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Decorative Print Finishing for Graphic Designers
There are a series of print finishing processes that
designers can use to embellish the appearance of printed articles before they are made into the final
product. This type of work is usually subcontracted by the printers to a specialist print finisher such as
Ultra Finishers because of their expert knowledge, skillset, and specific machinery used to create the
The type of finish we apply will depend on the product and its particular customer market. For
example, something like a University Prospectus folder would benefit from having a laminated film
applied to the surface, to add strength, thickness, and durability because it is handled often and
protects important documents. It is likely that this type of folder would also be improved by using a
spot uv varnish or a coloured foil block to highlight the focal points. Essentially it is a sales item and is
intended to promote the University course.
I want to start with the basic print finishing applications and here are just a few that we use at Ultra
Laminating – A thin layer of film applied onto the surface of a sheet.
Spot UV Varnishing – It is essentially printing over a specific image or area, using varnish instead of
Foil blocking – Applying any coloured foil to a specific image or area.
Embossing – Raising the surface area of a specific image or area.
Using the above basic applications, designers can start to create some amazing projects.
When you delve deeper and start to investigate the many different options each basic application can
offer. Then your creative limitations increase enormously and with each process having many different
variations, it is possible to get highly creative indeed.
Use – Fluted foils to add depth and texture – holographic foils to add movement – soft touch lamination
adds texture – glitter varnish adds sparkle – debossing adds texture and depth – high build spot uv
adds more texture and depth, there are fragrance inks and thermal revealing inks we can apply to
create many more effects.
Using decorative finishing in this way will add value to a product. Value in terms of appearance,
functionality, and shelf appeal – Here designers can use their creative ability to make an ordinary item
change into a fascinating object. Something that people will want to pick up and touch, something
that looks elegant and luxurious. So, when planning It is important to try and visualise the end product.
Think about the way it will feel and if there are any featured images that need to stand out. Think
about where it will be presented, its target audience. Then try to bring your artwork to life using your
imagination and understanding of the various types of finishes that can be applied. There is an info
pack on our website. Ultra Finishing Website It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with our decorative
finishing applications and try to add them layer upon layer as you build your projects. Understanding
this will help you to create really awesome and memorable designs.