Why different print finishes have an impact on finished graphic design material

Written on the 1 May 2015 by VB Designs

You're a business on the Gold Coast and need some promotional material.  You've got your graphic design settled on, and everything is spell-checked and ready to go.  All you need to do now is print off a few thousand copies and distribute.  But have you decided on a print finish?  There is a multitude of different ways that you can finish your material, and each one has its effect.  Let's take a look at some of the different finishes that you can choose with your graphic design team to get the right result to compliment your business. 

Varnishes:  A varnish can be glossy or matte, and it gives the paper a smooth, consistent texture.  It helps to protect the page as it seals in the ink.  Varnishes are usually oil or water based.

Lamination:  This also gives a protective layer to the page, but it is normally plastic based.  It gives a highly smooth feel to the paper and gives added sturdiness. Used mostly for business cards.  Again, the finish can be glossy or matte, but if you use a high-gloss laminate you will get a sharper and more contrasted image.  If you choose a matte laminate, it can make the print feel and look quite elegant.

Foil Stamping:  This is where a metal material (a foil) is applied (stamped) to the print.  It is usually used to highlight text or company logo, and gives a reflective finish that can make the page look a bit luxurious. 

Spot UV Varnish:  If you want to varnish certain areas of your material, spot UV varnish can be used to make an image stand out.  High tech printers apply the varnish, and it is dried out with UV lights.  This method is used to draw your eye to the varnished image, which appears glossy and shiny compared to the rest of the untreated page.

Embossing:  Embossing adds emphasis and gives a page texture as it raises the parts of the print.  You can feel the embossed image/text if you run your finger over it.  You can also combine it with other techniques, like foil stamping, if you want to make your print stand out.

Letterpress:  Letterpress, also known as debossing, in that it is the opposite of embossing.  In letterpress, the text or image is depressed rather than raised.  Interestingly, it is the oldest printing technique in the world and was only used as a method for applying ink to a page.  However, it has been developed so that other elements, like logos, can be done too.

Die Cutting: Rounded corners, a shape cut out of the middle of your material, or your brochure cut into a specialised shape. Consider die cutting as an option to stand out amongst the crowd. Business cards with 1 - 4 rounded corners are popular, and very cost effective. If you choose a unique shape for your marketing material, a die (or knife) needs to be created to cut out your individual shape. Although this is an additional cost, the initial die creation can be used over and over for up to 100,000 prints. Therefore, you can update your artwork each time and have cut into the same shape!

There are many other different types of print finishes out there.  Good print finish can make an ordinary print stand out from the crowd.  Ask the advice of your Gold Coast graphic designer; they will have good ideas about what will work for you and your Gold Coast business.

Author:VB Designs