Terms Used In The Print Industry – Part Two:

Now that we have gone over some printing terms relating to effects and customizing, it’s time to continue on with Print Coatings and Varnishes and what special traits they bring to the printing process.

Print Coatings and Varnishes:

Coatings are commonly used for protection, but there are many other effects that can be accomplished by using coatings. A coating being applied to a selected area to create contrasts or to highlight elements or applied to the entire surface. There is a large array of different print coating available, each with their own distinctive traits for effects and/or finishings.busy office


Varnish is a clear ink that comes in gloss, matte or satin finishes. If you are covering an entire surface, flood varnish is a great way to protect high wear surfaces. With selective applications, spot varnish will offer shine or highlights to an individual element and works very well for logos and various text.

UV Coating:

This is a liquid that is cultivated very quickly by exposure to ultraviolet light. This process results in a hard, glossy finish but not flexible like other coatings. The downside to UV Coating, it is prone to cracking when folded. Like varnish, it can be applied as spot or flood, but caution should be taken that the correct inks are used with various coatings to prevent bleeding. UV Coating is very effectual as spot applications to highlight areas on a business card.

Aqueous Coating:

This is a clear, fast drying water-based coating used mostly to protect a printed surface. It’s created to improve the sturdiness of a printed item but not for an effect. This is usually applied as a flood over the entire surface such as postcards. Also, being a water-based coating it is more environmentally friendly than many other coatings.

There are many benefits for using coatings including visual effects or sturdiness. Although there are so many different coatings that offer good results if used properly, there are also some adverse consequences such as cracking or the coating cannot be written on. It’s always a good idea to get expert advise before proceeding with any coating.