A Quick Guide to Print Finishes

  • Posts
  • A Quick Guide to Print Finishes

After receiving an order of prospectuses, leaflets, or booklets, you might admire the craftsmanship that’s gone into the manufacturing of such. From the perfect binding to the intricate folding, printing, and finishing, it’s no wonder why customers find leafing through company prints so satisfying. The stunning exterior, silky feel, and fresh smell combined result in great customer engagement and encourage your clients to further interact with the business.

The effects of appealing prints are clear, but many establishments aren’t actually familiar with what goes into producing them. Here at Fisherprint, we aim to deliver a transparent service, which is why we’ve put together this quick guide to print finishes, detailing the processes that printing entails.

Saddle Stitching

Saddle-stitched books are bound together along the spine with staples. This is among the simplest printing and finishing options to bind your pages together when working with booklets of fewer than 64 pages. When opting for this option, you’re presented with a sharp and professional finish, particularly when the spine is squared off to prevent opening. In terms of manufacturing, saddle-stitched books are created in multiples of four pages; therefore, a singular page folded in half would equate to four pages.

Polyurethane Reactive (PUR) Binding

PUR binding describes the application of Polyurethane Reactive adhesive to a book’s spine to bind the pages together. Once this has been done, the other three sides of the book are trimmed to size to create the perfect finish. PUR is the strongest book binding glue on the market, making it the preferred choice for all binding purposes.

On top of the strength, PUR is particularly flexible which means that the spine isn’t as prone to cracking. Similarly, PUR is extremely resistant to page pull-out, meaning it’s almost impossible to pull a page from a book that’s bound with PUR adhesive. This applies to all manner of substrates, including aqueous-coated or UV-coated stock, mylar, recycled paper, varnish, or ink.

It’s also not affected by extreme temperatures; the structural integrity of PUR withstands all environments. Finally, the pliable nature of PUR means that only a small amount is required, resulting in less distortion of the spine.


When laminating a printed product, a protective layer will be added to create a matte or glossy finish. Usually, the coating is plastic, meaning that the water resistance and sturdiness of the product are greatly improved. The way in which you want your company to be perceived will affect your decision about the finish. For example, a glossy lamination results in better contrast and improved sharpness. However, matte lamination conveys subtlety whilst also boasting elegance and luxury. Although lamination is one of the most expensive finish options, it results in optimal sturdiness. 


Like lamination, varnishes are used to give paper a glossy finish, in order to make your prints more presentable. When varnishing prints, you’ll be left with a consistently smooth texture that will be better reserved than standard paper. Therefore, your pages will be more robust, but might not be able to resist water damage as effectively as laminated surfaces. As a result, varnishing is better suited to leaflets, rather than booklets. 

Kiss Cutting

Kiss cutting refers to the process of piercing an upper layer to reveal the back layer. Consequently, an impression is left, but the material is not sliced all the way through. This method is used to create labels or stickers so that they can be peeled off the back page with ease. 

There are various types of kiss cutting machines; these include rotary die cutting, flatbed cutting, laser die cutting, thermal die cutting, cutting table, plotter kiss cutting machine, CNC router, hydraulic and mechanical press, and clamshell kiss cutting. In terms of kiss cutting dies, there are also various types, including steel rule, thermal, and rotary dies. 

Kiss cutting can be used in the production of labels, gaskets, iron-ons, and adhesive tape. For this reason, it’s typically used to cut vinyl, butyl rubber, closed cell sponge material, viton, foil, stickers, and foam. Ultimately, kiss cut materials are a great way of making your prints more interactive by introducing new textures. 

Get in Touch with Fisherprint

Here at Fisherprint, we’re experts in printing and finishing practices. If your company is in need of some professional advice or printing products, please get in touch. A specialist member of our team will be on hand to assist you and walk you through our available services.