Epsen Hillmer Graphics Explains Label Varnishes

POSTED 03/18/2014
Digital vs Traditional Label Printing - EHG

At Epsen Hillmer Graphics in Omaha, our team of custom label printing specialists offers a wide array of design and material options during every stage of your product label development. Once you know the shape of your label and the material you want it printed on, there’s another important decision to make: the kind of coating you want to apply.

There are many good reasons to coat your label with either varnish or laminate before it hits the store shelves, but before you make an informed decision you have to know the differences between them!

In this article, Epsen Hillmer Graphics will tell you all you need to know about both types of label coating so you’ll have a good idea of what to ask for when you talk to us about your next custom label printing project!

Why Coat in the First Place?

Applying a coat of varnish or lamination protects your finished label from many types of common incidental damage such as dirt, fingerprints, smudging, and scratching. Coating also lessens the chance of environmental damage from product shipment and storage, ensuring that your products look their best when customers see them on the shelf.

Speaking of looks, coatings can also add a design dimension to your label. With available glossy and matte finishes, coatings can accent specific features of your label or be applied to the entire surface, creating an interesting visual and tactile appeal.

So What is Varnish, Anyway?

You may think of varnish as just something you put on furniture, but it’s also a great protective coating for your custom labels. Simply put, varnish is a thin, transparent layer of silicon applied to your label that can serve as both protection and decoration. To break things down a little further, here are some of the different varieties of varnish that are commonly used in custom label production:

  • Aqueous Varnish: As the name suggests, this varnish is water-based. It’s also one of the most common label coatings available on the market today and provides good protection from common causes of abrasion, such as shipment vibration. It resists yellowing, which is good for products that might spend some time in storage before they’re sold and used, and it’s also one of the best options for the environment in terms of sustainability. These varnishes are non-toxic and papers treated with them can be recycled without any special steps required.
  • Ultraviolet Varnish: This varnish provides more protection than its water-based counterpart. Once applied to the custom label printing surface, the varnish is exposed to ultraviolet light which hardens it by a reaction on the molecular level called polymerization. This type of coating leaves dark colors with a shiny, “wet” appearance, which is ideal for high-contrast, image-heavy custom label designs.
  • Specialty Varnishes: If you want your custom label to have certain aesthetic effects, specialty varnishes can provide them. Whether you want a label that’s very pleasing to the touch, has a luxurious matte finish, or accents different colors or areas on your label, there are specialty varnishes available to do the job. You can find out more about what Epsen Hillmer Graphics offers by calling us today.

Contact Epsen Hillmer Graphics at (402) 342-7000!

If you have any questions about the different varnish coatings available from Epsen Hillmer Graphics for your custom label projects, we’d love to talk to you! We help businesses grow by providing the highest quality custom labels for their products. Unlike other local label-printing companies, we take the time to get to know your business so we can make the best possible labels to meet your company’s needs. Give our custom label-printing specialists a call today at (402) 342-7000 to get started!