TKs Korner Masthead

December 2012

Coating Techniques

There's something for everybody!

When adding a coating effect to your printed materials, you can really make a significant visual impact, as well as provide a level of protection. Over the years, many of you have asked great questions about which coating technique would work best for a particular design or project. I'm happy to tell you that I have a lot of experience working with these techniques and have a great collection of samples to share with you. Just give me a call and we can meet to discuss them in more detail.

For now, let's take just a couple of minutes to review the many different types of coating techniques.

Varnish can be run either clean/contaminated, wet/dry trap, as spots on its own, side-by-side, or as floods. You can choose from gloss, satin and dull varnish options, which can provide precise spot or overall application.

On the downside, varnish does not provide a great deal of protection, is susceptible to yellowing and is not environmentally friendly. You must also remember to allow for increased production time, due to the additional drying needed before printing the second side.

Aqueous coating can be done as a flood in gloss, satin or dull. Aqueous coatings provide good protection against fingerprints and will not yellow. This environmentally friendly coating is water-soluble and production time is quicker than with a regular varnish, as the second side can print immediately.

In the event you are looking for a spot aqueous, special plates can be made. However, an aqueous coating is difficult to spot-apply with precision, is susceptible to UV Burn, and requires at least 80 lb. text weight of stock.

Combining varnish with an aqueous can be accomplished by running one coating technique on top of the other (dry or wet trapped). Also called strike-through varnish, this technique is the most effective way to achieve a combined gloss and dull effect. The varnish provides a dulling effect while the aqueous coating provides the gloss.

Like all coating techniques, the nature of the printed piece dictates which coating will be most effective. Some excellent uses of this coating technique include call-to-action emphasis and highlighting specific areas within images, over products, or a combination of both.

A soft-touch aqueous coating is a unique technique that provides a very soft, rich and "velvety" feel. This process is fairly new and provides a softer look and feel to printed pieces, while significantly reducing fingerprinting. It is important to note that the darker the palette, the more muted the colors will appear. Soft-touch aqueous will definitely add a unique dimension to the right pieces.

Truly a tactile feel, soft-touch aqueous is a very unique coating effect that you must feel to believe! Call me today and I can bring you a sample to experience for yourself.

UV Coating is another nice coating technique that can be accomplished as a spot or flood in gloss or satin finish. It provides the best protection over other liquid coatings and will not yellow.

But it's important to remember that this coating technique can show fingerprints, is susceptible to UV Burn, can crack when folded, requires additional production time, and is not environmentally friendly.

Raised Spot UV Coating combines the look of thermography and UV blended together. This technique allows you to create very textural printed materials that can emulate substrates like leather, mesh, suede, canvas, cotton and many other tactile effects.

I have an extraordinary printed sample that employs this technique. It's an annual report that has the literal look-and-feel of an old-time leather scrapbook. Complete with raised and glossy sepia-tone photographs, this report really commands attention and draws the reader into the piece.

And speaking of creative printing effects . . .

Highlighted areas in blue above indicate areas where clear dry ink was applied in this example.

Clear Dry Ink is clearly awesome!

Do you need a low quantity but want a special effect?

In the October issue of TK's Korner, I discussed how using Clear Dry Ink adds creative dimension to your digitally printed pieces. You can create dazzling effects that really get noticed.

I'm very pleased to tell you that Sexton Printing is one of only a few printers in the Twin Cities Metro Area that has the capability to print with Clear Dry Ink. This coating effect is achieved with our new Xerox® 800 state-of-the-art press that provides cost-effective digital printing quality virtually unmatched locally. It also utilizes new digital ink formulations with chemically grown particles to deliver the finest image quality.

Clear Dry Ink can add significant impact in many unique ways:

  • Use as a spot treatment over an image or text to create a eye-catching tactile dimension that evokes an emotion and promotes action. Use Clear Dry Ink to draw attention to a headline or variable text.

  • Enhance textures on a single printed surface, giving the piece a more high-end polished look.

  • Highlight a certain area of a photo to reach out and grab attention or highlight just a few of its features.

  • Add a texture over a photo giving the illusion of dimension, over one word or several words, which will draw attention to your messages. Even apply in different levels of intensity to give a layered look and feel.

  • Incorporate as a tinted varnish effect that can increase the depth and overall sheen of a color, making it appear to be lifted off the page.

  • Simulate a pearlescent or metallic appearance from our state-of- the-art digital press. This technique adds richness, sheen and elegance to your piece.

  • Use it as a watermark and it disappears when the document is copied. Clear watermarks can also be a powerful yet subtle design element to help you make your point elegantly and effectively.

For more information on Digital Printing go to TK's Korner article Digital Printing - Variable Data or Business Development

Paper Matters

Your choice of paper stock has a huge impact on coating outcomes

Different paper stocks (such as coated gloss, dull, velvet, satin or matte) deliver various effect or impact for each coating technique utilized. Keep in mind that using an uncoated sheet typically will not yield any real noticeable effect or benefit of a coating.

For more information, go to TK's Korner article "Picking the Right Paper"

Additional Topics of Interest

Past issues of TK's Korner that you may find of interest:

Before we go . . .

If you have a production issue not discussed above that you would like me to address, or a project that needs to be looked at, please give me a call or send me an email.

As always, I will do whatever it takes to ensure you receive the best value for every marketing dollar you invest.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can also check out my profile, join my network and view more client comments on LinkedIn at:

Referrals are greatly appreciated. If you know someone I can help, or who might like to receive TK's Korner, please let me know.

Take care and have a great day!


Tom Kubinski

Printing Consultant Who Helps You Make Good Impressions
Direct: 612-278-1568
Cell: 612-760-3700

Did you miss an issue of TK's Korner? Click below to view!

Branding - 22 Laws Of
Brand Warfare
Creative Coatings Techniques
Desktop Techniques
Digital Printing - Variable Data or Business Development
Direct Mail Raise Response, Lower Costs
FSC Certification
For Direct Marketers
In House Mailing Capabilities
Ink Tour
Paper Mill Tour - Coated
Paper Mill Tour - Uncoated
Picking the Right Paper
PDF Formats
PDF Info & Quark vs. InDesign
PODi - Digital Print Success Story
Postal Changes, Mailing Requirements & Rates
Post it to the Web vs. Print
Press Check Tips
PURL - Avoid Dog House Campaign
QR Codes
Save Disk Space
Social Media -- The Basics
Social Media vs. Print
Top File Issues
UV Burn
Ways to Save Money
What Sets Sexton Apart?
Why Print in a Down Market?
Why Work With TK?

Tom Kubinski
Printing Consultant
Direct: 612-278-1568
Fax: 612-334-5879
Cell: 612-760-3700

Sheila Stai
Customer Service
Direct: 651-255-1222
1109 Zane Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN. 55422
Phone: 612-375-1150
Fax: 612-334-5879
Toll Free: 1-800-230-2828

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