There will come a time when you need to show how foil can enhance a design, but you don’t want to go through the process of producing a die and then foil stamping the sample or mock-up. However, you can avoid these steps by reproducing a foil effect in Photoshop that may sell your design without the cost and time involved to produce an actual stamped sample:
1) Select the area that will have the foil effect. Create a new layer and title it “Foil”.
2) Select a gradient from the pre-set gradients list. The Copper pre-set is a good one to start out with. Choose either the Linear or the Reflected gradient effect and set the mode to Difference.
3) Fill the selection with the gradient. Now fill it again utilizing a different angle. Repeat a few times, starting at different locations and using different angles to fill it. The end result should be an area that has random-looking highlights and shadows. If the highlights/shadows have too much contrast, use Gaussian Blur to smooth out the area (locking the transparency on the layer will help keep the edges of the selection sharp).
Use the Curves command or the Levels command to bring out the mid-tone areas a little more, since this is where the color will show up the most.
4) Use Hue/Saturation to adjust the color of the foil effect. Select Colorize in the dialog box to get a uniform color. Increase the Saturation amount to make the color more intense.
This tutorial is just to get you started. Try applying a Bevel/Emboss Layer Style effect with a very high softening amount and a low Shadow Mode percentage to give the area a slight embossed effect. Use a very small Drop Shadow (set the light source to the lower left or right) to give the effect of the die leaving a slight impression in the paper. For a holographic look, use the Rainbow gradient pre-set and change the mode to color as your last gradient fill, and don’t Colorize during your Hue/Saturation adjustments. The most helpful tip, though, is to have some foil sample books from foil manufacturers on hand; first, so that you can match your colors to what’s available and second, so you can see if the effect you’ve created on-screen is a close match to the foil you see in real life.