You wouldn’t bake a cake without finishing it off with icing, would you? Neither should you create a printed piece without considering how to finish it off with one of the many decorative and protective finishing options available.
At the most basic level are varnishes or coatings.
- Traditional varnishes and coatings can be solvent or aqueous and are available in a variety of gloss levels.
- Spot coating is available if you want to highlight a certain element, such as a particular image or bit of text.
- UV coatings add greater levels of sheen and protection than traditional coatings.
- Try using a spot matte coating over a high gloss piece for that unexpected effect.
More elaborate finishing techniques can make your printed piece even more eye-catching.
- Embossing uses dies to create raised (or “relief”) areas that make images or text literally pop.
- Foils and specialty inks can be added to embossed regions for an even greater special effect.
- Debossing creates eye-catching effects by depressing portions of a printed piece.
- Foil stamping applies metallic foils like gold or silver to the substrate, also going a long way toward highlighting text and images.
Regardless of the finishing technique used, it should be appropriate to—and work in concert with—the content or message of the piece itself. The style and substance should never work at cross-purposes.
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When Entrepreneur speaks, small businesses listen. Recently, the magazine published some powerful reasons that businesses—new start-ups, in particular—need to resist the siren call of digital-only marketing and make a commitment to print.
The reason is awareness. When you are a start-up, getting the word out means everything to your business growth and success. Here are 5 reasons start-ups need print to do that.
- The digital world is vast. Whether customers find you has a lot to do with serendipity. If they are in the right place at the right time, or if they use the right search terms, they might. But the digital world is swarming with competitors—legitimate and non-legitimate—and consumers are bombarded with new marketing pitches with every screen refresh. You’re just one marketing voice in a sea of others.
- Digital marketing relies on targeting niches. If you take a niche-only strategy, you limit your business growth. Print allows you to move beyond niche markets and reach a broader audience.
- Print has staying power. Unlike digital marketing, which may only remain in the customer’s field of view for a few seconds, print stays on the desk, the table, or the counter. It isn’t forgotten the moment the viewer clicks out, scrolls down, or clicks to another page.
- Print gives small businesses a lot of options. Signs, banners, window clings, posters, dimensional mailers . . . there is a lot more to print marketing than flyers and direct mail.
- Print provides instant credibility. Sure, digital marketing is inexpensive, but that also creates a world of indiscriminate competition. Small companies look like big companies. Disreputable businesses promote themselves alongside reputable ones. Just by virtue of putting your message on paper, it gives your business instant legitimacy that online marketing doesn’t.
Print is an important part of the mix for all growing companies, but it’s particularly important for small, growing businesses because of the longevity, broad-based appeal, and legitimacy it provides.
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This article is based on concepts published in “Don’t Overlook Print When Mapping Out Your Startup Marketing Plan,” Entrepreneur, March 2015.