Print Finishing for added Effect

Print finishing is a popular choice today. This is because it provides printed items with high quality enhancement. There is more than one way to add print finishing to advertising materials or product labels.


Lamination occurs when a thin plastic film is applied to printed items. Available in several finishes including matte, gloss and silk, lamination covers one or more sides of a document.

Lamination enhances the appearance of whatever it’s placed over, and at low cost. This treatment also increases the durability of the material it is placed over, as well as offering some protection from damage via water or grease. Lamination also incurs no set up fees and prevents ink located on creases from cracking.

Due to the way in which it’s applied, lamination cannot be placed on just one spot; it must cover the entire document. As well, care should be taken about which finish is used on dark-coloured paper or board. For example, fingerprints may show more readily on dark paper covered by laminate in a matte finish.


Cellophane is similar to laminate in that a very thin layer is applied to board or paper. This type is available in two finishes, which are matte and glossy. Cellophane finishing can be applied to either one or both sides. Cellophane or film lamination involves stretching the material over the paper or board using heat, pressure and transparent glue.

Cellophane is great for print products as it provides a soft appearance and feel. As well, cellophane offers low glare, which can soften images and text. Cellophane lamination with a glossy finish results in stronger and deeper colours. This type of lamination offers resistance to scratching and abrasion, as well as repellence to water.

UV Varnish

This type of lamination is a liquid coating which can be applied to specific areas of an advertisement or poster design. This is done with the purpose of drawing attention to one or more features. UV varnish is available in several versions including matte and glossy.

UV varnish can include different substances such as glitter and various colours for virtually endless options. It can also be used along with a different laminate type and be printed on top of cellophane or another substance for a unique effect.

Care should be taken to ensure that additional set up is required for this lamination type, as well as additional cost for die charges if it is used over images or text. As well, UV varnish will crack if placed over a document crease.


Dispersion coating is often visible on folders, brochures and flyers. Applied after printing, this lamination type is available in matte or glossy finish and once applied, is left to air dry. As it dries, the material it’s been applied to will gradually take on the look of the chosen finish. The result is a surface that’s slightly water-repellent that provides some protection against abrasion. Any paper or board treated with dispersion coating will make it nearly impossible to write on using conventional pens, especially following laser or inkjet printing.

Regardless of the finish chosen, each has the potential to not only increase the quality of printed items, but also protect the ink used to print on the items. Lamination also protects the ink itself from cracking and fading. Careful consideration of each available lamination type for suitability will need to occur in order to choose the correct one for your application.

However, it’s important also to consider the life span of the item being laminated. A temporary product may not require as costly a lamination type as one that’s expected to have a longer life, such as inkjet labels on food products.