Print, Design & Websites

Posted: June 27, 2017   •   Posted in: Printing

The Finishing Touch

They say it’s all in the finish, a saying that is especially true in the world of print. Choosing the right effect can turn a good piece of work into something spectacular. Spot UV, embossing, lamination and foil blocking are all techniques that can make your printed material stand out. Read on to discover how a special finish can elevate your output.


Similar to wood varnishing, this process involves applying a clear liquid layer to the page to protect the sheet and leave a smooth finish. There are a variety of different varnishes with differing properties, which result in different final effects.

  • Gloss reflects light, creating bright, vivid colours
  • Matt is the opposite, making it perfect for pages that contain a lot of text
  • Silk varnish represents the middle ground between matt and gloss, providing a good level of shine and high scuff resistance.

Varnishes can be applied to either the entire page (flood) or specific areas such as a logo or an image (spot).


For an even more stunning finish, Ultra Violet (UV) varnishing could be for you. More expensive than a traditional varnish, a UV coating dries almost instantly when exposed to UV lighting. This provides a very high gloss effect, perfect for highlighting particular parts of the design using a spot varnish technique.


Rather than a liquid, lamination uses a thin sheet of clear plastic to seal the printed material. Again, there are a variety of finishes available, including gloss, matt and satin. Unlike varnish, lamination can only be applied to the whole page – spot coverage is not possible. Lamination also creates a hard-wearing page, which is smooth to the touch, hard to tear, and water-resistant.

This lamination technique adds strength and sturdiness to your material, making it perfect for business cards, menus and bookmarks for example.


Embossing is a technique, whereby a metal plate is pressed into your paper or card, creating a raised 3D effect. Not only does this look great, it also feels good too, with words or logos being quite literally raised off the page.

Blind embossing is where the area is simply stamped with no other techniques used. But for an even greater effect, embossing can also be combined with other techniques such as spot UV or foiling to really enhance the final result.

Foil Blocking

A popular finish, foil blocking involves applying a metallic foil layer to your print surface under high pressure using a heating process. The resulting finish is shiny and reflective, and adds a touch of class to your product. As well as the traditional gold and silver foils, we can now print in a whole host of colours, and combine the effect with embossing for a really impressive finish.

Foil blocking is also ideal for holographic or security foils.

Metallic Inks

Not as glossy as foil blocking, metallic inks are still highly reflective and create an effect that really highlights parts of a design.

At Kall Kwik we know that the finish is as important as the design itself. So, you can be sure that whenever we recommend a finish – be that varnish, laminate or embossing – it will have been chosen to enhance the job and ensure the final product looks absolutely stunning.

To find out more, please contact our design team on 01284 752266, or email [email protected].

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