Get an Early Start to the Best Finish
GRACoL 2001 (General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography, www.gracol.com) cautions, if varnishes are applied off-line, the inks must be formulated to accept the overprint varnish. Also, off-line varnishing tends to be more expensive than the in-line alternative.
Like many production projects, it's easy to get wrapped up in the early details such as creative and prepress workflow, paper selection and printing contracts. But it is imperative to not relegate the title's finishing to an afterthought. As the budget is prepared and schedules are set, suppliers should be consulted to make the most appropriate and affordable finishing decision. Are they equipped to handle finishing in-house or will they need to outsource? Successful time to market could be sacrificed if the question goes unasked.
To ensure that the finishing choice will not conflict with inks or paper stock, it is also important to discuss printing conditions and paper selection. According to GRACoL 2001, "The application of energy-curable coatings, such as (UV) or electron beam (EB), aqueous and catalytic coatings may require special ink formulations. Some pigments such as warm red (red lak C) rhodamine red, purple, reflex blue and greens may bleed, change color or fade out as a result of a reaction with components of these types of coatings."
Suppliers are often good sources of practical information about potential problems and finishing costs. Before selecting UV, it should be known that a faster-drying, water-based coating—if appropriate for the job—could cost half as much. Printers and finishers may also offer some suggestions on the best finishing solutions for covers and jackets with embossing, foil stamps or die-cuts.
Also, the involvement of creative and production staff early in the project planning is wise, for they may offer solutions and aesthetic concerns better-voiced sooner rather than later.
-Gretchen A. Kirby