Do I need laminate printing?
04 October 2018
Laminate printing is used in a variety of industries to provide strength and durability to paper products. It is quite often used to cover restaurant and bar menus, business cards, POS displays, and even signage.
There are a number of different types and finishes of laminate printing. In this article, we take you through your options so you can decide which is best for you and your project.
How does laminate printing work?
Laminate printing works by passing paper between two heated rollers, with a sheet of thin plastic on either side. This plastic is called 'laminate' and melts when passed through the rollers. The heat causes the laminate to bond with the paper and itself, enclosing the product inside a protective layer.
Why do I need laminate printing?
Laminate printing offers your products unmatched protection against spills, smudges, stains, and tearing. By increasing the durability of the product, laminate printing offers extended product life and better usability.
Laminated products also benefit from enhanced and deepened colours, as well as clarity. By using laminate printing, your card and paper products also benefit from:
• Increased strength and stiffness
• Reasonable cost
• Increased longevity of products - reduced need for reprinting
What is the laminate printing process?
When you come to TPS for your laminate job, it's important to consider the time constraints. Small format jobs for products like badges and menus can sometimes be finished within 24-48 hours. Large format jobs such as laminate banners or posters will take more time.
Before laminating, you'll need to decide which thickness of laminate you want to go for. This tends to depend on the type of paper or card your project is printed on and is measured in a unit of thickness called 'mil'. One mil is equivalent to 1/1000ths of an inch.
Your choice of laminate may be one of the following:
This is most commonly seen on restaurant menus. It provides for protection from spills, smudges, and grease, and also offers some flexibility. Typically, thin lamination is best used on 32# text paper, with a 5 mil laminate.
This type of lamination works well for projects such as event badges, which need to be both durable and protected. We recommend using 32# text paper with 10 mil laminate for optimum results, and a project that will last for up to a week.
You may have seen thicker lamination on your driver's license. It is long-lasting and incredibly durable, combining waterproofing with easy-clean capabilities. It is best suited to 100# paper, with 10 mil laminate.
After choosing the thickness of your laminate, you'll need to decide which type of edge you want. The edge comes in two styles:
Here, the laminate is cut off by machine so it falls flush with the product.
Here, the laminate is cut slightly larger than the product (usually 1/8 of an inch) so that when it is sealed it acts as a transparent border.
Lastly, you'll need to pick the finish you want for your product.
A gloss finish offers a clear view, as well as shine, but may be unsuitable for display products as it produces glare.
Matte laminate looks slightly frosted and offers a textured feeling.
Dry-erase laminate offers users the chance to use whiteboard markers and erase as needed.
Laminate printing from Trade Print Solutions
Looking for a company to laminate your project? Trade Print Solutions has years of experience in the laminate printing industry and are experts in providing a high quality, timely service.