Design & Photography

Adding that wow factor - choosing print finishes part 1

Do you want to add that extra little something to your printing? Or are you looking for an effect that will differentiate you from your competitors? There are a number of print finishes that, if chosen correctly, can create that ‘wow’ factor! Here are some great finishes that can really make a difference to your literature. Bear in mind that it’s always best to discuss these options with your designer at the start of a project, so they can take into account the finish when designing your work.

Spot UV

A varnish is applied to specified areas of your design and hardened using UV light. This creates a really glossy finish on top of the pre-defined areas of your print. It is a highly effective method at creating a textural contrast on your design, and adds a real touchy-feely element as well.


Professional lamination is a plastic film that is added to the print surface, but in a much more subtle and longer-lasting way than  the lamination effects achieved with an over the counter laminator. This effect normally comes in either a high gloss or matte lustre finish. One of the main benefits of lamination is the overall tactile feel of the print, together with its affordability.

Foil blocking

Foil blocking is a print finishing method whereby metallic foil is applied to the surface of specified areas of your print using heat. Foil blocking comes in a variety of colours and effects, but silver and gold are most commonly used.

Embossing & debossing

Embossing and debossing are the processes of applying heat and pressure to reshape the surface of the paper, adding three dimensional interest to the paper.  Embossing creates raised areas, debossing creates sunken areas, and both can used to create both single and multi-level finishes.  Your designer  will be able to advise on which of the two effects would work best on your project.

These are only a few of the many print finishes that are available. I hope that I have whetted your appetite and given you some ideas. If you would like more information about print finishes or even print in general, then don’t hesitate to call us on 01242 236600.


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