Artwork for Ribbon: Multi-Color Printing


Part of getting the most out of your Malahide Hot Stamping Press is understanding how our machinery can allow you to produce multi-colored hot stamped designs.


Malahide Ribbon Printing Systems are different than many in the way we run our foil. Most presses run foil from side to side, with the flow of the ribbon. Malahide Ribbon Printing Systems run the foil across the ribbon (i.e.: ribbon runs east-west, foil runs south-north). This allows you to segment the color of the ribbon by running different rolls of foil, of different widths up to a total width of 10″. Using this process, precise 4 – 5 color designs can be created to run and register at high speeds.  There are two ways to run multi-color foil set-ups: Bands of Color and Multi-Color Stepping.


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Bands of Color Printing Process

As shown in the above diagram, by simply running different rolls of different colored foil across the substrate, one can easily produce segmented multi-color prints.


Multi-Color Ribbon Example

Multi-Color Ribbon Example

More complex to set-up are registered, multi-color designs. These designs are distinguished from the ‘Bands of Color” method because they require one color to print directly onto the top of another. This is achieved by stamping the ribbon multiple times in one pass.

Remembering that the print area is generally 10″ long, taking the sample above, if one pulls the ribbon only 5″ per cycle, it follows that in the 10″ print area, one will have 2 opportunities to hot stamp a design onto the ribbon. By setting up each 5″ side of the 10″ die with a separate color of foil, the printing process runs:

  1. Print Stage #1 with 1st color
  2. Advance ribbon 5″ (pulls it half-printed over to Print Stage #2)
  3. Print Stage #2 on top of Stage #1
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Multi-Color Stepping Printing Process

Using this method, one can practically hot stamp up to a 4 color designs (each color 2.5″ long).


An implication of using a multi-color stepping process is that with every additional color you add, the overall length of the design you can print decreases.  The chart below demonstrates the ratio between the number of colors and length of design.

# of Colors 3 x 10″ Print Area 4 x 12″ Print Area
1 10″ long 12″ long
2 5″ long 6″ long
3 3.33″ long 4″ long
4 2.5″ long 3″ long



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