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While most printing today is accomplished via a four-color process, there is a wide range of practical and creative options available when you add an additional color or varnish. This course teaches how these additional colors are made and shows some examples of finished projects that use these colors. Author Claudia McCue also dives directly into Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and other creative apps and shows how to build documents correctly for printing.
In addition to adding visual appeal to a printed piece, varnishes have other jobs to do. For example, if you're using an ink that's prone to scuffing, and it's a piece that's going to get handled a lot, or it's going to be mailed, it's a good idea to apply a varnish to protect that ink. And then if you're printing a color on an uncoated stock you're going to lose some vibrancy, because it gets absorbed into the stock. So sometimes, especially on important projects, you can come back in with a tinted varnish that restores some of the color that you lose by the absorbency of the stock. And then there are textured varnishes, and they're really interesting. They're a really hard thing to show, it's the sort of thing that you really have to pick up and feel.
And, of course, that's part of the appeal. There are varnishes now that can add sort of a sand like texture, and it's sort of an interesting story. Those really arose out of problems with varnishes interacting with each other. And then somebody realize that you could capitalized on that, and actually do it intentionally. So, you'll feel some of those imprinted pieces you encounter. There's also a very popular coating these days called soft-touch, and it feels like velvet. And again, it's the sort of thing that if we photograph, it really just looks like a matte finish, but when you pick it up it's really delicious.
And then there's some oddball things going on. There are some finishes that add sort of a rubbery feel, or a sticky feel. And you'll see those used sometimes, especially in children's books, or in novelty pieces. And although they're helpful for protection, sometimes varnishes can subdue a color, and maybe you don't want that. Inks, not just fluorescent inks that tend to scuff if you apply varnish to protect it, but you're also going to lose some of that vibrancy, so you have to decide, you know, which is more important. And in the past, sometimes if you varnished metallic inks you'd lose some luster with them.
But the newer Pantone Premium metallics don't lose any luster when you varnish them. So, you can protect them, and you're not going to lose any of that wonderful shine. And then here's a little consideration. If you're printing a job on what we call non-paper stocks, such as the Yupo stocks which are plastic, or Tyvek, and you'll hear that called a non-woven stock. You can't really use a lot of the conventional varnishes, so you're going to have to use UV coatings. Is that a big deal? No, it might add a little bit to the cost of the job, but it's something you just kind of have to deal with.
And the whole goal, after all, is to make sure that your printed piece comes out the way you expect. So, while varnishes in this sense don't really add to look of a piece, they can add to the feel of it or they can add to the permanency of the job.
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