Cold foil evolved from hot foil stamping. Hot foil stamping is mostly used offline when foil is required on a preprinted substrate, such as in the manufacture of greeting cards and special occasion ribbons. Hot foil is economical but very slow.
The types of graphics that can be applied are usually limited to text and bold images. Hot foil is not usable with heat-sensitive substrates such as polyethylene, vinyl, or shrink film.