Specialty printing & “finishing” are processes applied to a design’s substrate, or surface, to improve your design’s look and feel, functionality and presentation.
The right finish transforms ordinary design, creating something much more interesting and unique.
One specialty finishing process is the use of varnish. Varnishes are colorless coatings that can both protect the substrate from wear-and-tear and enhance the look and feel of a design, or specific elements of the design (referred to as a spot varnish), with a glossy, dull or satin finish. Most magazine covers that you buy likely have a varnish applied to them – like the smooth, slippery-like texture that you feel on most magazine or book covers.
Samples of varnishes and recommended uses include:
- Gloss: typically used to enhances photographs and design elements
- Matte (or dull): helps improve readability or offset elements printed in gloss
- Satin or silk: the middleman between gloss and matte; not too glossy, not too dull
- UV: provides more shine than typical varnish; applied with an ultraviolet light
- Spot UV: enhances specific parts of a design; can create a variety in texture
- Textured Spot UV: creates a specific texture; i.e: leather, rubber, etc.
- Pearlescent: provides more of a “luxurious effect”