You may have noticed in our last insights article that we shared our love of print. We’ve spent years understanding the process of print and learning more about finishes and stocks. But, for the uninitiated, it can be daunting to try and work out what print will work best for your project. Part of our remit is to help and recommend what will work best for your particular requirement.
So here are our tips on understanding the plethora of print terminology and finishes out there!
What? When an image or text is pressed into the paper or board so it lies below the surface. This can add texture to a design and helps focus on the graphics/logo.
Best for – Business cards, boxes and brochure covers.
What? Pretty much the opposite of deboss! When an image or text is pressed out of the paper or board, so it sits above the surface. As with debossing, embossing also adds tactility to the item.
Best for – Business cards, brochure covers, packaging.
Die / Forme Cutting
What? A custom ordered die to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects creating bespoke shapes.
Best for – Vouchers, tickets, folders, unusual shaped flyers and round cornered business cards.
What? Method of printing that releases foil from its backing when stamped with the heated die. This is one of the most commonly used finishes and creates a high-end look. Combining coloured foils with embossing produces a beautiful finish.
Best for – Business cards, brochures, invitations and packaging.
Laminate - Matt, Gloss or Soft Touch
What? Bonding clear film by heat and pressure to a sheet of paper to protect the print and improve its appearance. Soft touch laminate adds a velvet-like finish that creates an incredibly tactile piece of print.
Best for – Large areas of solid cover.
Spot UV Varnish
What? Spot UV varnishing is a special print finishing technique where a clear varnish is applied to specific areas of a printed piece, which gives it a gloss effect.
Best for – Leaflets, brochures, annual reports and business cards.
What? Method of print finishing that uses a colourless resin powder that takes on the colour of underlying ink via a heat process. Also known as raised printing, this finish can be applied to selected areas, such as a heading or logo, to highlight them.
Best for – Business cards, brochure covers.
Great designs can be enhanced with the appropriate print finish giving them impact and a tactile quality. We’ve covered what the different print options mean, but what will you print them on?
The paper stock you select can enhance or detract from a great design. Taking the time to consider the appropriate stock will add to the look and feel.
There are many types of paper. Here’s what you need to know;
Paper thickness is measured in grams per square metre (gsm). The thicker the paper the higher the gsm, with various weights available. 170gsm and above is referred to as a board and not a paper.
The paper is categorised as uncoated or coated, and is commonly referred to as the ‘finish’ due to it describing the feel and texture.
Uncoated paper can be smooth or textured. The uncoated stock absorbs ink which gives it more of a muted look.
Coated paper is coated in a sealant to enhance colour giving a more vivid appearance, with the most common coated options being gloss, matt or silk.
Selecting the right paper stock is just as important for your brand, as the type of finish you choose. Depending on the project, it may be that you need a heavier stock that feels more luxurious or it may be a lighter stock for a larger direct mail campaign.
As always, we’re here to help and guide you through any design and print project. Get in touch to arrange a chat, we would love to hear from you.
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