China Printing Glossary: Coatings
In this section are an assembly of the most Common printing and shipping terms used for China Printing Solutions projects. While this is by no means a comprehensive glossary of materials, techniques or terms, we hope this may be of use in making full use of this website and in communicating with us.

Aqueous Coating: A water based coating whose protective properties lie somewhere above varnish and below UV coatings. Generally used to provide a finish with most of the protective capability of UV coatings, but with more of a satin finish. While providing a richer feel than Varnish, it is also more expensive and may be prone to more defects in the production process.

Film Lamination: A clear plastic film sheeting that is heat sealed to the paper surface to provide an extremely hard and very protective finish which is even more resistant than UV coating, and at a lower cost to boot. Lamination is available in either matte or gloss application and, in gloss form, is even more glossy than UV Coating. While Matte lamination provides a dull, satin finish that tends to feel fairly rich, Gloss lamination, for some designers may be seen as too glossy or plastic, and therefore somewhat “cheap”.

Spot UV: A UV coating used to cover a single photo or other isolated area. Spot UV works very well to highlight a photo, logo or other important design attribute, particularly if added to a matte surface, for added contrast. Can be expensive.
Spot Varnish: A varnish coating used to cover a single photo or other isolated area. Spot Varnish works moderately well to highlight a photo, logo or other important design attribute, but does not create the high contrast effect provided by Spot UV. It is, however, much less expensive, especially if applied inline as a fifth color.

UV Coating: A coating which, when cured under Ultra-Violet light, creates a glossy, highly protective surface with a rich, smooth feel. While not as protective as Lamination, UV is a very high quality finish, with a price tag to match. It is preferred for high end magazines, catalogs and books. While generally used as an “all over” coating, it can also be used as a Spot UV,

Varnish: An oil based coating providing a mild sheen and protective qualities to printed material. Varnish may be added in-line when printing (wet trapped), or as an additional coating after the printed matter has dried (dry-trapped) and may be either gloss or matte. While usually added as an “all over” coating, it may also be produced as a Spot Varnish. Varnish is a relatively inexpensive procedure which, when dry trapped to gloss coated paper can provide a rich lustre to a print work, but has neither the protective qualities nor the shine of coatings like UV and Lamination.