A Brief Guide To Printing Finishes

What happens to a print job after it’s fresh off the press? “Finishing” is a specific term that refers to the happenings of a print job before it is delivered to customers. A wide array of various paper finishes are available, and each one is diverse in its style, form, and technique. The choice will ultimately depend on one’s budget, preference, and the print project’s intended purpose as a product.

Print finishes intersperse a dynamic and tangible impact on a project’s comprehensive design. Always contemplate a project’s finish and what that finish can do for your brand or your design. Without further ado, here is a brief guide to printing finishes.

Varnishes: Matte, Gloss, or Satin

When you hear the word “varnish,” your mind may automatically visualize wood. As a matter of fact, varnishes are applied to a paper in the same way they are applied to wood for two reasons: a smooth texture and a protective seal.

Varnishes prevent smudging and finger marks and add flow to one’s design while accommodating the overarching message. You can choose to apply varnish to a whole document or selective spots. Matte, gloss, or satin varnishes are also available to add dimension and top-notch quality to the product’s appearance.

Letterpress: Decorative and Vintage

As the primeval form of printing that dates back to the 1400s, this classic technique indents letters or designs into portions of a page. Using a block template, printers press raised letters directly onto the surface to recreate the letters in reverse. Letterpress is also known as “debossing,” which is the opposite of embossing.

Embossing: Emphasis and Texture

Embossing refers to the raising of particular portions or designs to add depth, highlights, and dimension. What remains most distinctive about this finish is the texture—readers within the target audience can directly feel the messages and images presented to them.

Die-Cutting: Shapes

Of the various finishes outlined within this brief guide to printing finishes, die-cutting is one of the most customizable design techniques. During this printing process, a custom piece—called a die—physically cuts shapes into a paper’s design. This technique is commonly used in packing designs, business cards, and brochures.

Lamination: Protective and Modern

Lamination is a similar technique to varnish but proves itself as a sleeker layer of protection. The laminate coating is typically made out of plastic for additional water-proof and tear-proof strength. Since the coating is superior, the feel of the paper stock is weightier. This coating gives off a tough yet elegant, modern vibe that’s highly appreciated in the professional world.

Foil Stamping and Blocking: Sophisticated Metallics

As one of the most prominent and fashionable paper finishes, foil stamping offers reflective and bright decoration to a page. The process involves a malleable, metallic foil. This foil is applied to a paper surface via heat, pressure, or printing. Available in assorted shades of color and reflection, foils create stunning contrast and emphasis.

These print finishing techniques are the cherry on top of an already delectable sundae. If you have further questions about the capabilities of these finishes or available marketing printing services, contact House of Printing. We specialize in attainable design possibilities to make the impossible a reality. Request a quote or sample today.