You decided to print material for your business, but aren’t sure what all the technical terms mean. During the planning process, you probably heard your representative mention “laminate” coating. Many printed pieces are specifically produced and designed to sell a product to someone. As such, the appearance of the piece is integral to the success of the sell. Since we always want our clients to be fully informed, we’re covering the basics for you below. At Village Print & Media, we’ve got your back.

Since it was first introduced in the late 1930s, the lamination method and its techniques were continuously fine-tuned by scientists and inventors in the following decades with the belief that lamination was the key to preserving any and all documents and materials. Typically, using a laminate coating enhances the appearance of the piece and allows it to maintain its high quality. Most coatings are available in gloss, semi-gloss or satin, and dull; frequently, different coatings may be even used on the same piece for a creative effect.

So, what exactly is a coating? A coating is a liquid that is applied on press as part of the printing process. Laminations are films applied after the print process is completed and come in two types: film-based and liquid-based. In order to apply it, the clear plastic film or liquid is laid over the sheet of paper and dries.

Why use laminate? Simply, they are durable and protect a print from water, scratching, or discoloration, while also providing a washable surface. Materials that are frequently handled are essentially required to use lamination, such as those used for price lists, menus, educational materials, bookmarks, membership cards, and presentations.Compared to UV coatings, lamination provides the highest level of sturdiness. When longevity is the most significant feature, a laminate coating is the smartest choice.

Below are a few options to consider:

Film laminate:
-While they are more costly, they provide better durability and resistance to moisture than liquid coatings.
-Typically suited to gloss sheets of moderate to significant thickness—otherwise, the sheet may curl.
-Produces high-gloss products, which can be hard to read with a small font.
-Example: restaurant menus

Polypropylene laminate:
-More adorable than a film laminate.
-Softer than film, so it is better for folded pieces, like brochures, catalogs, or book covers.
-Available in gloss, satin, or dull finishes.

Polyester laminate:
-Provides strong heat and chemical resistance.
-Best used for long lasting items like repair manuals, catalogs, outdoor signs.
-Available in gloss, satin, or dull finishes.

Nylon laminate:
-Nylon is semi-permeable, thus lessaffected by heat and water.
-Nylon is the most expensive type.
-This material won’t cause the sheet to curl.
-Best used when only one side of the sheet needs to be laminated, such as a book cover.