April 16


HardingPoorman on ‘Special Effects’ Printing

Interested in creating a jaw-dropping effect on your next high-end printing piece? Specialty finishes can create unique looks, making any item you feature ‘pop’ off the page.

This images utilizes amulti-coating technique.  We applied a gloss coating over the swimmer to make her stand out. The rest of the image has a matte finish. This images utilizes a
multi-coating technique. We applied a gloss coating over the swimmer to make her stand out. The rest of the image has a matte finish.

One of the most in demand specialty finished is the matte / gloss look.  Have you seen a printed piece that has a flat / matte finish on part of the printing and then other parts are high gloss?  This finish is featured on iPad boxes, cell phone cartons and many other common high end pieces that are in the marketplace.

The secret is in the application of varnish, UV coatings, and aqueous coatings.  There are several ways to achieve this look depending on the amount of “pop” you are going for. While there are a few rules of thumb, your account rep can help walk you through the specifics of the piece you have in mind.

Here are some recommendations from HardingPoorman’s experienced print staff:

  • Varnish, aqueous and UV are the three major kinds of coatings used in commercial sheet fed printing. Each coating is available in finishes from high gloss to a dull finish.
  • Multiple coatings (such as spot gloss and spot dull varnish) on the same piece can be used to emphasize certain areas and create a multi finish look.
  • Varnishes are most cost effective when a highlight is needed. They can be used in spot or overall treatments and on coated or uncoated stock.
  • Want an overall high gloss finish? It’s best to start with a high gloss paper and apply matte coatings to certain areas to dull them back.
  • Matte-textured printing is applied on smooth or satin finish paper stock to achieve that texture only in certain areas.
  • Need a super-glossy cover? Apply a UV ‘flood coating’ (which can be glossy or dull) to give your paper a supple, double-thick flavor, almost like plastic. This also protects the surface of the sheet from scratches and scuffs.

 If you know the look you’d like, but aren’t sure how to get it, ask us for help. Your rep can provide samples, education and graphic design help on any project you are considering. Just ask us!


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