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Coatings and Lamination

ColorPage Coating Options:


Varnish or print varnish is a clear coating that can be processed like an ink in (offset) presses. It has a similar composition to ink, but lacks any color pigment it is applied to printed surfaces for looks and protection.

Varnish is the least effective way to prevent scuffing. It is essentially ink without pigment. It requires its own printing unit on press. It is often printed as an additional pass through the press after the initial ink coating has dried so that it provides a glossier finish. Varnish is available in at ColorPage in gloss and dull.

A skillful designer may treat varnish as a color playing gloss varnish off against matt inks to give subtle effects, you can even highlight specific areas on a page such as a title or portion of an image. (This technique works best when done on dark backgrounds)

UV Coating

UV Coating is a clear liquid spread over the paper like ink and then cured instantly with ultraviolet light. It can be a gloss or dull coating, and can be used as a spot covering to accent a particular image on the sheet or as an overall (flood) coating.

UV coating gives more protection and sheen than either varnish or aqueous coating. Since it is cured with light and not heat, no solvents enter the atmosphere. However, it is more difficult to recycle than the other coatings.

UV coating is applied as a separate finishing operation as a flood coating. Keep in mind that this thick coating may crack when scored or folded.

ColorPage’s XDC 480 UV Coater
Produces richer and more vibrant colors on digitally or offset printed pieces.


Laminates are available as: film one side or both sides of a sheet and can have a gloss or matte finish. As the name suggests, a clear plastic film is adhered to a paper substrate using a special lamination machine that applies the correct heat and pressure to assure a lasting adhesion.

Laminates protect the sheet from water (including perspiration from the hands) and are therefore good for coating items like menus and book covers.  Laminates are slow to apply and costly but provide a strong, washable surface.

ColorPage book covers are laminated using 1.5 mil, non-curl, nylon lamination film available in both matt and gloss finishes.

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