Inking a Better Cover
There are two other ways to use coatings that designers should consider as well: matte/gloss and spot/flood. A matte is a non-gloss (non-reflective) coating, generally used for materials with extensive cover copy, or to create a unique subdued effect.
Gloss, on the other hand, is reflective. It greatly enhances the perceived quality of a finished design, and can make any printed piece sparkle. Gloss is the property that's responsible for a coated paper's shiny, lustrous appearance. Higher quality papers will use a gloss coating to enhance the paper's longevity.
A spot varnish is simply a coating that's applied to a specific area of a book cover. This highlights that aspect of a cover design (perhaps a photo or logo). Conversely, to _flood_ a page means the entire piece is coated.
Book cover designers can also avail themselves of other novel techniques, such glow-in-the-dark text and images, metallics, glitter, thermochromatic, or photochromatic.
Glow-in-the-Dark ink technology allows production on an offset press, instead of the traditional need to screen print. As it's name implies, glow-in-the-dark inks light up in dark environments, and are a favorite with kids.
Metallics are an alternative to foil stamping. They provide an ever-expanding range of cool colors and effects. Examples of metallic inks include gold, silver, bronze, copper, and platinum.
Glitter effects contain distinct particles (flakes) that react with light, generating diverse effects.
Thermochromatic text and images are even more exciting, changing colors when touched, or through other means, as a result of exposure to warm or cold temperatures. Similarly, photochromatic inks alter color when they come in contact sunlight, or in the absence of bright light.
Using these simple, innovative printing techniques can dramatically increase cover appeal, while lowering manufacturing expenses, because they reduce the cost of producing each piece.
They can also cut cycle time with less processes, because the number of make-readies and dies are often reduced or even eliminated.