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Finishing techniques

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Design Techniques & Terminology

The third technical/terminology article. Once your sheet is printed there are many other techniques you can specify to add to the design/improve the functionality. Below are some of the common terms for these various methods:


(I will add images for each of these at a later date.)

Drilling
This is where you literally drill holes into the job, like a hole punch. You can then use these holes for binding such as using rings or screws. An eco-friendly finish.

Die cutting
A metal cutter is used to punch a hole into a piece of paper to create a shape in the substrate. Like a pastry cutter in application. A die cutter is often used used to create packaging from a regular sheet, but can also be used in brochure design to create an unusual cover or to knock out a hole for an image to show through. An eco-friendly finish.

Perforation
Here you create a series of holes close together that will help to quickly tear out a coupon, for example. An eco-friendly finish.

Creases
This is usually combined with a die, but instead of using sharp metal you use blunt metal that is shorter than the cutters. These then create a crease in the sheet which will aid folding. An eco-friendly finish.

Emboss/deboss
The technique used to raise a portion of the page to create a shadow is called emboss. If you push down a portion of the page, this is called a deboss. An eco-friendly finish.

Lamination/spot lamination
Often with lamination you might not actually see the laminate, which is a thin plastic coating heatsealed onto the paper. You will however feel it, as it creates a smooth and impervious finish. This will likely be a matt laminate. Gloss lamination is more readily seen and again adds to the tactile quality of a page. Not an eco-friendly finish.

UV varnishing
With both gloss and matt finishes available UV varnishing gives a similar effect to lamination, although the process is more akin to printing a spot colour. While not quite the same feel as a laminate, it has benefits in that it is generally cheaper and can be printed on to discreet sections of a page such as a logo or image. Not an eco-friendly finish.

Metallic inks
These are again spot printed onto a page and can add a bit of oomph to a brochure when used judiciously. They have a reflective quality due to the metallic constituent in the ink. Available in a variety of pantone colours, they are best employed in fairly simple areas due to the viscosity of the ink. Not an eco-friendly finish.

Foil block
A technique where metallic foil is applied to a page using heat and pressure to create a reflective area. The effect is usually more eyecatching than a metallic ink as the foil has greater reflective properties and sits on top of the paper rather than being partly absorbed, as is the case with the ink. Not an eco-friendly finish.

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