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Coatings and Laminates

Coating and laminates provide you further design options to enhance your packaging and add levels of protection for  your printed artwork.

What is Best for Your Job?

Coatings are used to help protect the ink and paper surface of the printed piece and are also added as a design element.


Coatings are predominately used on coated paper where the liquid coating will be held on top of the paper surface. On the other hand, uncoated paper is porous so the liquid coating will be partially absorbed by the paper, and most of the coating's effect will be lost.


Coatings are most often applied to uncoated stock in order to prevent ink transfer and rubbing when the ink coverage. is heavy. Matte or satin varnishes or coatings are the best choices for uncoated paper stocks.

Varnishes are applied on the press as an 'extra' color meaning they are applied from a standard ink unit on the press. Additives can be added, and the varnish can even be tinted to create a special effect. Varnished can be applied as a spot or all-over coverage. The downside of varnish is that it tends to yellow with age and requires offset powder to be sprayed to prevent sheets from sticking together. This changes the feel of the surface.


Gloss varnish:  Increases saturation and vibrancy of the colors and protect against rub-off, as mentioned. The extra gloss causes some glare, making the text a little less legible.  Fingerprints can be noticeable on areas of dark ink coverage.

Matte varnish: Matte varnish is non-reflective, making for good text readability. Applied on images, the colors tend to be muted and softened.  To the touch, the surface has a plush tactile quality. While more resistant to fingerprinting matte varnish is more prone to scuffing and care should be taken to prevent rubbing of surfaces.

Satin varnish: Satin is made by blending matte and gloss varnish together. The resulting varnish, not surprisingly, has an intermediate level of sheen. It is more scuff-resistant than the matte varnish.

Aqueous Resin Coating:

These water-based coatings are the most common form of coating used with packaging today. The coating is applied with its own dedicated applicator unit "in-line" on the press. An aqueous coating has the benefits of the varnishes without the drawback of the yellowing, fingerprinting, and the need for press power to be sprayed between sheets, as the coating dries instantly on-press. 

The quick-drying leads to faster turnarounds. An additional advantage, aqueous resins are environmentally friendly.


Gloss aqueous: This is generally applied as an overall coat, offering a higher level of protection than varnish. The coating fills and seals the surface imperfections of the paper and Increases the saturation and vibrancy of the colors, 

Matte/ Silk aqueous: Also generally applied overall. This coating has better scuff resistance than the matte varnish. It also mutes and softens the colors.

Satin aqueous: Offers intermediate properties of the gloss and matte aqueous. 


Pencil receptive aqueous: This is a special matte aqueous coating that is designed to be pencil, ink, and laser receptive. 

SoftTouch aqueous: This proprietary coating is applied with a special roller to produce a suede or velvet-like texture. 

UV Coatings
UV coatings are applied using screens and roller.  Then exposed to an ultraviolet light unit to set and harden the coating.  UV coatings may have a strong odor and be prone to cracking along fold lines..

Gloss UV: Flood & Spot  Coatings Creates a very high gloss coating.  It can be applied as an overall or more usually these days, a spot coating where it's usually applied on top of a matte lamination to create more contrast and relief.

Pearlescent UV: A pearlescent effect caused by adding small metallic flecks to gloss UV resin.

Orange peel UV: A textured finish that resembles. believe it or not, an orange peel.



A thin film of polypropylene or nylon is laminated to the surface of the paperboard press sheet after printing. It provides the ultimate protection, reinforcing the paperboard and adding strength, rigidity, and durability to the packaging. Ensure your packaging is always looking its best on the shelf.


Gloss laminate: A clear shiny film that adds vibrancy to your color and luster to your packaging.


Matte /Silk laminate: A semi-opaque film that mutes and softens colors, while also providing a non-reflective matte surface to the packaging.


Soft-Touch laminate:  A semi-opaque film with a smooth silky appearance that changes the look of your box.  Dramatically softening colors while the subtle surface texture has a velvet-like tactile feel..

Silk Aqueous Coating
Spot Gloss UV Coating
Matte Sllk Laminates
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