February 14th 2017 in Technology, Services

Which laminate should I use?

Lamination is a process where a very thin layer of plastic is applied to the surface of paper or card. It helps protect the print beneath.  It is also tear resistant and water resistant. Having materials laminated improves wear and tear in terms of handling, and potential damage from the sun

There are several types of laminate available on the market, many of my customers are unsure about which ones to use – here are details of the most common types.

Gloss laminate

This is the most commonly used laminate, generally used for book covers and brochures.  This laminate is the cheapest on the market and is extremely durable.  It provides lift to the image beneath, as the images become crisper and sharper providing more contrast. The laminate can be easily wiped clean if it gets dirty.

Matt Laminate

Matt laminate is also very popular as it provides a muted finish.  It is a softer look and has lower contrast on darker areas.  Matt laminate is affordable and is commonly used in conjunction with Spot UV for affect.  It has a velvet feel and is nice to handle.  The disadvantages of Matt laminate is that it can be easily bruised and scuffed with general handling, making the product look battered pretty quickly.  The darker the printed image the more easily this is visible.

Soft touch laminate

This laminate has become very popular in the past couple of years, mainly as it doesn’t mark very easily and it has a matt finish.  However the texture isn’t liked by everyone as it feels a bit like chamois leather. This laminate is more expensive than matt.

Anti -scuff matt laminate

This the most expensive of all the laminates listed but it does provide a higher quality product.  This type of laminate is best used on very dark areas of print where you want it to remain pristine and have a matt finish.

Spot UV Varnish

This effect isn’t so popular these days. Spot UV varnish is an offline UV application and if it hasn’t been managed properly at the printing stage can have a poor finish.  This is due to either “orange peeling” which can occur if too much spray is applied, or fit issues if the print isn’t registered properly.  If the UV runs over a fold or a spine it will crack, so please remember this at the design stage.  If printed correctly is can provide stunning results.