Types of Print Finishes

The type of print finish you choose can have an enormous influence on the effectiveness of your printed marketing materials. Whether you're printing postcards, brochures, business cards, flyers, catalogs or something else entirely, you should be aware of your print finishing options and the role each plays in getting your pieces noticed and achieving response. Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of print finishing now will make your job as a designer, marketer or entrepreneur easier and streamline the printing process. Here's what you need to know about each type of print finish:

Paper stock

resources imageFew finishing considerations have has much weight as your choice of paper stock. The quality of your paper stock has a lot to do with your audience's perception of your company; moreover, it can work hand-in-hand with your design to project a professional image that leads to additional sales. For single-sheet items such as postcards  and business cards, a thick and hearty paper stock, such as a 16-point paper stock, is usually best. For multi-sheet items such as catalogs and booklets, you can incorporate a thick cover stock and remain frugal for a better return on investment by opting for thin, economical inside stocks. Perhaps even more important than the paper stock itself is the coating. A bright, glossy coating lends richness to your colors and brilliance to your design; while a subtle matte coating lends depth and poignancy. UV-coated materials are even more stunning and add a protective layer that helps your printed marketing materials stand up to wear and tear.


It's no secret that size matters, especially in these United States. Large, oversized brochures, posters, postcards and other materials immediately capture attention - the first step in achieving response. But bigger isn't always better; printing undersized materials can make just as much of an impression. The goal is to be different so you stand out from the competition, so any size that strays from the norm can increase your response rate. Still, one can't deny the fact that it is very difficult to ignore the largest item in the mailbox or on the wall.

Die cut

Die cuts are unique in that they allow you to simultaneously grab attention by straying from the norm and make a statement about your company. A simple rounded corner on a business card can denote elegance and superiority, while a fun die cut (such as a dog bone for a pet shop) immediately tells your customers who you are and what you do. Your brand image is incredibly important to business longevity, and die-cut print finishes can help you achieve the image you want fast.

Foil stamping
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Foil stamping is one of the most underused print finishing techniques, especially when you consider how powerful foil stamps are for grabbing attention and lending an air of prestige and authority to your marketing materials. If your design seems to be lacking a certain pop, see how a foil stamp fits in. Chances are, you'll increase your response rate immediately. Your message, offer, design, and distribution methods are driving factors behind your marketing success; but so is your print finishing. Don't forget this crucial final step when planning your next marketing campaign.