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Trade Comment

Special Finishes and Effects in Print

With more now expected from the quality of our print than ever, Jo Golding asks: “Do special finishes and effects really add value to the printed page and help increase printers’ profits?”

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Richard Marlow, sales director, Vivid Laminating Technology

Kick starting new revenue

Lamination has been used as part of the finishing process for many years. Matt and gloss finishes are two of the most popular films we sell from our Boss Premium Lamination Film range, but we are seeing more printers using different finishes to give a unique and more tactile feel.

Our Soft Touch OPP film has a ‘peachy’ touch and gives brochures, greetings cards, and menus that extra special finish. This film is quickly becoming one of our best-sellers with many print businesses. Vivid has also recently enhanced the pneumatic range of Matrix Laminating Systems. As well as being able to laminate, they are also now able to create foiling and spot UV-style effects.

We recently used this on our Christmas cards and the feedback we received was fantastic. All the cards were digitally printed, before being soft touch laminated on our award-winning Matrix System. The cards then had a reindeer image printed onto them using 100 percent black toner. We then added a gold foil using the Matrix once more, with the gold only sticking to the black toner.

It opens up a new revenue stream for Matrix users, saving both time and money compared to outsourcing

The process is very simple and quick to set up. Because the Matrix has pneumatic rollers, we can adjust the pressure and transfer the right amount to the foil or gloss (spot UV) film. An added benefit is that special custom-made blocks or dies are normally required to create these type of effects, but these are not needed for the Matrix.

As part of our Boss range we have also added foils in silver, gold, copper, red, blue, and a clear gloss film to create spot UV-style finishes. One-off bespoke jobs and print proofs can now also be created in-house very quickly. It opens up a new revenue stream for Matrix users, saving both time and money compared to outsourcing. These special effects really add that extra finish to so many printed products, whether that is a repeat job of a thousand business cards, or printing custom wedding invites using variable data.

Communicating value

Steve Middleton, sales director, Celloglas

Decorative finishes offer an abundance of options to creatively enhance a printed design. There are decorative finishes available to suit a wide range of budget and turnaround requirements.
Finishes applied on the Celloglas twin coater at the site in Leicester are applied at 15,000 sheets per hour, making short work of a rough matt, gloss combination finish in one pass. The Heidelberg twin coater offers a wide range of finish combinations, with options such as fragrance burst, pearlescent varnish, a velvet coating, textured and glitter, plus a standard matt or gloss.

Other finishing options are a wide range of metallic foils, lamination, and screen finishes. Some of the more special finishes are glitter varnish, glow in the dark, thermochromic, photochromic, and silver latex. The print runs that require decorative finishes vary and we can cater for this by applying different finish options to suit the project.

Magazine run jobs vary from 10,000 copies to more like a million copies. Celloglas remain innovative by continuously developing new finishes and also creating new finish combinations to enhance customers’ designs.

Decorative finishes can be used to communicate increased value or innovation

Decorative finishes can also be used to communicate increased value or innovation, to increase reader interaction, create a spectacle that is talked about across social media, enhance sensory experience, or to produce a collectable special edition.
Celloglas regularly adds decorative print finishes to the cover of Computer Arts magazine, this always becomes a spectacle of finish combinations and often drives innovative ideas across the publishing sector.

Captivating your audience

Mark Dinsdale, managing director, GMP

Recognising technological and logistical advances in recent years, print is now more accessible than ever and available on an array of platforms.

Customers are no longer restricted to their local print vendor. They are instead able to branch out on a national and international scale to be more selective to their needs. What happens when the competition is suddenly expanded to include the entire world?

Print is simply not as it once was. An added picture or graphic alongside content is not enough to capture the attention of the everyday consumer, who is bombarded with products and messages daily. Creativity is the key to creating something that truly captivates. Print still has its place to connect with millennials, but boundaries need to be pushed to create endless combinations of special effects to lift print beyond the paper.
Here at GMP UK we asked ourselves, what can we offer our customers that will give them the tools to do just that? What can we develop that will offer endless creativity at their fingertips, whilst proving to be a valuable asset to their business? 

What happens when the competition is suddenly expanded to include the entire world?

We focused our innovation on developing a select range of thermal laminators that not only provides high quality lamination, but that also gives the ability to ‘sleek’ with our specially designed GMP foils. Sleeking is an exciting new technology that we first introduced to the industry at The Print Show 2015 at the NEC. Our Q-Topic and Protopic stole the show, raising a lot of interest for those in the digital printing world. Dan at Eazyprint was on hand to show his sleeking skills, creating some wonderful prints.

Sleeking simply means you can foil your digital print using a variety of colours, metallic finishes, traditional spot matt and gloss, as well as speciality holographic effects—and you can do all of this with just one laminator.

Stimulate a reaction

Emma Oliver, creative papers product manager, Antalis UK

The printing industry has faced some significant challenges in the past decade, especially from the evolution of digital media, which is now competing head-on against printed communication. However, despite the decline in print volumes, the demand for high quality, creative print offerings that offer maximum visual impact and multi-sensory interaction are bucking this trend and continuing to rise.  It is in this area that online and digital communication simply cannot compete with the printed page.

While the printing of a product has to be top quality, it is the characteristics of the selected substrate that will truly set it apart from the competition and give the extra dimension of added visual impact to stimulate a reaction.
By selecting a creative substrate, using an alternative printing technique, or applying a different finish can totally transform what could otherwise be a very plain, unassuming piece of print. Textured papers that appeal to the senses and are desirable to the consumer, that engage through touch and feel, bring print to life. There is also the choice of vibrant and stunning colours, foils, metallics, translucent substrates, and high gloss or ultra-matt papers that all add to the appeal of the product.

In terms of special effects, we have seen a return to the ‘more is less’ approach, whereby designers are taking the time to select the right paper and deploy less print, to enable the properties and finish of the paper to do the majority of the work for maximum visual impact. The use of foil blocking is also making a comeback, as well as creative finishing, such as embossing that all help to make the product stand out.

It is the characteristics of the selected substrate that will truly set it apart from the competition

At Antalis, innovation and creativity, listening to our customers and anticipating trends are all key considerations when bringing new products to market. The introduction of our new Mohawk Superfine uncoated paper range for digital print is a prime example. Mohawk Superfine is one of the finest premium papers available, delivering stunning results. Avail-able in an ultra-smooth or eggshell finish, Mohawk Superfine inspires beautiful design with a luxurious tactility that gives the printed product a quality, timeless appeal that is proving popular with premium art and photobooks.

Advances in digital printing technology has without doubt increased the range of substrates that can now be printed on. And, with so much choice of substrates on the market, from new synthetic paper such as the Polyart, Rives Sensation Matt with its natural flat texture, the vibrant colour and textured finishes of the Curious Collection range, to the beauty and fine quality of Mohawk Superfine, there is no end to the creative possibilities of print.

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