Specialty finishing options can help ensure your print jobs stand out, get attention, turn heads, and open eyes. That’s why many savvy printers are attuned to specialty finishing and its potential to provide greater sales and profits.
If seeking that extra “wow” factor, you can add it with any number of specialty finishing options, including spot UV coating, film lamination, foil stamping, holographic foil stamping, embossing and debossing, and die-cutting custom shapes. So says Matt Anson, president of Baltimore’s Bindagraphics, Inc., a nearly 40-year-old full-service trade bindery and postpress finisher.
“All of those command an upcharge,” Anson says. “So for a buyer to be sold on paying that premium, the selling point is going to be that the more special and less ordinary a piece looks, the more it will be read and acted upon.“
The question for end users, he adds, is, “If you’re out to raise awareness or ticket sales, what kind of effect will get you the most bang for your buck?”
Here’s a look at a number of specialty finishing options, their distinctive effects, and the types of pieces most likely to feature these finishing touches.
• Spot UV coating. Within the category of spot UV coating, a number of alternatives are offered. The UV coating can be gloss or soft velvet, for instance. Alternatively, it can have glitter within it. “The glitter particles are suspended in the UV solution,” Anson says. “Then the UV solution is cured by UV lights, and it sets the glitter so it can’t be removed. You typically see it on holiday cards”
Glow-in-the-dark and scratch-and-sniff effects as well as scratch-offs can all be applied with the same method as spot UV coating, Anson adds.
• Film lamination. The typical choice within this category is either gloss or matte film lamination. “You would customarily see laminating used in instances where you want a piece to provide some measure of durability,” Anson says. “Any time you’re adding gloss film laminating or gloss UV coating, it also makes the colors underneath the coating pop.” Gloss or matte coatings often are used on book or pamphlet covers, he reports.
• Foil stamping and holographic foil stamping. Foil stamping, Anson says, is a “tried-and-true method” of highlighting certain art elements of a printed piece. Silver foil stamping the boughs on a holiday tree is one typical example. “It makes people want to pick it up and touch it if it has something shiny,” he says. “It’s appropriate for anything where you want to draw attention to a particular aspect of a piece of artwork or a name or element of text.”
Holographic foil stamping can be registered to print so it enhances the overall artwork of a piece, making it more likely to be noticed and admired.
• Embossing and debossing. These options begin with simple single-level emboss or deboss; highlighting a logo, for instance. They can extend all the way up to a multi-level sculpted emboss die.
“When you talk about emboss and deboss, you have the added quality of it being tactile, so it’s one more aspect you can use to pull your target audience in,” Anson says. “Brochures, direct mail, and business cards are all examples of pieces getting this treatment.”
• Die-cutting. Perimeters of pieces can be die-cut to catch viewers’ eyes, and interiors of pieces can be die-cut to provide a window and create a reveal. “It’s another way to draw the viewer in,” Anson says, adding that cards, brochures, and pocket folders can all benefit from some aspect of die-cutting.
Keys to Success
Why outsource your printed pieces to those who devote all their time, skill, and experience to specialty finishing options? Anson responds many printers don’t have the volume to justify making the capital investment in the equipment.