Wednesday, 26 October 2011

WIDFP? - Print Finishes

Finishing is the general term used to define anything done to a print after it is printed. It is considered a value-added process and includes laminating, mounting, image transfer, trimming and coating. There are a number of reasons to finish a print--some commercial, some personal.

In the commercial sector, finishing converts an image into a functional and durable application, like a point-of-sale display, a floor graphic or a backlit display, among others. (link)

UV Coating
UV coating is a highly protective, ultra-shiny gloss coating that we apply over aqueous coating and then cure on a special machine using ultraviolet light. The solvent-free UV coating provides an extremely hard finish that's chemical and abrasion resistant. It makes details really pop! On deep colors, it results in a stunning, almost wet appearance. Perfect when you want an environmentally-friendly and durable piece with a richer, high-end look and feel.
NOTE: UV Coating cannot be used on the addressed side of mailed pieces. (link)

Spot ultra violet (UV) varnishing is a special effect that applies varnish only on specific areas of a printed piece. You can use spot varnish to make a photograph or text leap off the page. To maximise the contrast, you can matt laminate your printed item before adding the spot varnish. Spot varnishing does add extra cost to a printed item and tends to be used on brochures, special direct mail pieces, envelopes and even on business cards. We have software in our studio that allows you to see what your printed item will look like with a spot varnish applied. (link)

There are now a few choices of Spot UV Varnish: the obvious matt and gloss options are widely used of course but you can have textured and glitter varnishes these days too. For a visual AND tactile effect, High Build Spot UV varnish can be applied.

Spot UV Varnish is generally a screen printed process where certain areas of a design are ‘picked out’ and the varnish is applied only to these areas – hence ‘spot UV’. A gloss varnish is often applied over pictures or graphics to enhance them, this is especially effective where the background is very matt. A highly popular finish is to Matt Laminate AND Spot Gloss UV as this gives the best contrast. You can also do the reverse too but in my experience, spot MATT UV isn’t nearly as effective.

You can also create some beautiful effects using Spot UV ‘blind’; in other words, a pattern, text or graphic is ‘picked out’ with the Varnish but doesn’t register with a printed element underneath. Of course, you can do both too.

Things to avoid!

I am frequently asked about Spot UV’ing over uncoated stocks. Perhaps a slightly controversial comment as I have seen it done before but ideally, Spot UV varnish on uncoated stocks should be avoided. As uncoated stocks are very absorbent in comparison to coated stocks, the very runny varnish is instantly absorbed into the material. The ‘first pass’ will have very little effect if any, so, it will need a second and even third pass through the machine to have the same applied again, in the same position. The first pass almost acts as a base coat for the second/third coats. It can work but obviously this could be cost and time prohibitive and also you will often see movement and mis-register with the subsequent coats. The UV Company will almost certainly want to run a test or two too! (link)

With both gloss and matt finishes available UV varnishing gives a similar effect to lamination although the process is more akin to printing a spot colour. With not quite the same feel as a laminate it has benefits in that it is generally cheaper to employ and can be printed on to discreet sections of a page such as a logo or image. Metallic Inks
These are again spot printed onto a page and can add a bit of oomph to a brochure when used judiciously. They have a reflective quality due to the metallic constituent in the ink. Available in a variety of pantone colours they are best employed fairly simple areas due to the viscosity of the ink. (link)

Embossing is the process of creating a three-dimensional image or design in paper and other materials. (link)

Embossing involves raising areas of a card surface above the level of the rest. The images stands out from the card as it has been produced by a stamp which presses the card to the correct shape. This process adds cost to the printing process but gives the card a 3D effect. Normally a small area of a package may be embossed, so that it stands out. Manufacturers use embossing to make their product look more luxurious and expensive.(link)

Embossing is a technique which creates a raised, or 3-dimensional, image on a piece of paper. There are two ways to emboss: dry embossing and heat embossing.
Dry embossing, also called relief embossing, is done using a stylus, stencil, and a few other supplies. Heat embossing, also called Stamp and Heat Embossing, is done using special powder, ink, and a heat source.

Both of these embossing techniques are easy and the results are stunning! (link)

Embossed products, helps lift something from a page and make it stand out, helping raise your companies profile or helps make a point or draw attention from a flat printed document. (link)

Embossing and debossing are virtually and literally speaking strikingly impressive design techniques. They can be used to achieve a very special surface texture or to create the most complex relief forms. Embossing creates a raised image and debossing creates an indented image. When only the best is good enough for a brochure, book cover, folder, card or menu, it may be just the time for embossing or debossing.
To emboss or deboss is to shape the paperboard into well-defined permanent relief patterns. The method might be applied to create a pattern covering the entire surface or as a pronounced relief. When using multi-ply paperboard you have the chance to create very fine details or small details close together, without being afraid of a non-distinctive result or breaks in the board surface. (link)

The technique of raising up a portion of the page to create a shadow. This, like foil blocking, requires a special dye to be made and subsequently can add significantly to the overall cost of a job. (link)

Having a depressed pattern on the surface of a material. (link)

Debossing/embossing fleece is a very easy way to enhance the appearance of otherwise plain and boring scarves, blankets, etc. (link)

To press a design into a metal surface. (link)

Debossing describes the manufacturing process in which the text is indented into the silicone product, utilising a custom moulding process. The characters in your phrase are moulded into the silicone band and not simply onto the surface, so your phrase won't disappear or 'rub off' over time. "Debossing" is the most popular procedure used for custom designed bracelets. (link)

Debossing and embossing coupled together can really make your brand design stand out from the crowd. (link)

In debossing, an image is pressed into the surface of the pouch creating depressions rather than raised impressions. The same techniques used for embossing can be used with debossing to create visual effects and texture.
This process utilizes an electronic sealing machine to press a die into the surface of the pouch material, leaving a depressed (debossed) imprint of the design, logo, or title on the pouch. It is very similar to hot foil stamping, decorating the pouch without the foil and only leaving the stamped impression (debossed into the material) onto the pouch. Debossing will never peel or flake off, it is a permanent impression. ()

Embossing (above the surface) and debossing (below the surface) is a stamping technique in which particular elements are three-dimensional and textured. This technique can be accomplished with or without (blind) the use of ink or foil. (link)

Foil Blocking
Foil stamping, typically a commercial print process, is the application of pigment or metallic foil, often gold or silver , but can also be various patterns or what is known as pastel foil which is a flat opaque color or white special film-backed material, to paper where a heated die is stamped onto the foil, making it adhere to the surface leaving the design of the die on the paper. Foil stamping can be combined with embossing to create a more striking 3D image. (link)

Foil blocking is the process of applying metallic or 'foil' effects to a surface. It uses a metal die - like a stamp - onto which the design is chemically etched or crafted by hand from supplied artwork. Dies are made from various metals and can be either 'flat' (foil only) or 'combination' (foiling and embossing done in one pass).

The technique produces effects which are practically impossible to achieve using traditional ink printing. Foils are available in a variety of finishes, including gloss, matt and satin. Along with standard gold and silver, you can choose from many other metallic colours. Some foils do have restricted uses, so please check with us first.

Fascinate with foil

Foil blocking can transform conventionally printed materials and make them shine. Stationery, business cards, greetings cards, certificates, promotional items, invitations, packaging and a whole host of other products can all benefit from its magic touch. It is also possible to foil block on to leather, plastic, and a number of other surfaces. Do chat with us at the concept stage of your project, so that we can advise you on the most appropriate way of achieving your designs.

And, despite the effort of producing specific dies for each job, foil blocking can be very economic for short run printing. You won’t have to spend a million to look a million dollars! (link)

using metallic, pearlescent, holographic, matt and gloss pigment foils, we transfer your designs using a heated die onto material ranging from wafer thin bible paper to extremely thick board. (link)

Foil blocking for your printed materials creates a sumptuous finish that can be flat or textured, embossed and debossed, metallic or non-metallic. It can be applied to any printed item and is usually found on high quality brochures to show the quality behind the service or goods that are being offered. (link)

Foil stamping, which is the process of pressing colored foil onto a substrate with a heated die, can add texture and elegance to a design. It can also be used as a mirror to show reflections adding to the overall effect of a printed piece. (link)

A technique where metallic foil is applied to a page using heat and pressure to create a reflective area. The effect is usually more eye catching than a metallic ink as the foil has a greater reflective properties and sits on top of the paper rather than being partially absorbed as is the case with the ink. The down side of this is that it is more expensive than metallic ink requiring a special dye to be made and will often be carried out in a specialised workshop. (link)

Foil stamping is one of the most underused print finishing techniques, especially when you consider how powerful foil stamps are for grabbing attention and lending an air of prestige and authority to your marketing materials. If your design seems to be lacking a certain pop, see how a foil stamp fits in. Chances are, you'll increase your response rate immediately. (link)

Die Cutting
Die cutting is when the shape of the paper is altered or areas are cut out to enhance the visual purpose of the design. Often die cuts are used to see beyond a page and onto the proceeding one. (link)

A metal tool which punches is hole or edge into a piece of artwork ito create a irregular shape in the substrate, usually card or paper. Like a pie cutter in application, A die cutter is often used used to create packaging from a regular sheet, but can also be used in brochure design to create an unusual cover or to knockout a hole for a image to show through.
The cutter is a series of blades set in a block to create a single unbroken but irregular edge and can be combined with scoring to create folds in the paper. These have a significant make ready cost and are usually only used when a budget permits. (link)

Die cuts are unique in that they allow you to simultaneously grab attention by straying from the norm and make a statement about your company. A simple rounded corner on a business card can denote elegance and superiority, while a fun die cut (such as a dog bone for a pet shop) immediately tells your customers who you are and what you do. Your brand image is incredibly important to business longevity, and die-cut print finishes can help you achieve the image you want fast. (link)

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