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Executive Printers of Florida

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Choosing the Right Paper Finishes

The word “finish” means the treatment of the surface of the paper. A paper may feel rough or it may feel very smooth. It is that texture or “finish” that we are referring to.

The type of print finish you choose influences the effectiveness of your printed marketing materials. Regardless of what kind of material is being printed you should be aware of your print finishing options and the role each plays in getting your pieces noticed.

Inks lay down and appear differently depending on the finish of the stock. On gloss stocks, or any other coated stocks, the ink dries on the surface of the sheet where as on uncoated stocks, the ink absorbs into the sheet. With the coated stocks, images really POP off the sheet, colors are brighter since the ink is on the surface, but with uncoated you get a softer, darker image. This is due to dot gain. Dot gain is caused when the ink is absorbed into the sheet and spreads the way a water drop would.

Common paper finishings described below:

Linen
Linen finished paper resembles linen cloth.

Gloss
A gloss finish produces a shiny and reflective surface on one or both sides of certain coated papers. .

Matte
A finish on certain coated papers that is smooth but gives a dull appearance. A matte finish, as well as other types of coated paper, are good choices for print jobs in which high quality is required.

Felt
Felt is a soft texture on uncoated paper. The felt finish does not affect the strength of the paper.

Laid
A laid finish has the appearance of translucent lines running horizontally and vertically in the paper.

Parchment
A paper finish that has an antique appearance. Parchment is very durable and grease resistant.

Smooth
A smooth finish is the result of the paper passing through sets of rollers during the papermaking process.

Vellum
A vellum finish has an eggshell appearance and is consistent and even but not as much as a smooth finish. Vellum has a high ink absorbency rate.

Wove
An even finish in uncoated paper with a slight texture made by a felt roller covered in woven wire.

Learning about print finishing will make your job as a designer, marketer or business owner easier and will help streamline the print process.

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