I've adapted the machine and the process for use on quality bookbinding leather.

Traditional hot stamping offers generally sharper type and more forcefully bonds the foil to the material (debossing). But customers have been well satisfied with the look and durabiltiy of these labels. They have been used on a wide array of books -- some dating back to the 17th century -- along with protective boxes, albums, portfolios and more.

The machine uses a patented "electric pulse" printhead (see photo) to heat and adhere foil as it moves under 50 pounds or more of pressure. This direct foiling method contrasts with other digital systems which use intermediate steps involving toner, UV sensitive glue, screens or decals -- all less reliable and prone to flaws. A sizing agent (used in bookbinding) is applied to some leathers to enhance detail. An archival sealer (see below) enhances durability. The labels can be attached with white PVA glue and/or wheat paste -- see instructions (pdf).

The machine sends pulses of energy to an electronic array in this printhead to heat the gold foil. This array is covered by a thin layer of hard silica. During printing, 50 or so pounds of pressure is applied as the printhead moves.

sealer

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

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. 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

ASTERISK BOOKS & LABELS
Hoboken, NJ.

Email: info@AstLabels.com
Phone:201-239-9334

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.