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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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Five Ways to Spice Up Your Custom Brochure Printing by Coating the Press Sheet

Once in a while a custom brochure printing project comes up that provides the opportunity and budget for a stellar piece that will make the reader stop short. Or maybe you have been asked to create an annual report, and you are seeking highly skilled book printing and publishing companies. In either case, consider asking your brochure print service or book printers book printers about new advances in paper coating.

Coating your press sheet can add depth and dimension to an otherwise flat piece of paper. Think of the various coatings—varnish, UV, and aqueous—as a way to make certain parts of the brochure jump out at the reader and other parts sit back in a more subdued manner. Then play these two options against one another within a single brochure to accent one element and downplay another. Here are five suggestions:

  1. On a black background, perhaps a divider page in a book, create a type-only design, including a number of key words related to the content of the book. Use an attractive typeface, or a few typefaces, in a large point size. Overlap the words in various places. Make some of the words slightly lighter than the black background (maybe 80 percent black). Coat some of the words with gloss varnish and some of the words with dull varnish. Even consider using black foil stamping to print a few of the words. The end result will be a divider page in which some of the words seem to float in front of the others, some closer to you, some further away. (Ask your printer for help—early in the process–and expect to pay extra for the black ink, dull varnish, gloss varnish, and foil stamping.)
  2. Print a background photo of a tree, and add sandpaper UV coating to accentuate the texture of the bark. When you rub the page between your fingers, you will experience the simulated roughness of the wood. A similar sensation, although slightly more rubbery than sandpaper UV, can be achieved with soft-touch aqueous coating. In both cases, you feel like you are touching a physical object, not a glossy photograph.
  3. Start with a photograph of a glass or metal object (such as silverware or fine crystal). Add a high-sheen UV gloss coating. The smooth texture will reinforce the reflectivity and hardness of the glass or metal.
  4. Expand upon the prior example (the photo of glass or metal) in the following way. Wherever you have not highlighted the metal or glass with UV gloss coating, add a dull UV varnish. The contrast between the dull background and the glossy metal or glass objects will make the glass or metal objects appear to come toward the viewer while the dull UV coating will make the background recede. (It’s a little like experiencing a 3-D movie.)
  5. If your brochure highlights food, consider the texture of the food. Maybe it’s comfort food with a rough texture, like bakery delectables. Perhaps a textured coating will help the viewer subconsciously imagine the rough texture of bread or pastry. Or if you’re trying for a more upscale, high-styled look, use a gloss UV coating. This would be particularly powerful if the food you are showcasing in your brochure is coated with a sauce or some other moist surface that naturally reflects the light.

As you can see, these are all upscale images (food, fashion, luxury goods, etc.), and hence require more help from your printer and are more expensive. But once in a while the perfect project comes up for which the budget is available and these coating techniques are indispensable. Talk with your brochure print service and book printers early in the process.

One Response to “Five Ways to Spice Up Your Custom Brochure Printing by Coating the Press Sheet”

  1. Daniel says:

    Great article. I am very glad when I find useful information and I thank you so much for sharing. I will be back to visit often.



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