Technical Terms


• Toner Reactive Foils (TRF) vs. Hot Stamping Foils:

Foils that will only transfer to plastic (a basic component of "toner"). You can use any laser or copier (B&W or Color) to print the image, then cover with a foil and apply heat and pressure over the foil using a conventional hot-roller laminator. The foils have a unique coating that will only transfer to the toner printed image. Hot Stamping Foils look identical to TRF foils except they will transfer to anything without using toner images. In order to create a particular foil image on paper stock, you have to use a fabricated metal "die", heat it and hit the front of the foil. These foils are used only in the mass-production printing world as a special printing device is used to hold and heat the die and transport papers through the unit not unlike a conventional offset printing press.


• Hot Roll Pouch Laminators:

Many years ago, conventional "pouch laminators" (small, inexpensive units where you'd insert a photo or document into a premade plastic pouch - hence their name) would seal the image by melting the plastic pouch. They used to use flat heaters placed between cold transport rollers. GBC corporation developed the first "externally heated" rollers many years ago for one main objective ... to apply pressure and heat at the same time to prevent air bubbles from getting trapped inside the melting plastic pouches. This just so happens to be exactly what's needed to apply TRF foils. This is why they are the best way to transfer TRF foils - far superior than using a household clothes iron. (Note: There are also big format "Hot Roll" laminators that cost thousands of dollars using "internally heated" rollers just like that of the fuser roller used in all laser printers. These big units are way over-kill for transferring TRF foils.


• CMYK vs. RGB:

An abbreviation for color printers that use Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black, referred to as "process color". The ability of all color printers (laser, injet and commercial offset printing) to be able to recreate 16.7 million colors using special screen angles forming what are called "rosettes" - the optical illusion to your eye. It's all based on how light is either reflected off a color printed page, or if the light is sent directly to your eye (in the case of a TV or computer monitor) in which case the same 16.7 million colors are recreated using Red, Green and Blue colors (called "RGB"). Looking at a "color wheel", you'll see that CMYK and RGB colors are exactly 45º off between these two groups of colors. It's fascinating to check out some day when you have nothing better to do. RGB stands for Red-Green-Blue - the three colors for "transmissive" light (TV's and computer monitors). Simply put, with a CMYK printed color page, turning all colors off will give you white (the paper itself) but with transmissive light (RGB) you turn ON all 3 colors to get white! Reflective and Transmissive light is a very interesting subject how light effects how we perceive color.



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