Printed marketing materials are often your business’s first contact with new customers, and it’s important that they make a great first impression. UV coating is one way you can make your postcards, business cards, catalogs, and other products stand out and draw attention to your brand.
But what is ultraviolet (UV) coating? This finishing technique involves the application of a wet compound to paper that is cured and dried with ultraviolet light. This process results in a glossy sheen that is as attractive as it is durable.
What are the benefits of UV coating?
UV coating creates a stunning, dramatic visual appeal with a wide variety of mediums, whether you’re sending out postcards or designing presentation documents. But in addition to its aesthetic value, this coating process has several additional benefits.
- High-Shine: UV coating adds a truly unique shine to your printed materials, deeply enhancing colors and creating a slick visual effect. This coating is great for photographs and high-color documents like catalogs and folders.
- Customizable: Your printer can adjust the reflectivity and thickness of your UV coating depending on your unique needs. You may opt for a glossy coating or an understated matte for maximum effect.
- Fast Drying: Production time can significantly slow down your marketing campaign, but using ultraviolet light, these materials dry instantly to save you time.
- Durable: When you’re mailing or distributing your materials, they can often get scuffed or scratched in transition. UV coating keeps your materials looking fresh off of the press for much longer, allowing you to design mailing pieces, business cards, and brochures with a durable, abrasion-resistant design.
- Environmentally-Friendly: Many coatings use harmful solvents, but the compound used in UV coatings are free of solvents and don’t emit volatile organic compounds during the curing process.
- Affordable: The process of applying UV coating is very affordable, particularly when you consider the return on your investment. High-quality printed materials can inspire confidence in your brand and impress your customers and clients.
When is UV coating not a good option?
There are some instances in which UV coating is not your best option for your printed materials. These occasions include:
- When you’re using lightweight paper (under 100#): UV coating may crack or curl if used on lightweight paper. Heavier stock is recommended for this coating process, such as paper stock used for business cards, booklets, flyers, and catalog covers.
- If the material needs to be written on: Writing with ink on coated paper can take a long time to dry and result in unflattering smudges, so it’s best to opt for uncoated paper if it needs to be written on. For materials like business cards that may be used for visual and functional purposes, you can coat one side and leave the other uncoated for writing.
- If you’re using metallic inks or foil stamping: Unless your metallic ink is sealed, its naturally flaky surface can cause the UV coating to peel and flake. Additionally, the UV coating on your materials may not allow for a foil stamp, so discuss this possibility with your printer before deciding on coating or stamping.
UV coating is a great option for marketers, advertisers, and small business owners alike. By using this coating on your printed materials, you can create eye-catching materials that promote your brand and attract customers—without breaking your print budget.