Guide to print finishes: Coating

How coatings impact your work

To follow on from our recent guide ‘The ultimate guide to print’ we thought it would be a beneficial to cover a few areas in a bit more detail. To start with let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the coating options available for your printed products.

We always take the time to visit our clients and talk through the options available to them, this way they can touch and feel the finishes and get a real understanding of what to expect, on the other hand it’s always useful to understand how coatings can impact your work.

Coating is simply applying a covering to the surface of a printed product.

Gloss Varnish: This coating can be applied all over your printed artwork. It assists in the depth of the image and offers a more saturated finish to colours. Due to the intensive high shine gloss finish this coating gives off a notable glare, obviously great for grabbing attention but not always the best option if you have a lot of text on your print.  A gloss varnish will also occasionally leaves a finger print mark if handled regularly so again, consider your product and how it will be used.

Spot UV Coating: Spot UV printing highlights specific areas of your artwork using a high gloss finish and delivers a truly outstanding finish.

Matt Varnish: Here you get great clarity on text heavy artwork. The non-reflective matt varnish helps to flatten and soften the finish. This is more resistant to finger prints however it is worth noting that this can be prone to rubbing and so a scruff proof lamination could also be applied here to avoid this.

Satin Varnish: A great scruff resistant option that offers an intense shine with a blend of both gloss and matt combined.

Opaque Varnish: A slightly white or opaque varnish which is applied to artwork to help improve the look of dark colours.

Aqueous Coating: This is a water based coating which is generally a more expensive coating option. It does not seep into the press sheet and it also doesn’t crack.

If you missed out on our Ultimate guide to print the first time around you can download it here.