Print Finishing Techniques – Be in the Know

Black and red printed business card

Whilst the aesthetics of printed material are undoubtedly important, the touch and feel of print can make a huge difference on the impact it has!

Here’s an outline some of the different finishes available when ordering your printed material:

Matt or Gloss Finish?

Broadly speaking the two key choices that you are likely to be presented with is either a matt, or gloss finish. The difference here is obvious with the latter printed on coated paper to offer a more shiny and smooth edge compared to a matt finish. However, one key advantage of a matt finish is that it is easier to write on, which may be beneficial for business cards.

Both of the above finishes are usually available laminated. This means that there is a thin plastic coating sealed on to the paper, helping make the material more durable. With matt finishes the lamination tends to be more discreet than gloss lamination. However, they both provide a smooth and high quality finish to the material.

..Or silk?

Another slight variant from a matt or gloss is silk card which is becoming increasingly popular, commonly used for postcards and business cards.  This differs from matt or gloss as silk does not have a finish.  It also provides the additional benefit that it can easily be written on – therefore making it ideal for postcards where consumers may need to write on.

What’s this shiny stuff?

Business cards in particular may also offer the opportunity for spot UV varnish, which can be used to enhance certain areas of the card by making the colour appear richer and has a gloss feel. This is often used to draw attention to the business name, logo, or other key text.

Spot UV Business cards

Plump for Pulp – It’s better for the environment

Although it may not strictly be a finish, recycled pulp offers a completely different texture to the aforementioned finishes. The nature of pulp, which is prepared by chemically or mechanically separating fibres from recycled paper results in a distinctive fibrous finish and can therefore be beneficial in making your material stand out from competitors. It can also be particularly suitable if your business has a strong environmental ethos.

Pulp Business Cards