SURFACE TREATMENT

Do you want to protect your labels or maybe give it an amazing stop-effect? Surface treatment is important to make your label the best there is! When we say varnish and/or laminating we mean final coating or finish. They are the two most common finishing methods, and we will describe them in turn further down the chapter. In addition, it is worth mentioning that there are other effects in this category, such as foil print and embossing, but we think those belong in our chapter about printing methods instead.

WHAT IS VARNISH?

To give the label an extra matt or glossy finish, one can coat the label with varnish after the colours have been printed. At the same time the varnish will give the colours some extra power and depth, in addition to durability. The varnish function as a protective layer over the ink. Coating itself is done by spreading a defined amount of varnish on a rotary print cylinder, which in turn applies a thin layer of varnish on the label. The varnish is subsequently stiffened by a UV lamp.

WHAT IS SPOT VARNISH?

It is most common to coat the whole label in varnish, but it can be most effectual to just coat parts of the label instead. This is called spot varnish and is used when one wants to accentuate some parts of the pattern or a certain part of the design. To make this effect one needs to have a cliché made for the varnishing.

There are three types of finish when varnishing: matt, glossy and semi-gloss – a scale between matt and glossy. Some wants glossy labels, and some wants a softer look – there is no right answer, it depends on the trends in the market.

We can also provide silicone free varnish; this means one can print with a thermal transfer printer even with a coat of varnish on the label.

WHAT IS LAMINATING?

Laminating a label means to coat it with a thin, protective foil. The purpose of this is to give the label a strong, durable surface – especially if it is meant for use in harsh environments. For instance, on chain saws, or other equipment which needs a durable label.

There are many different types of laminating foil, and every one of them has their own special characteristics. In other words, the possibilities are very good when creating variations in the surface of the label.

WHAT IS EPOXY VARNISH?

Have you ever seen a label with a thick and transparent layer on the surface? Well, it exists and it is called epoxy varnish. Some have named it dome-label; others call it a 3D-label or epoxy label. Whatever the name, it is a very thick coat of varnish which is sprayed on the surface of the label to give it a real stop-effect. None the less, this type of labels is very durable, and are often used as brand builders on furniture or machines.

Watch this video to see how the 3D-label is made:

Read further about

History of labeling

Printing methods

Colours

Substrates

Surface treatment

Post-press

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