Coatings & Effects
This refers to whether the paper is to be coated with a special surface or whether it is to be left uncoated (i.e. just the paper and its printed inks). Some examples are as follows:
Water based machine coating
In order to overcome the drying delay with Litho printing, we have a water based coater installed inline on the Heidelberg, which coats the ink with a thin (3 micron) layer of lacquer. This means the print is completely dry when it comes off the press, with the exception of uncoated paper which can still take up to 24 hours.
Coating is available as a gloss or matt finish and is automatically applied to gloss or silk paper, respectively, on Litho printed work. It gives a premium smooth finish with complete rub resistance.
This is similar to overall UV varnish, but instead of a varnish, the paper is coated with a very thin transparent shiny film. This is the most common since it gives results, which are more glossy and protective than overall UV without suffering from the cracking effect along the fold lines.
This is also very popular and is the same process as gloss laminating, but provides a matt finish. It gives a very matt finish without dulling ink vibrancy and is a good substitute where gloss is not suitable. For additional effect, spot UV can be applied to any area of the matt laminate to give a part shiny, part matt finish.
We also stock a silk laminate (which sits somewhere in between gloss and matt in its appearance), as well as a soft touch laminate (also known as velvet) which uses microscopic air bubbles in the surface of the film giving a special ‘soft’ feeling.
Spot UV varnish
This is performed as a separate process and makes selected areas of the job a high gloss, the ‘spot areas’. UV varnish is only used to cover part of a printed page as this can be useful for drawing the eye to one area of the design.
It should not be used over fold or crease lines as the varnish can crack.
Summary of finishes
- Machine coating is the simplest and most cost effective.
- Spot UV is for use when you want to contrast certain areas from matt to gloss.
- Matt and gloss laminating are the better option for quality on folded jobs (or indeed flat sheets).
Notes: The cost of the machine coating process is small compared with the other processes and in most cases will not be charged. Matt or gloss laminate and UV varnish are all roughly the same in cost and provide the best results. Any of the processes can be applied to one or both sides of a sheet. Also note that the laminating processes we use are not in any way similar to the process used to laminate ID cards and the like, i.e. where the laminate hangs out around the edge of the sheet; this is known as encapsulating. Please request some samples from us if you would like to see and feel the difference.