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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 leather specially made for bookbinding. Any font or design can be printed in gold—including 23K real gold—directly from computer, without expensive metal type or custom dies required by traditional hot stamping.
The Process. The machine is mostly used for commercial foiling including by some small press publishers. I've adapted the machine and the process for use on quality bookbinding leather.

Traditional hot stamping offers generally sharper type, using metal dies to press the foil into the material (debossing). But this digital machine uses the same hot stamping metallic foil, applying it with a patented "electric pulse" printhead (see photo) as it moves under 50 pounds or more of pressure. The type is strongly adhered.

Most of the leathers I use are from Hewit in the UK. A polymer varnish applied after foiling can add extra durability (see below). Customers have used the labels on a wide array of books—some dating back to the 17th century—along with protective boxes, albums, portfolios and more.

This direct foiling method contrasts with other digital foiling systems which require intermediate steps involving toner, UV sensitive glue, screens and/or decals. The labels can be attached with white PVA glue and/or wheat paste—see instructions (pdf).


Protective Coating:

Though not required, I normally apply a very thin sealer, consisting of a UV stabilized polymer varnish made by Golden (the same sealer used on many expensive artworks). This does not signficantly alter the look or feel of the leather. The varnished label can be mounted and handled but can take a few weeks to fully cure.

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

Personalized cases, bookmarks & more

The foiling page features personalized cases for Kindles, Fires, Ipads, Iphones and other electronics as well as customized bookmarks.  Also.  I've done spot foiling on paper, book wraps, report covers, title pages, scrapbooks, etc. One-offs or small runs at very reasonable pices. 

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.

Email: info@AstLabels.com

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.