Print finishes and their differences

As the world of business continues to grow, competition increases. Branding and marketing can be the difference between business success and failure – so you want to do everything you can to fend off your competitors and represent yourself as the best that you can be. 

Fine-tuning your promotional designs can set you apart. Drawing your consumers’ attention and keeping it is crucial for new business and customer retention. You want your designs to be eye-catching, professional and to clearly communicate your brand. That’s why it’s helpful to consider your printing options before you finalise your design. 

With so many printing options on the market, the choice can seem overwhelming. There are a wide variety of print finishes for posters and each one serves a different purpose in promotional marketing. Here’s a run-down of the most prominent techniques and what they offer you.


Lamination is the most commonly used print finish. Its popularity stems from its sleek finish and durability, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor use. Lamination is available with either a glossy or matt finish – the choice is yours. There is a rigidity to lamination, which is why it’s a useful finish for leaflets, posters, or business cards. 


Varnishing is a versatile printing finish which offers several options to get it just right. You can get gloss, matt, and silk varnishing – the latter choice representing a mixture of the first two. Typically, varnishes are used when covering the front of a booklet or other similar types of promotional marketing.


Sublimation printing is a unique finishing method often used in the textile industry, especially for garments and fabrics. This technique involves transferring a design onto a substrate using heat-sensitive inks that turn into gas when heated, and then bond with the fabric’s fibers. The result is a permanent, full-color image that does not crack, peel, or wash away. This type of heat transfer printing is perfect for creating vibrant and detailed prints on polyester and poly-coated products, offering a smooth finish that is embedded within the fabric itself. This process is ideal for customized apparel, banners, and other textiles requiring high-quality graphic applications.

UV varnishing 

UV varnishing is achieved by applying ultraviolet light to build a gloss finish on the front of your product. One significant advantage of UV varnishing is its ability to make the colour more vivid – so, if you have a particularly bold design or you want to make an image stand out, this option could be the way forward. You may need assistance with this if you do not have the equipment to do it yourself, so speaking to professionals such as Tru-Cut LLC and others like them, will help you get the finished result you are going for.

Spot UV varnishing

Spot UV varnishing has become extremely popular in recent years. As the name suggests, what sets this technique apart from regular UV varnishing is that it can be deployed on specific parts of your promotional material. With a more focused application, you could draw the eye to a particular product, brand name or logo – or simply create a more attractive overall design. 

Foil stamping 

Foil stamping makes it easy to add a luxury finish to your product. The foil is placed on top and moulded into your print. If you combine this technique withembossing, you’ll create a sense of depth, which makes the foil stamping stand out even more.


Embossing is a process that changes the depth of your promotional design. It works by raising certain areas to give a unique 3D effect. The result is a design that not only looks amazing but also boasts a memorable texture.

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