From coatings to binding, print finishing techniques transform printed materials into the finished product. Professional printing includes a wide range of sophisticated finishing options that make your materials stand out from the crowd.
If you’re wondering what print finishing is and how it can help your business shine, keep reading! In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about finishing processes and provide examples of the best finishing techniques for your next print job.
What is Print Finishing?
Have you seen laminated menus that shine? Have business cards in unique shapes caught your eye? If so, you’ve been noticing print finishing at work.
Print finishing consists of all of the processes that take place after an item has been printed — in other words, everything that happens after ink has been applied. It can include a long list of processes, including the following:
- Round cornering
- Booklet making
- UV coating
- Metallic foil stamping
- Machine sealing
Print finishing might sound simple, but it can be quite challenging to accomplish on your own. Even simple printing techniques like lamination, for example, become much more difficult using a small office laminator.
Instead, it’s a good idea to leave print finishing to the experts in the print industry. They have the experience and materials to provide top-tier finishing processes like foil blocking, and you can depend on them to deliver the products you need quickly and dependably.
Types of Print Finishing Techniques
Print finishing can take many forms. Here are some of the most common finishing processes that give your print materials the professionalism you’re looking for.
Folding, Cutting, and Round Cornering
Some of the most-used finishing processes include folding, cutting, and round cornering. These can change the shape of your print materials, turn pages into brochures, and more.
Folding is one of the most common finishing strategies, and it is used to create brochures. You can choose from a wide range of brochure folding techniques to create the style you’re looking for. Some of the most common types of brochure folds include the following:
- Tri-fold brochure. With two folds creating six equal-sized panes, this is the most common type of brochure style.
- Bi-fold brochure. This brochure style has one fold, creating four panes.
- Gate-fold brochure. This brochure style also has two folds, but it has a larger central panel.
There are many more types of brochure folds, so take a look at some of the options to determine which style works best for your project.
Cutting is exactly what it sounds like: your printing company cuts your product to the correct size for your print project. They use industrial guillotine-style paper cutters to ensure that every page is even and every cut is perfect. Cutting can eliminate white borders on the edges of your materials and create custom product sizes.
Round cornering happens via two main techniques: cornering machines, which round the corners of your materials and die cutting, which can stamp out items with rounded corners. Ask your printing partner which option is best for your product.
Drilling, Stapling, and Booklet Making
There’s a wide range of booklet styles, and each involves a series of finishing processes.
Coil binding, comb binding, and Wire-O binding all take some preparation. First, the pages need to be cut and drilled to create holes for the binding. Then, the printing company puts the pages through a specialized machine, such as a comb binding machine, to bind the booklet.
Smaller booklets frequently use stapled binding. This binding is easy and affordable and works for booklets of up to 80 pages.
Scoring, Perforating, and Laminating
When it comes to getting your print items ready for distribution, scoring, perforating, and laminating make your collateral look great.
Scoring consists of making a crease in a paper product so it will fold more easily. This is important for products such as notecards and brochures. After your printing partner scores the pages, you can fold them quickly and easily in-house.
Perforating means cutting a row of small lines in a piece of paper so that it can easily be torn by hand. Some items that tend to use perforating include notebooks and notepads. Users can tear pages out without running the risk of tearing the pages themselves.
Laminating consists of running your paper product through a machine that coats one or both sides with a layer of plastic. Gloss lamination can range from 1.5 mil to 10 mil, so you can choose which thickness will work best for your project.
UV Coating and Shrinkwrapping
UV coating and shrink wrapping are two options that make life easier. UV coating is a process in which a gloss or dull coating is applied to the print surface and is then cured to the paper using a UV light. The UV coating protects the paper from wear and tear and makes cleaning easy.
Shrinkwrapping makes distribution easy. Professional printing companies can shrinkwrap materials together, ensuring that you can distribute the right number of copies to the right location. Shrinkwrapping also protects your product until it’s ready to be used.
Professional Services: Appeal and Durability
As you’ve seen in this article, professional printing companies like The Print Authority offer a wide range of finishing processes that make your products look great. These processes require special equipment and expertise, which your print partner can deliver seamlessly.
It’s easier and safer to let your print partner take care of all the finishing processes you need. This will get you the beautiful, durable products you’re looking for!
Print Finishing Techniques with The Print Authority
Print finishing is a big topic, and we hope this article has given you a glimpse into the options you can choose for your print materials. When you’re ready to take the leap and work with the print experts, reach out to The Print Authority! We have over three decades of experience and offer a wide variety of print finishing services.
To learn more about how The Print Authority can help your business through print, contact us!