Binding, Coating, Specialty Finishing

The term "Finishing" is used to describe the process following printing, such as cutting, binding, gluing, etc. The general guidelines to follow as you prepare your files are enumerated below.


Saddle Stitching

A saddle-stitched publication has all sides of the pages trimmed except the spine. This is to make all the outside edges even. The "creep" causes the pages to protrude differently as the pages closest to the center will protrude more than the pages on the outside. If the elements are too close to the outer edge of the page, they may be trimmed off when we trim the pages to avoid a noticeable creep.

Saddle-stitching is ideal for those who opt for a self cover, are using  low weight paper, or have a small amount of pages to be bound. The process is to staple the pages in the center of the binding. It is most commonly used for catalogs and thin magazines. Saddle-stitch requires that pages be in multiples of 4.

Files for the pages and covers should be submitted as single pages.


Perfect Bond Binding

A perfect bound publication has all sides of the pages, including the spine, trimmed. This is called the "grind". The pages are "ground-off" to ensure that the edges of the inside pages are all even.

Perfect binding glues all of the pages to the spine of the cover. The result is a completely even edge on the outside. This binding is optimal for those with many pages, and a heavier paper weight cover. It is commonly used for higher volume magazines and luxury catalogs.


Print Coatings

Coatings are applied to protect the printed pages from moisture, extreme temperatures, scuffs, scratches, and frequent handling. They are also used to draw the eye to a particular element on the page. We offer four types of print coatings: overprint varnish, aqueous coating, lamination, and UV coating. All four are available in matte, dull, satin, and glossy. Please note that coatings appear differently on uncoated paper versus coated paper. If you  intent to write  or rubber stamp on your publication,  it’s better not to use any coating as it will limit your ability to write on the paper.


UV Coating

Ultra-violet coating is the glossiest coating available and is less commonly available in dull and matte. UV coating is a clear liquid that is spread over the paper like ink. It can be used as a spot covering to accentuate a particular image or logo on the page or as a full page (flood) coating. UV coating gives more protection and shine than varnish or aqueous coating. UV coating is unsaturated polyester or polyacrylate based, and when exposed to ultraviolet light, dries instantly. UV coating offers excellent rub protection.

UV coating is applied as a separate finishing operation as either a flood coating (applied by screen printing) or as a spot coating. Keep in mind that this thick coating may crack when scored or folded.


Aqueous Coatings

Aqueous coatings are water-based and are applied by an inking unit of the press or in a special coater. Aqueous has the advantage over varnish because it dries immediately and has a glossy finish that falls between varnish and UV coating. Since aqueous can be applied over wet ink, can seal the printed sheet, and can dry immediately, it has the practical advantage of reducing handling time for trimming and other post-press operations.

The disadvantage of aqueous is that since it is water-based it can cause paper to curl, particularly on thinner paper weights. Additionally, certain pigments may bleed with aqueous. Aqueous coating is only recommended for coated sheets as it will be absorbed by uncoated paper stocks.


Specialty Finishing

Foil Stamping

 Foil stamping gives anelegant, non-tarnishing metallic finish to paper using a process  known as foil stamping or hot stamping. A wide selection of foil colors, finishes, and effects are available such as: gold, silver, colored metallics, marble, leather, wood, snakeskin, and pearl finishes; in geometric multi-dimensional patterns.



Embossing is a process that applies pressure to the backside of paper to alter the surface, giving it a three dimensional or raised effect. It is often used in combination with foil stamping. The procedure involves the use of two dies, one fitting into the other so that the raised die forces the paper into the recessed die to create the embossed impression. The die maker engraves the desired image into several metal plates, which are the embossing dies for the embossing press to use. Generally, embossing is the process most used to attract attention or to convey a high quality textural contrast. Also available is debossing, which has the opposite effect of embossing.


Die Cutting

Die cutting is the process of cutting shapes from sheets of plastic by pressing a shaped knife edge into layers of sheeting. The dies are often called steel rule dies, and pressure is applied by  hydraulic or mechanical presses. The main method of die cutting involves the use of metal dies to give paper specific cut out shapes or designs that cannot be accomplished with a straight cut on a guillotine cutter.


Pantone Color

Pantone, or PMS color is any color that is used on a document that is not a process color. These are often used to create special effects or to meet a company's branding standards with a specific color. Specialty inks can be used as a spot color to provide even greater emphasis to a print. These inks can range from fluorescent, fade resistant, opaque, and metallic.


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