A handy guide to print finishes

While it’s always nice to be faced with an abundance of options, sometimes it can be difficult to narrow them down and make a decision, especially if you are on a time limit. At Metro Repro we wanted to simplify the process for you, and so we have outlined some of the most common finishes available, one less decision to make!

Varnishes

Most commonly associated with a wooden surface or even hands and feet, varnishes can be applied to paper too! It gives the page a smooth texture while sealing the page, making it last longer. A specific type of varnish, known as Spot UV is becoming more popular. The varnish is applied to particular areas of the page and applied using a UV light during the printing process, this is a popular technique for business cards and brochures and it used to highlight titles or names.

You may be familiar with varnishes in high quality books or magazines; they can be gloss or matte. Gloss is a good choice if your work has a lot of vibrant colours and matte is good if you want a smoother finish with a non-glare surface. Varnishes are a great finish for business brochures as they add a high-quality, professional feel without adding too much weight to the page.

Lamination

We’re all familiar with lamination; it was probably your favourite task at school when you were young; placing the picture in a cloudy plastic wallet, feeding it through the machine and marvelling at the shiny document that comes out. Lamination adds a protective layer over the top of your work and it too is available as a gloss or a matte finish. Not only does lamination make your work last longer but it also makes it water resistant. Lamination is a good choice for business cards as they get thrown around in briefcases and squashed under files and paperwork on a desk, lamination will ensure your business cards remain intact for as long as possible.

Embossing and debossing

Embossing is the process of raising certain parts of the design to add emphasis and texture. It can be combined with another technique known as foil stamping, which is where a metallic material is stamped onto the paper. Foil stamping can further enhance the effect of embossing. A great choice for business cards to help you stand out against competitors. Debossing, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. Certain sections of the design are indented, this is most commonly seen on even invitations, and so if you have a work event and are inviting your clients, this could be the finish for you. Both techniques leave a lasting impression and so can be effective on business brochures, providing a clean and precise look.

Perforation

A less common choice but still very effective, perforation is used for function rather than design. Perforation is great for promotion, allowing you to send out vouchers to your clients as a book or a flyer. The perforation means the client can remove the voucher and put it in the purse or wallet; they can even tear them off and share with a friend.

At Metro Repro we offer a great range of finishes for your work and can discuss the best option for you. Our customers are our priority; let us add the finishing touches to your work. We can even provide a one hour turnaround service while you wait, if necessary. If you want to find out more about finishes or discuss your printing requirements, contact our team on 0191 261 1320, use our contact form, or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.