What are Coatings?
Coatings are used to seal inks, bring out vibrancy, create visual effects, and protect your printed pieces from wear and tear. The different coatings used in sheetfed offset printing include: varnish, aqueous coating, ultra-violet coating and laminates. All of these are available in gloss and matte finishes.
Aqueous coating (also referred to as AQ coating or AQ varnish) is a protective water-based sealant that is applied like ink, by a printing press. This finish is an eco-friendly option to the traditional oil varnishes that are used in the industry. Not only does AQ coating offer protection, but it will increase the saturation and depth of color of your printed pieces. AQ coating comes in a gloss or matte finish, and is commonly used on saddle-stitched covers, prints, and other items that don’t require heavy protection.
Laminate is a transparent plastic film that is applied to heavier stocks. This film provides protection against heavy use and moisture. It also adds strength, brings out colors as well provides a nice finish. It can come in a number of finishes such as gloss, matte, silk (soft-touch), textured, and hologram to name a few. Laminate is most commonly used on softcovers, hardcovers, folders, GM screens, playing cards and more!
Varnish is a protective petroluem based sealant that is applied like ink, by a printing press. Not only does varnish offer protection, but it will increase the saturation and depth of color of your printed pieces. It comes in a gloss or matte finish, and is commonly used on saddle-stitched covers, prints, and other items that don’t require heavy protection.
UV (Ultra-Violet) coating is a liquid compound that is applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. This protective coating is extremely durable, and highly reflective and glossy making colors pop! It typically works best on heavier stocks and is commonly used on business cards, postcards, mailers, and some saddle stitch covers such as coloring books and calendars.