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Print Finishing

Foil Blocking

Foil Blocking, sometimes called Hot Foil Blocking, or simply Foiling is a similar method to letter-pressing. The block of the image is heated and used to brand a metallic or coloured foil on the item. This usually gives an embossing effect.

Thermography Printing

Thermography gives a raised print finish. A special powdered polymer is deposited onto the paper and then heat is applied. The heat causes a reaction in the polymer, bonding it to the paper and making it expand slightly, making it raised.

Spot UV

Spot UV is a term giving to the process of layering a varnish onto a (usually) already printed product, sometimes it can be applied onto an item without other printing to give a nice, elegant finish.

The varnish is usually applied as a spot (small areas,) and gives a nice, glossy finish.

Metallic Inks

These special inks are best used sparingly and for simple additions to the work, it may struggle to keep to complex elements due to the viscosity of the ink. They can look very stylish and elegant if used well, or can look cheap and tacky if not. Less is most certainly more.


Nice and simple, trimming / guillotining excess edges off printed work. Nearly all printed matter will have printer registration marks, unwanted whitespace and so on that will need to be trimmed off. Flyers and the like may be printed on large sheets which then need cutting up.


Nothing fancy here. It’s literally folding the paper. There are lots of very common folds to achieve various results for leaflets etc.


Applied to the spine of a document to hold it together. There are different types of stitches suitable for different applications.


Just as it says. The simplest way to join some pages together. Suitable for most small jobs.

Perfect Binding

Perfect binding is a book-like binding, using either thread to stitch the pages together or hot-glue. Accompanied by a full cover.

Wiro Binding

There are plastic and metal versions of this binding. A cheap and simple way of combining pages though not as rugged as perfect binding. Home / Office binding machines are affordable though may not give such a professional look.


Professional lamination will be trimmed so you want end up with over-hang as you might be used to if you’ve ever laminated something yourself. Matt and gloss is available. you may not even be aware of a matt lamination but it does give a nice smooth, professional finish.

Embossing / Debossing

Embossing – towards you (out); Debossing – away from you (in).

The same technique but done from different sides of the paper. Very commonly used on book dust-covers, raising the authors name and book title.


Using a pre-made template (tool) the paper is cut. Complex of simple shapes can be made, e.g. a flyer which can be folded into a box, or shapes can be cut out of a page.


Normally used for sheets or rolls of stickers, where the die-cut tool cuts through the sticker but just ‘kisses’ the paper backing, keeping the sheets / rolls together.

Micro Perforations

Often used for items which can be pushed out of a larger piece of paper, or when something needs to be able to be torn off. Like stamps before Royal Mail made them self-adhesive.


Add pre-creases to your item to make folding of it easier.


Photographic prints and the like can be mounted, usually onto special mounting board, to give a lightweight, inflexible method of displaying.

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