June 10


How to use specialty inks on printed pieces to create AWESOME EFFECTS

Have you ever picked up a printed piece and wondered how the effect was created?  More than likely, the unique printing piece took advantage of one or more specialized inks, coatings or varnishes.

One of the hottest looks right now is creating a 2 toned look of the same color.  For example, a “black on black” piece where one tone of black has a matte finish and the other tone has a glossy finish… like seen on this pocket folder for the IndyCar Series.


There are many ways to achieve the matte over glossy look.  Depending on which technique you choose, you will be adding cost to your piece ranging from a few extra cents to several extra dollars per piece.  It is important to look at what options are available in your budget.  If you are looking to stay on the lower end of the spectrum for the additional charge, ask your commercial printer what options are available that do not require a second pass through the printing press. When an effect requires that your piece is send back through the printing press a second (or third) time, this is when the upcharge gets very costly.  Once you know what option is right for your project, you can create the design around the selected option to create the most impact.


On the above shown Colts Media Guide the cover has a matte finish and is coated with a “Soft Touch” coating that gives the paper a velvet feel.  The NFL logo needed to stand out, so on this project we used a clear foil stamp to create the high gloss NFL logo.  Using a clear foil stamp is an effect way to produce the gloss over matte effect if you are wanting only a small area on 1 page to have the high gloss.  If you have a larger area or areas on multiple pages that you would like glossy, you will want to go a different route in order to be cost effective.

Want to know more about the specialty coatings options we have available?  Contact Us

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