Did you use Play-doh as a child?
Ever inadvertently leave your simple shapes to harden in the open air? Though your brittle pieces later crumbled, a simple finishing process would have sustained them for centuries. Ceramic firing transforms malleable clay into a rock-hard, durable substance. The additions of underglaze, luster, and around 930 degrees Fahrenheit can vitrify clay creations from goo to gorgeous, glass-like pieces that are impervious to water and time.
In ceramics and in print, the finishing process is nearly as important as the design itself. Finishing refers to the services applied to your print piece after the ink hits the paper. These can be added before or after the paper comes off the press, and examples of finishing services include aqueous or UV protection coatings, binding or collating, trimming or folding, stamping, laminating, perforating, mounting, or coatings like matte or satin varnishes.
Fabulous Finishing Techniques in Design and Print
In the past, many of the rock-star finishing options were impossible for the budget-conscious customer.
Things like die-cutting, embossing, or foil stamping options were saved for the fanciest invitations or a "lifestyles of the rich and famous" print run. Today, however, technology has transformed ordinary printing, decreasing the time and expense it takes to create textured, fabulous pieces.
Ready to take your work up a notch but not sure what your options include? Here is a basic menu of finishing services accessible to you today:
Trimming or Die-Cutting
Trims can be used to shear or reduce a printed piece along crop lines, page borders, or into a unique or fun shape that expresses your brand (like business cards in the shape of a coffee cup).
Foil Stamps or Blocking
This process is creating by pressing metal dies (or colored foil) onto a surface with a heated die. This process is used mostly to enhance typography and logos.
Embossing or Debossing
This allows you to press an image into a paper or card to create a three-dimensional design.
Embossing results in a raised surface while debossing brings a depressed (indented) surface. This is a great way to give your design impressive dimension and texture.
Perforation or Unique Folds
Perforating creates a series of fine holes to allow a portion of the printed piece to be easily detached (think coupons, ID cards, RSVP slips, or ticketing items).
Non-traditional fold options include everything from accordion and zig-zag styles to overlapping or tapered die-cuts that create wonderful visual texture. Looking for inspiration? A quick conversation with our design team will undoubtedly spark creativity!
Laminating or Binding
Laminating binds clear plastic film onto printed matter to improve durability and protect it against smudges, wrinkles, or tears.
Binding options include anything from a simple staple or comb binding to saddle stitching, screw binding, combs, spirals, and more.
Varnish and Coating Options
Commercial print applications (like brochures, business cards, and packaging options) typically apply a protective coat that seal the ink and enhance visual appeal.
Coatings range from basic machine and aqueous varnishes to UV coatings and high build varnishes that have the appearance of water or wax. Confusing? No problem. Our experts can guide you through the best varnish or coating options for your particular project.
Ready to turn heads with a resounding finish? Go big and bold to make your next printing soar.
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