The go-to foil guide for brands, designers, and printers.

Foilco, suppliers of the world’s widest range of stamping foil shades and finishes, has revolutionised the swatch book with the launch of INDEX – the first fully customisable foil swatch book for the design and print industry.

Since Pantone’s founder, Lawrence Herbert, first launched the Pantone Matching System in 1963, swatch books have been a staple for designers and printers. Global brands have long recognised the power, psychology, and emotion of colour in their product design. Coupled with the fact that almost a third of product purchasing decisions are based on packaging, means that decisions made at the concept stage have a critical impact on the success of a product.

With that in mind, Foilco’s INDEX swatch book has been meticulously designed by its in-house team to inspire brands, designers, and printers. Throughout the design process, from concept to the end product, it will simplify the selection of the right foil shades and finishes to really bring customers’ designs to life.

A history of innovation

Foilco, a family-run business, was established in 1987 by David Hornby and is located in the North West of England, near Manchester. It has a longstanding history within the industry for offering completely bespoke, innovative foil products and services to meet customers’ requirements.

Back in 2010, Foilco launched its first edition swatch book, The Selection, which contained tear-out chip samples of each unique foil type and colour for designers and printers to add to job sheets. That simple, practical idea revolutionised the design and creative process of selecting foils.

Now, with INDEX, the transformation continues. The tear-out foil chips that made The Selection and subsequent D4 Edition swatch books such a success remain, with countless new and improved features propelling INDEX to the next level.

The Foilco team understands the importance of packaging design to perfectly complement the product while remaining durable, fit-for-purpose and sustainable. INDEX meets all these criteria and more. It’s the first fully customisable foil swatch book in the industry, designed with equal priority given to the environment and the end user’s requirements.

Customisable and environmentally friendly

INDEX is designed with a loose-leaf format, including 208 individual, fully-recyclable cards, which together showcase the full range of Foilco foils. Recognising that colour is key to brands and designers; the swatch cards have been grouped in colourways comprising an array of different finishes.

Explains Foilco’s Sales Director, Matt Hornby, “What makes INDEX unique is its ability to be entirely reordered and recategorized to suit the user. The book could be reorganised into brand colours for a specific product range or reordered by a client’s price range. It’s designed to make our customers’ and creatives’ lives easier, to help speed up decision-making, and to inspire them during the creative process.”

The cards are grouped in tonal colours in a three-stack ring binder with three dividers in each stack. Each individual swatch card contains a solid block of foil at the top, an illustration of the foil in various sizes of font type, details of the name, finish and colour of the foil, as well as four tear-off foil chip samples.

Adds Matt, “Most swatch books are fixed bound, meaning that when a particular foil or colour is discontinued or a new product introduced, the entire book needs reprinting and reissuing. Similarly, if a customer has run out of foil chip samples for a specific foil, they’ve historically had to order a whole new swatch book. With INDEX, we can send out individual swatch cards to our customers to add to their books. This makes INDEX completely futureproof, adaptable, and far more sustainable.”

On the reverse of each card is a unique QR code linking the customer back to Foilco’s website, where the full product details for that specific foil can be found. Linking the physical and the digital seamlessly, customers can use this QR code to access a range of downloadable digital assets, as well as order a sample roll or test card of the foil on their chosen stock. This QR code also sits on the back of each foil sample chip, meaning the recipient of the sample has all the digital details too.

The devil’s in the detail.

Everything with INDEX has been fully considered, with the users of the swatch book at the heart of every detail. From the foil type icons donating special foils, pigment foils, and metallic foils to the representative names given to each foil colour. These seemingly small details elevate INDEX, allowing brands, designers, and printers to engage with the huge range of foils available to them, inspiring their creativity and saving them time.

The Foilco team knows that tapping into the sense of touch is a great way to create stronger connections. That’s why they’ve designed INDEX using recycled leather shreds that would normally end up in landfill to give the binder the luxurious texture of leather. The divider cards, sample archive, and fanfold collection are made using uncoated board, giving them an appealing, natural feel. The swatch cards are made from a single-sided, coated board that helps to make the foil colours really pop. Every individual foil card plus the divider cards, sample box and fanfold cards are repulpable as the foil on them is so thin that it dissipates in the re-pulping process.

Even the box that sits snugly behind the swatch cards has been designed with a dual purpose. It not only keeps the cards flat and pristine but also doubles up as a sample box and storage place for torn-off foil chips. And the box at the front of the binder contains the fanfold collection – a quick overview of all Foilco foils ordered tonally.

Owners of the INDEX swatch book will also benefit from first access to promotional materials and special events, as well as complimentary product updates.

Concludes Matt, “INDEX has been three years in the making and has been a true team effort. We’ve been through multiple iterations of the design and added numerous features to make it the most appealing, user-friendly, sustainable, and, I believe, flawless swatch book of its kind. I’m sure it will be a proud and well-used addition to the shelves and desks of many brands, designers, and printers.”

To order your copy of the fully customisable INDEX swatch book, please visit In the UK, INDEX will retail at £90, including delivery. Deliveries are also available to Europe and the rest of the world through our website. Any new or replacement swatch cards, as well as additional foil samples, are included in this one-off, initial cost.


Foil: Foilco
Design: Studio DBD
Photography: Craeft Studio
Folder: Folders Ltd
Printing: A14 Printers
Paper Material: Iggesund Paperboard, Invercote G. 330gsm.
Board Material: ESKA, Grey Board 3mm, Black Board 2mm, Black Board 1.75mm
Foiling Dies: Dreyer Kliche
Fanfold Collection Box and Sample Archive: Marceli Printery

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