Print finishes to bowl you over

David Blades
June 24, 2019

What is a print finish?

A finish is any effect that is put onto the stock (such as paper) after it is printed. This is not to be confused with the substrate itself. We can print on a range of media including a wide range of paper, card and plastics. There is a diverse variety of finishes available including; a range of laminates, spot UV, holographic, embossing, debossing, and foiling. Each of these gives a very different effect to your print and can really add the ‘wow’ factor to your collateral.

So, what is a laminate and what does it look like? A laminated print is when the piece of collateral is sandwiched between two sheets of clear plastic film (or film is laid on top, if the print is one sided). Printed literature can be laminated to increase its durability, preventing tearing and damage, whilst adding shine and vibrancy to the ink. Laminating a menu, for example, would be an ideal solution to prevent staining on the printed piece.

Next, we have spot UV. This is where a transparent shiny layer is applied to specific areas of the print, to create contrast to its surroundings and add that extra eye-catching flair. A spot UV can look really effective when placed on images for example, to create a glossy standout from the matt background or text.

Holographic laminate is exactly that, a laminate with a holographic effect. This can be applied to a wide range of stocks and can add a really nice touch to your marketing collateral.

Embossing and debossing are very popular with printed books; when the client wants the literature title to standout but in a subtler way. Embossing is when an image is raised from the background, in a similar way to braille. Whereas debossing is when a pattern or text is pressed into the surface, so it appears sunken into the substrate. In turn there can be a slight raised surface on the inside of the literature, where the pattern has sunk into the front.

Foil blocking can really add the ‘wow’ factor to print and give a premium look and feel. Foil block printing is when a metal dye is moulded and heat-stamped onto the substrate with a thin sheet of metal foil in-between. Foiling can look great as an embellishment on a luxury brochure or piece of direct mail.

Tempted by the look of a print finish? Talk to our friendly team today who will be happy to show you some samples of what’s possible.

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