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Frequently Asked Questions


Unfortunately, foil colours are not produced to match pantone colours. Please contact us and our team member will research a potential sample/swatch from our foil supplier that is the closest available match to a specific pantone colour. Please, don't be disappointed if you find out it isn't a particularly close match.
Yes! We ship our orders worldwide and send orders to the US every week. Furthermore, we also have a US based rep that can supply foil swatches, card samples and sample packs to reduce delivery time. We'll gladly assist you with placing an order and provide a reasonable shipping quote too! US customers are also not charged our UK based tax, which is why there is no shipping option for the US on our site (we don't want you paying extra tax!). A US subdomain is in development to allow online checkout without tax. Until we deploy this domain, please contact us at support(at)afterhourscreativestudio.com for quotes and shipping costs.
You may place an order via our website, over the phone or contact us directly. Our online prices may be slightly less expensive as it reduces our admin time on orders. We're hear to assist you, so we recognise that your time is valuable. To order by phone, you may reach us at +44 01288 382923, during our business hours of 9:00AM - 5:00PM GMT, Monday through Friday or email at support(at)afterhourscreativestudio.com We endeavour to answer all email queries within 2 hours, not including holidays.
We are able to supply printed colour proofs for an additional charge of £8, but we aren't able to provide a sample of your finished card. This is due to the number of processes involved and setup costs. Having one printed sample would cost the same as having 100 cards. If samples are required prior to large orders, we suggest have a minimum run of 100.
The thickest business card we offer is quadplexing of four sheets of 350gsm adhered together to create a 1400gsm finished sheet. Be warned that, 1400gsm is extremely thick, and can probably double as a door stop when not being handed to a potential customer (with both hands of course!). Our adhesive machine enables us to duplex, triplex and quadplex sheets up to SRA3 size. This process involves coating sheets with a strong adhesive and mounting them together. We allow up to 7 days for the adhesive to properly cure providing a permanent strong bond. Please note that, this service is only available for jobs printed in-house. We don’t offer duplexing, triplexing or quadplexing as a service to third parties.
Our foil presses apply foil using a combination of heat and pressure, this creates an indentation (debossed effect) in the stock when the foil is applied. We are often asked to increase the pressure for a deeper impression, since the debossed indentation is an often desired effect. Hot foil blocking is also sometimes called Foil Letterpress, due to the debossed impression it creates. We can also blind deboss without a foil colour which creates a really nice effect, especially on Cotton based papers!
The term foil embossing often gets misconstrued. Foil embossing involves applying foil, and also embossing the foil area by using a die with a counterforce, to press the design through from the back of the stock so that it is raised on the front. The end result is foil effect with a raised appearance. Standard/traditional foil blocking will not have a raised finish, it will have a slight indentation/debossed impression instead due to the heat and pressure involved during the foil blocking process.
Embossing is the opposite of debossing, and involves having your design raised on the front of the card rather than pressed in. Embossing requires the use of a counterforce to press the design through from the back of the card and is more expensive than debossing. Because the design is pressed through from the back, most people like to keep artwork on the back away from the embossed area.
Debossing involves creating an impression the card stock without a foil colour. It can be used to add a pattern to the card, text or any other artwork element. Deep debossing can create a heat/bruise mark on the opposite side.
Vector files created in Adobe Illustrator (or similar) are always preferred, as they produce the highest quality finish when it comes to foil blocking. If you are unable to supply vector files, we can work with JPEG, TIFF and PSD files, however the resolution must be 1200dpi and the artwork sharp at this resolution (no blurry/pixelated edges). Blurry edges and low resolution files will result in difficulty manufacturing foil blocking dies as well as jagged edges (especially on small text and fine lines). Although we don't offer a design service anymore, we can redraw low resolution artwork files as vector files suitable for foil blocking. There is an additional charge for this service.
File resolution must be 1200dpi. We have set up our PSD templates on our website at 1200dpi for foil blocked products.
When it comes to foil blocking text, bigger is always better, especially on textured boards. The minimum text size for foil blocking artwork is 8pt. We do not recommend a text size smaller than this size, because there is a high risk that the foil will fill in. This will make the text unlegible.
The majority of our dies are magnesium, however we also use brass and copper dies for large runs.
The bulk of the card stocks we use are uncoated and textured, which are not ideal for solid foil coverage. Solid foil coverage requires a large amount of pressure which can cause heat/bruise marks on the opposite side of the card. In addition, it can also cause the edges to 'flake' when guillotined.
If you are unsure about your artwork files, please email them to artwork(at)afterhourscreativestudio.com and we will be able to guide you.
Rainbow foil is another term for holographic foil. When this foil refracts light, a gorgeous array of rainbow colours is cast. It's a beautiful foil that is ideal for capuring the 'eye' of your target audience when foil blocked onto printed media.
Absolutely! We have a digital 5 colour press with white as a spot colour. This allows us to print white ink on coloured stocks (including black) with excellent opacity. We can also lay down CMYK inks on top of the white with excellent registration! For the best finish we recommend the Vanguard paper range from James Cropper. We can also print on smooth embossed Colorplan from GF Smith. Get in touch if you'd like some free samples of our white ink printing.
We do offer a 'rush service' on some of our products so if you're in a pinch and need something last minute the best thing to do is call us on 01288 382 923 and we'll do our best to help. If you're ordering on our website, products such as matt and velvet laminated business cards with hot foil, will have a 'rush' option. To select this option, please click on the grey button "add extras' and select the option, "I need this order FAST," click on the dropdown selection for "Ships in 4-5 business days +£(express fee)" and add the item to your cart. We encourage you to email us at support(at)afterhourscreativestudio.com to enquire about rush service on the product(s) and the time frame needed. We endeavour to answer all enquiries within 2 hours, not including holidays.
There are four colours in a standard printing process – CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). These four colours are used to create the entire spectrum of printed colours we see in the majority of printing. These CMYK inks are printed onto white stocks, so any area left unprinted appears white. By adding white as the fifth colour in CMYK printing, you can enjoy all the colours you normally design with but on coloured stocks! This includes any coloured boards as well as metallic card stocks, neon papers, pearlescent boards and a myriad of other funky and creative paper colours and styles that traditional ink print can’t reproduce!
One of the biggest differences you'll experience with After Hours Creative is that our production facility is located in the UK. This enables us to maintain constant control of our production site, labour and products. Furthermore, we strictly enforce straightlaced quality control procedures on all of our products before they ship out to a client. Such practices are not always commonplace with companies that outsource their products to companies in other countries as they often don't see the end product. Like most companies we also use trade partners (also based in the UK) to offer products/services that we don't offer in-house. If there is a genuine issue with a product despatched from one of our suppliers it will be reprinted or refunded.
It's not uncommon in the business world for a company to change it's business model. After Hours Creative have shifted our focus to a professional printing company that specialises in creative print solutions utilising digital printing, white ink printing, foil blocking, embossing, duplexing and foil edge gilding. This shift will allow us to focus more on our niche, and expand more unique products to our target audience. During this transition, we have been working with an increasing number of design professionals. To avoid competition with our clients, we have decided to cease both graphic and web design as an in-house service. If you need professional design services, please feel free to contact us for a referral at support(at)afterhourscreativestudio.com. We have excellent resources available to assist you with this process.
Unfortunately this isn't an option that we offer. In order to acquire the necessary materials and utilise our professional resources, we do request payment prior to an order being processed. This includes a digital proof, since a specialist in this field does dedicate time to the creation of your job, once it is processed. We like to cover the bases with our business but with your order too!   If your project requires a proof ahead of time, we recommend contracting with a professional designer as a starting point.



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  • support(at)afterhourscreativestudio.com

After Hours Creative, Bridgerule, Holsworthy, Devon, England, EX22 7EY

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© 2017 After Hours Creative Limited. Company No: 6857235. Registered in England. Vat No: 977 7806 49. Registered office: 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC24 9TQ. Sitemap