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Will embossing on a dull aqueous coating cause an unwanted shiny effect?

Answered by the experts at Earth Color

I am producing a journal-style calendar on an uncoated cover stock with a blind emboss. We want to add a dull aqueous coating to protect the covers and maintain the dull effect but my printer recommends against it. He says it will create a high shine during the embossing process. Why would that happen and is there anything else I can do to protect the covers?


We agree with your printer’s suggestion to eliminate the aqueous coating. The embossing process naturally causes a certain amount of shine (more or less, depending on the desired depth you want to achieve with the embossed area.) However, to protect the cover in the absence of coatings, we can suggest three possible ideas:

  • You can use UV inks which would cure immediately, thus coming off the press dry. This would eliminate the need for a protective coating.

  • You can also limit the depth or "hit" of the embossing. Although this option can minimize the amount shine, it will also limit the amount of detail of the embossed area and therefore a careful balance should be chosen to meet your expectations for this project.

  • To further protect the quality of the finished piece, the entire job can be slip sheeted. This will prevent any scuffing off the embossed surface during handling and shipment.

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