Once your print project comes off the press, it may not be finished—not yet. It might need that extra finishing touch. Let’s look at three reasons you might want to add a coating before your project goes “live” into the hands of your target audience.
1. Protection. Sometimes a project needs that extra level of protection to keep it looking its best. Coatings can protect projects such as direct mail, marketing collateral, packaging, and catalogs from a wide variety of harsh environmental conditions, including:
- Mailing equipment
- Retail storage and display
- Handling (including fingerprints)
If you need full waterproof properties, you may want to consider a laminate.
2. Gloss. Shine adds sparkle and impact. It instantly conveys the impression of value and quality. When you print or mail a piece with a high-gloss coating, you are telling recipients, “You matter!” UV coating offers the hardest coated surface and the highest level of brilliance and sheen. However, these coatings may crack if folded or scored and require printing with UV inks underneath for compatibility.
3. Special effects. The number of options for specialty coatings is exploding. Spot varnish, for example, highlights specific areas of the printed piece for visual interest and impact. (Think lips popping out on a lipstick ad.) Soft touch creates a printed piece with a velvety finish. It produces a wonderful tactile feel and adds fingerprint resistance. Some specialty varnishes can be enhanced with effects such as glitter, tint, and scents. If you want to use a laminate, you can even get holographic effects.
Different finishes have different benefits and drawbacks. They also have different ranges of cost. Varnish is inexpensive and flexible, but tends to yellow over time. This can be problematic if your product has a long shelf life and large areas of white. Aqueous coating dries quickly and offers a high level of protection, but it has a higher cost. Specialty coatings offer a wide array of effects and visual and tactile appeal, but they may also carry a premium.Different coatings “shine” for different types of projects and under different conditions. Talk to us about your coating options before finalizing your next printing project.
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