Many of our printed products come with optional lamination, but you may be wondering: what is lamination? There are many different types to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Take a look at our handy lamination guide for all the answers!
What is lamination?
‘It’s laminated!’ declares Isabella Rossellini when Ross shows her his infamous celebrity list in Friends… Lamination to your average person conjures an idea of just that – a clunky, sticky, plastic-encased product, complete with air bubbles galore, much like our lunch cards from the 90’s!
But nowadays, lamination is much more sophisticated, and in the hands of the printing professionals can render products more durable and aesthetically appealing – without an air bubble in sight!
So… what is lamination nowadays? Lamination is a production term, used to describe the bonding of a thin layer of a material to the top surface of a product. This process is achieved by using sophisticated technology, which applies pressure and/ or heat to the laminate layer (often plastic) and the product itself.
Why do you need lamination?
You don’t need lamination to create a custom printed product, however adding laminate to your items certainly has some substantial advantages:
- Finish: Adding lamination adds an aesthetically appealing ‘finish’ to your product. And a good looking product is a product that sells!
- Durability: Adding laminate can add durability to your items. If your product is likely to be handled, adding a protective layer can prevent tears.
- Easier cleaning: Certain types of laminate make your printed product easier to wipe clean, making it reusable and easier to disinfect within the Covid climate.
What are the different types of lamination?
There are many different types of lamination available. At Eazy Print we focus on the main 4 lamination styles below:
Gloss lamination looks just that: glossy! Gloss lamination is a high-sheen layer of plastic added to the top of products, providing a shiny finish.
Pros – Adding gloss laminate to a product is cost-effective, as it is one of the cheapest forms of lamination. It adds durability and a shiny finish to your product. Gloss also offers some protection against water and spills and stains, and is relatively easy to clean. Gloss gives the effect of a sharp contrast, making colours ‘pop’.
Cons – As gloss laminate catches the light, you run the risk of having a reflective surface, meaning your logo, branding or text may be lost at the wrong viewing angle. As it is reflective, any marks, scratches or fingerprints will also show up more easily.
The counterpart to gloss lamination, matt lamination provides a matte finish- elegant and subdued, without a shine in sight!
Pros – Matt laminate is also cost-effective, as it is often a similar price to its glossy counterpart. Like gloss, it adds durability and finish, but without the shine and reflective issues. It is also softer to the touch than gloss, creating a pleasing feel.
Cons – Matt lamination creates an effect of lower contrast between colours, so isn’t an ideal choice if you’re looking for something bold and eye-catching.
Soft-touch lamination does what it says on the tin- it provides a soft to the touch feel. This is ideal for a sense of luxury or a product with a high price point.
Pros – Soft-touch adds durability to your product, increasing its lifespan. It conveys a sense of exclusivity and luxury to your printed item, and is pleasing not only to the eye, but also to the hand!
Cons – Soft-touch laminate is closer to a matt than a gloss, meaning that (as with matt lamination) darker colours can appear more subdued. It is also considerably more expensive than either gloss or matt laminates.
Whereas you can write on gloss laminate with a dry-erase marker, it will start to mark pretty quickly. Dry-wipe laminate is ideal for charity cheques or awards – anything that you’d like to write on time and time again!
Pros – The only laminate that can be written, wiped and written again! Dry-wipe is also (obviously) the easiest to clean, and offers the most added durability of any laminate out there!
Cons – Dry-wipe laminate is expensive, and offers no particularly aesthetic finish.
Hopefully we’ve managed to answer the burning question: what is lamination? However, should you need any additional assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today!