Varnish Guide

Varnish refers to a coating applied to your printed piece during or after printing. A varnish is typically added to a piece to enhance the look or to protect the piece from scuffing or scratching due to handling or contact with moisture or chemicals. There is a difference between a varnish coatings, aqueous coatings, Ultra Violet or UV coatings, motion coat, dimensional ink and lamination see the details below.

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Spot Varnish

A spot varnish is a varnish that is put on only a portion of the page. It can be gloss or dull and is used to highlight or emphasize a photo or text, or can be used as a subtle design element. A spot varnish requires that a special plate be created for the press. It is treated like it is an additional color. Spot varnishes can be solids or screens; you can have almost as much control over a spot varnish as you would a spot color. Some spot varnishes can also be tinted to create an effect. At Printing Partners, we have the ability to mix dull and gloss so you can have both on one piece.

To setup your spot varnish, please use a solid piece of art and tag it with a spot color named "Spot Varnish"

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Flood Varnish

A flood varnish covers the entire press sheet. Flood varnishes can be a gloss varnish or a dull varnish. With a flood varnish they cannot be both glossy and dull at the same time. You can mix dull and gloss varnishes if you do both as spot. Printing Partners has great experience with this; contact your partner for a conversation. We recommend starting the conversation early in the design stage.

No need to setup anything special in your art file for a flood varnish.

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Aqueous Coating

Printing Partners can print this water based protective coating that comes in a high gloss aqueous finish, satin aqueous and matte aqueous finishes. Aqueous coatings are faster drying and more cost effective. In most instances, an aqueous coating is a great way to speed up the printing process because it comes off the press dry and ready for bindery.

Keep that shine without the fingerprints. Also aqueous coating makes your postcard or print product more durable.

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Ultra Violet or UV Coatings

The most dramatic effect when it comes to contrast. Also more durable than aqueous coating. UV is a liquid clear coating applied to the paper and then dried by ultraviolet or UV lamp. This comes in a ultra gloss or dull matte appearance once it has been cured to the press sheet. UV coating can be applied as a flood coat to the entire sheet or as a spot to highlight the most special parts of your printed product.

Types of UV Coatings include: High Gloss UV Coating, Dull Matte UV Coating, Non-skid UV Coating for Packaging or a Raised Spot Gloss UV Coating (that is similar to our NexPress Dimensional Ink).

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Motion Coating

At Printing Partners, we have taken a basic pressroom chemistry process and put our own spin on it. With our design and technical team, we have developed custom patterns that incorporate and complement your graphics. Do you want hologram-like logos hidden into your graphics? Do you want steam coming out of a coffee cup? Talk to our team and plan how to make your design stand out from the rest!

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Kodak NexPress Clear Raised Dimensional Ink

Dimensional Clear Dry Ink on our Kodak Nexpress is a dry ink that creates a clear raised layer on top of the printed sheet. It can be used to enhance graphics, text, or a full color image.

The overall tactile effect is similar to thermography, but with a greater degree of control—Dimensional Printing can be set to produce variable heights, so you can more closely mimic the texture of a specific image. Unlike thermography, which can only be applied to ink, Dimensional Clear Dry Ink does not require ink or an image to adhere to the substrate.

Pro Tip: It works best with textures vs trying to create an emboss effect. Consult one of our many on staff designers on how to make your project a success people will love to hold in their hands.

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Kodak NexGlosser Digital High Glosser

Similar to a flood gloss varnish. It is a great option when you have a small quantity press run. Please contact your sales rep for a sample of any of these coatings.

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Lamination

Coming in High Gloss laminate, Dull or Matte laminate, or the silky smooth soft touch provides a great deal of protection to your printed item. Lamination can be applied to small press runs or low quantity items as well as high quantity or long run press runs.

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