Why Use A Coating?

The number one reason coatings are used on printed products is for protection from moisture, fingerprints, scratching and scuffing. They can be applied to one or both sides of a printed piece and are available in different finishes from glossy to dull. These finishes can be applied as an all-over flood coating or can be applied selectively to enhance a certain element.

Independent offers the following types of coatings:

Aqueous Coating

A fast-drying, water-based clear finish that is used to protect the printed piece or add texture/special effects. AQ can be applied as an all-over flood coating or used as a spot coating to accentuate a particular area of the printed piece. It provides good protection to a piece and can increase durability. This coating comes in glossy and dull finishes, does not yellow, can improve the appearance of lesser-grade papers, can be more cost-effective than other finishes and is more environmentally-friendly than other coatings due to its water base.

Soft Touch Coating

A matte coating that gives a product a luxurious feel. Soft touch is fingerprint resistant, non-yellowing and fast drying. It will also alter the appearance of dark colors and make them look slightly muted.


A thin coating applied to the sheet similar to Aqueous Coating, but dries to a brilliant shine when exposed to ultra-violet light. UV compatible inks must be used on sheets that will be UV coated. This coating is available in gloss finish, which is much shinier than gloss varnish. UV tends to show fingerprints on dark colors and may crack when scored or folded due to thickness and hardness of coating.


This coating is put on a printed piece like a clear layer of clear ink. Varnish can be applied as an all-over flood coating or used as a spot coating to highlight an area of the piece. Varnish coating comes in glossy and dull finishes.

Film Lamination

The most durable of all coatings. This coating comes in glossy and matte finishes. Lamination bonds a protective layer of plastic to the printed sheet. It also adds tear resistance, protects against moisture, shields against abrasion and lends longevity to a printed piece.