Lamination refers to applying a plastic coating to a finished printed page. Laminates not only add appealing properties to the look and feel of your print work, but they also extend the lifespan of your prints.
They offer protection from damage such as marking, ink transferral, smudging, creasing, fading, wrinkling, abrasion and tearing.
Matt lamination is our most popular print finish. Usually paired with silk paper, matt lamination mutes colours and provides a natural, subtle finish.
This lamination offers lower levels of contrast compared to gloss lamination. But matt lamination is a particularly satisfying option for Art Prints, Postcards, and Flyers as this lamination provides a smooth quality.
Often associated with glossy magazines, which are ordinarily perfect bound with silk, inner pages, gloss lamination offers a shiny finish with high contrast levels. Attention-grabbing with a noticeable sheen, this lamination also easily repels surface dirt, dust and fingerprints.
Soft-touch lamination, as the name suggests, is soft to the touch. Favoured for its velvety, almost moleskin leather-like feel, it has a matt finish and is ideal for products that will be handled often. The pleasant, tactile sensation makes a great first impression and can be applied to other popular items like Hardcover Books and Paperback Books.
For a smooth finish, we apply a UV Varnish to printed pages. This shiny liquid is applied to the surface and set with ultraviolet light. While not as hardwearing as lamination, the radiation hardens the varnish to seal the prints to preserve and protect them.
We offer two options for UV varnish:
- UV Gloss: a high gloss finish, visually similar to gloss laminate.
- UV Matt: it dulls the colours - but provides a flat, satin-like finish.
Spot UV - also known as Gloss UV - is a high gloss finish applied to specific design features on your prints for a captivating contrast of surface textures.
For the best results, we recommend selecting a matt laminate and then adding a Spot UV finish to draw attention to the areas you want to highlight. Many use this finish on brand names and logos to make particular design features more noticeable.
For a premium look and feel, consider our 3D UV option. 3D UV is like Spot UV, but the ink for 3D UV is thicker. The thickness means it will be slightly raised from the surface and offers a contrasting texture to the rest of your print work.
You may not want to add a finish to your prints, whether it be for practical or artistic reasons.
If you want your prints to be recyclable, we advise you don't apply a laminate. Paper is shredded when recycled, and the plastic coating from lamination can be a contaminant.
Selecting uncoated paper can help you achieve a rustic, eco-friendly look. The paper stock will retain an earthy, natural texture when left unfinished. But please be aware that your prints may be more susceptible to rubbing, tearing, and marking.
We do not offer lamination for uncoated, natural, or recycled papers because these paper stocks are very absorbent when we apply ink. Plus, if we add a laminate on top of uncoated paper without a lot of ink coverage, it will peel off. Some prefer the more natural appearance and feel of these paper stocks anyway, so adding a laminate would remove these properties.
Again, besides uncoated, natural, or recycled papers, we strongly recommend that you add a laminate. Ordering prints without lamination could mean your prints may be more at risk of ink or paper damage. If you're unhappy with the appearance or condition of your prints, follow the instructions on our FAQ page under 'How do I make a complaint?', so we can investigate and offer you a solution.