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Finish your print with something special

Published: 27 February 2017
Finish your print with something special

Your snappy guide to print finishes - and where to use them

Printing has come a long way since Johannes Gutenberg released Printing Press 1.0. Today, businesses are using an amazing assortment of printing techniques and finishes to stand out and impress both hot prospects and loyal clients.

However, while some people are comfortable with printer-geek lingo such a die-cutting, triplexing and foil blocking, others may as well be listening to Latin academics, computer programmers or teenagers.

Seven popular print finish terms you want to know

So below are explanations of some of the most popular and powerful print techniques used by SMEs around Australia today.

Understanding what they mean, and how they can be used, will help you get the best look, feel and results from your print jobs.

1. Die cutting

Die cutting is the most conventional method of shape-cutting. Here, sheets are cut using a flatbed tool to any shape you desire.

Die cutting is a great option when the designs won't change soon and there are likely to be repeat orders. It is ideal for:

  • postcards
  • tags
  • labels
  • jobs where you don't need minute detailing.

2. Laser cutting

Just as it sounds, laser cutting is where a highly focussed beam is used to cut the material. It's highly flexible because it can cut unlimited shapes with no tooling. (that means cheaper and faster). Plus, changes can be made easily and it can cut any shape.

This is the best choice if you are using intricate designs, or if your designs change frequently. It's ideal for:

  • POS material
  • signs
  • invites
  • confetti
  • popup cards

3. Duplexing and triplexing

Duplexing is pasting two sheets of paper together and triplexing three sheets - to make one thicker sheet. It's a great way to increase the impact, tactility perceived quality of your print job. They work well for:

  • business cards
  • postcards
  • swing tags
  • direct mail

4. Foil blocking

Here, a moulded metal die is stamped onto paper with an ultra-thin sheet of metal foil in between. This transfers the metal foil to the paper in the shape of the customised die to create a stunning visual effect. It's particularly effective if combined with embossing or debossing.

Being a fairly labour intensive method it's a more expensive option suitable for:

  • invites
  • logos
  • direct mail

5. Printing opaque white

Advances in printing mean you can now get the same sort of rich, dense whites on dark coloured stock that screen-printing offers. Using white transparent ink on colours works stunningly in:

  • posters
  • banners
  • books
  • brochures

6. Varnishing and UV Varnish

For a shiny, glossy look, varnish is sprayed onto the surface. It also offers protection to the printing underneath. If you're print job is going to have to battle the elements, it's worth opting for UV varnish.

The printing and colour work must be completed before varnishing. Ideal for:

  • brochures and flyers
  • packaging
  • indoor and outdoor posters, signs and banners

7. Embossing and Debossing

This is where the stock is raised or sunken for a 3D effect using a metal plate. Pressure pushes the paper into the plate to create the embossed or depressed effect.

The visual effect is eye-catching and adds a subtle touch of class to your print projects. Embossing or debossing are ideal for:

  • hardback and special edition book covers
  • business cards
  • certificates
  • invitations

Get some help from an expert

Now you have a better understanding of popular and impactful printing techniques and finishes, you can think about ways to use them in your promotions and marketing.

Of course, there's a lot more to printing than these seven techniques including from stocks and size to colours, design, distribution and more.

If you'd like to know more about the latest trends in printing or want some advice and collaboration with a professional printer, talk to your local, friendly Snap centre.

P.S. And feel free to practice your new printer-geek lingo. They'll be so excited!

Author: Snap Marketing

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