Which type of lamination should I choose?
So you’re deciding on the finish of your chosen material and when it comes to lamination there’s plenty to choose from! We take a look at the different types of lamination in more detail, so you can make the best choice for your custom printed product.
What is Lamination?
Lamination is a production term, used to describe the process of adding a protective layer of plastic or some other material on top of the finished product.
The advantages this technique are numerous; depending on the type of lamination it can provide extra durability and tensile strength, make the product waterproof, or offer an aesthetically pleasing result that can’t be achieved without a lamination process.
The technique is achieved when another ‘layer’ is added on top of the product, bonding with the material under heat or pressure (or both!)
Gloss lamination is just that: glossy. It provides a shiny effect and as such gives a visual illusion of crisper lines and brighter colours; gloss is also the most cost-effective lamination style, as it’s one of the easiest to produce. The main drawback to gloss lamination is, because it catches the light, any wear and tear marks will be more obvious than with a matt finish. You can even write on gloss and wipe off the text when you’re done- but beware this is only a short-term solution, as it will eventually mark.
A matt lamination provides a coating layer that is much less reflective than gloss, giving it an elegant and professional finish. It is also more pleasing to the touch and feels ‘softer’ than its glossy counterparts. Matt lamination offers lower contrast on darker colours giving the product a more blended, softer visual effect – so it’s ideal for a subtle, elegant design, but might not be the best choice if you’re looking for your bright colours to ‘pop’. Matt laminates are more expensive than gloss, but only marginally, so it’s still a budget-friendly option.
Anti-scratch lamination does just what it says on the tin – it helps products stay scratch and scruff free for a long-lasting professional finish. This laminate is particularly useful for any product that is likely to be bend, for example folders. The anti-scratch means that even dark products will be protected from visible damage lines. It’s pricing falls right in the middle of the laminations – so it won’t break the bank!
Soft-touch lamination gives the same visual effects as matt lamination, but with the added benefit of having a soft, velvet-like touch. As such, this lamination is ideal for conveying a sense of luxury and exclusivity to your product. The downside to soft-touch lamination is the same as the downside for matt – if you need your colours very bright, it would be a better choice to go for a glossy finish. Soft-touch is also the most expensive laminate.
Silk lamination is a type of light plastic coating on top of your product that provides a ‘silk-like’ feel. It something between a matt and a soft-touch, being neither totally matt nor totally ‘velvety’ like soft touch. However, it provides a high quality, aesthetically pleasing finish, with a smooth silky touch and it’s more cost-effective than it’s soft-touch counterpart, so should you wish for a touch of luxury with a smaller budget, silk is a great in-between.
The best option for any product that you intend to write on! Dry-wipe lamination allows you to write on your product, wipe it off and write again; ideal for drywipe calendars and charity cheques. Dry-wipe is coated with an ink and dirt repellent layer, making it ideal for reusable products. This lamination is the best to keep clean – the only drawback is that it is only available on large format options. Should you have any questions regarding our lamination options or processes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.