What is Print Finishing and what are the Techniques?
May 21, 2014   //   By:   //   Printing   //   1 comment   //   2400 Views

Print finishing is the process of finalising promotional prints, displays and packaging for marketing and trade purposes. The term refers to a number of techniques which improve the look and durability of prints. These range from the most basic folding, cutting and stapling to the more advanced lamination, spot UV varnishing and embossing. This guide explains the primary print finishing methods in use so you can make a more informed decision about your next set of prints.

Die Cutting

Die cutting is a basic but integral element in print finishing which involves cutting prints to their proposed shape. The technique is used to cut leaflet holes, point of sale display stands, business cards and various other print products.


Print varnishing is used to apply a smooth and tactile finish to paper or cardboard prints. The treatment also improves the durability of prints as a varnished surface is more resistant to moisture, finger marks and stains.
There are several types of varnish to choose from and these falls into one of three categories: matte, silk or gloss. The latter adds a shine to prints, creating the eye-catching effect often seen on the covers of magazines, food packaging and marketing leaflets. However, this varnish can be detrimental to prints placed in a highly-lit area: its reflective qualities can distort the content of designs.

Spot UV Varnishing

This technique is a step-up from standard print varnishing. Spot UV varnishing applies treatment to specific areas of a print to create a difference in texture and enhance particular elements of the design. This print finishing effect can help to divert the eye and is therefore often applied to the central image, message or the logo on the print.

Prints can also be treated with a combination of standard, all-over varnishing and spot UV varnishing to create high visual appeal. For example, a mix of an all-over matte varnish and spot UV varnishing is often seen on book covers to add durability and enhance the book’s design.



Lamination is similar to varnishing but the treatment is thicker making it more durable and more expensive. Prints that are finished with lamination are given a plastic covering which is resistant to fingerprints, dust and moisture. Besides extending the life of the print, lamination can also enhance the colours of designs.

Point of sale display stands, business cards, product packaging and posters are usually laminated.


Embossing is the process of raising parts of a print to add texture, depth, highlights and shadows to the design. This print finishing technique helps to emphasise specific areas of prints and enhances their quality. Embossing can also be used in combination with other techniques such as varnishing, spot UV varnishing and foil stamping. The finish is often used on wedding invitations, business cards and book covers.

Letter Pressing

Letter pressing is essentially the opposite of embossing. The finish involves indenting text or other areas of the design to create a 3D texture and enhance appeal. Similar to embossing, the technique is commonly used on wedding invitations, business cards and book covers.

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping is the process of using heat and pressure to apply a metallic covering to areas of a print. This print finishing technique adds shine and reflective properties to designs, creating a higher quality appeal. Foil stamping is often used to augment text on greeting cards, invitations and business cards.

Find out more about print finishing at UK leading print finishing company: www.phlaminators.com

About the Author :

Amit is providing graphics designing, digital marketing, web design and development tips related to the industry. Get in touch with him through this blog and share your ideas or thoughts with him.