ROKKAKU Technique and Design Chronicle Vol. 2

〈Expanding the Possibilities of Foil Stamping〉

Traditional foil stamping techniques breathe life into patterns with their vibrant shine, intricate textures, and delicate feel. This process involves transferring foils onto paper through the application of heat and pressure using a patterned die. The result is a stunning flourish of gold or silver foil that enhances the paper’s surface. Although this technique has been passed down through generations, ROKKAKU has expanded its creative potential by using a variety of foils in different combinations and employing dies with diverse designs.

Originating over 100 years ago on Rokkaku-dori Street in Kyoto, the ROKKAKU foil stamping brand has consistently pushed the boundaries of technique and design. In this volume, we will showcase a selection of the more than 200 innovative products we have developed, highlighting the evolution and rich history of our brand.



  • 01
    Taking on the New Challenge of Creating Luxurious, Multicolored Foil-Stamped Stationery
  • 02
    Expanding Beyond Images of Special Occasions: ROKKAKU’s Diverse Product Development

Taking on the New Challenge of Creating Luxurious, Multicolored Foil-Stamped Stationery

▶︎Pursuing an Air of Luxury with the Kotoha Series

As ROKKAKU continues to expand the creative possibilities of foil stamping, the brand is refining its technique to achieve more nuanced expressions. The premium Kotoha series exemplifies this advancement. By integrating traditional designs with singular motifs in multicolored foil, the series captures an unprecedented level of opulence and detail, elevating the luxurious feel of the products.
Foil stamping inherently carries a luxurious quality, but ROKKAKU has pushed this further by refining the thinness of the lines and minimizing the size of the cutouts, enhancing the texture and shimmer of the foil. This meticulous attention to detail in the design process underscores the rich expressions achievable through advanced foil stamping techniques.

The expertise developed during the creation of the Kotoha Series is also being applied to the production of the Animal Series.
Here, the characters and illustrations are crafted to such fine dimensions that the foil appears almost ethereal, emphasizing the delicate beauty of the material.

▶︎Foil Seal Stamp Books— From Gifts to Personal Use Items

As ROKKAKU marks a century of innovation, the brand continues to embrace new challenges in the development of paper products with a focus on technique and design. One of the latest innovations is the Foil Seal Stamp Books, designed not as gifts like traditional letter sets and postcards but for personal use.
During a period when Japan was experiencing a “seal stamp boom” with visitors to temples and shrines collecting unique seal stamps, ROKKAKU identified a niche for seal stamp books featuring full-surface foil designs. Leveraging their expertise, the brand developed multicolored foil seal stamp books. These books feature intricate, continuous patterns across their entirety, offering a simple yet sophisticated foil design that enhances their appeal.

The designs of these books include motifs like peacock feathers, confetti, cherry blossoms, and flowers, making them a stylish addition to everyday life, much like stationery items.

To gauge interest in these products, ROKKAKU utilized crowdfunding, which proved the demand was high with an achievement rate exceeding 150%. This success has not only validated the appeal of the Foil Seal Stamp Books but also spurred the development of additional stationery items intended for daily use.

Expanding Beyond Images of Special Occasions: ROKKAKU’s Diverse Product Development

▶︎Items with Seasonal Motifs That Add Flair with Foil Throughout the Year

ROKKAKU has broadened its product range beyond traditional gifts to include items for personal use, while still offering options suitable for gifting. Initially, the focus was on products designed for special occasions like birthdays, New Year’s celebrations, and weddings. However, the brand has evolved to produce foil-stamped items that are versatile enough for any occasion and can be used any time of the year.
One such innovation is the Koyomi Hagaki, a calendar postcard series that beautifully incorporates foil stamping to illustrate various plants and animals, symbolizing the changes through the seasons. Each card in the series corresponds to a different month, from January to December, providing a fitting greeting for each part of the year.

Initially conceived as a postcard series, Koyomi Hagaki was later transformed into a calendar format, allowing the full collection of 12 designs to be appreciated daily. This adaptation not only retained the original designs but also expanded their use, making it possible for the seasonal images to be enjoyed as decorative personal items throughout the year.

Each motif is crafted using two colors of foil, resulting in designs that showcase the 12 distinct motifs in combination with the foil, enhancing their visual appeal.

▶︎The Development of Items for Everyday Use and as Interior Decor

The development of items like the Koyomi Hagaki calendars and foil-stamped seal stamp books has spurred new possibilities for making foil stamping a delightful part of daily life. ROKKAKU is committed to creating products that are not only functional but also enjoyable, thus making foil stamping more accessible.

The Cafe Teddy series represents a departure from traditional cards and letter sets, designed to resemble decor items that one would display at home. This series extends beyond typical stationery items such as notebooks, decorative tapes, and stickers, offering products that integrate into personal spaces more seamlessly. The design strategy focuses on integrating foil subtly into the artwork, making it a complementary part of the overall aesthetic rather than the central feature. This approach allows the items to blend naturally into everyday environments.

The use of only gold foil lends a soft, yet elegant touch to these designs, enhancing their appeal without overpowering the artistic elements.

Additionally, the ROKKAKU × Misuzu Uta collaboration brings the poetry of Misuzu Kaneko to life through meticulously designed products that combine foil stamping with creative visuals. These designs add depth and a sense of three-dimensionality, immersing users in Kaneko’s poetic universe. The collection includes a variety of items, from bookmarks and Small Gift Envelopes to notebooks, catering to both gift-giving and personal enjoyment.

This lineup boasts a wide range of designs, each crafted to capture the essence of the poetry while being a functional and aesthetically pleasing addition to everyday life.

These products, while primarily stationery, also serve as interior decorations, appealing to a broader audience beyond stationery lovers. Encouraged by this success, ROKKAKU is now exploring an expansion into everyday household items like tableware, further integrating aesthetics and functionality.

ROKKAKU’s history is marked by continuous experimentation in both technique and design, constantly exploring the evolving role of foil stamping. From commemorating special celebrations to enhancing everyday moments, ROKKAKU strives to add elegance and significance to the important events in each person’s life.

In Japanese, the phrase “foil is attached” signifies added prestige. True to this expression, foil not only imparts a sense of dignity to objects but has also become a versatile element in daily use. As ROKKAKU continues to pioneer new possibilities in foil stamping, the brand eagerly embraces new challenges, aiming to bring even more sparkle and refinement to the lives of its customers.