UV coating, or ultraviolet coating, is a clear and shiny liquid coating that’s applied to a printed material. UV coating is commonly used in printing to protect packages that are handled frequently during shipping. It’s unique sheen makes colors pop more vividly, reflecting light in an eye catching way.
The UV coating itself is applied in a liquid form. Then, as the name implies, the packaging is exposed to UV (ultraviolet) light, which then causes it to instantly dry and bond to the material it’s coating. This coating can be used over the entire area – a process known as “flooding” or it can be applied to certain areas, which is known as spot UV coating.
In addition, there are different levels of “sheen” available for UV coating. High gloss UV coating is often the most popular choice, but if you need a more subdued look, that’s also possible with UV coating.
Compared with other coatings, UV coating is more durable than aqueous coating, although not quite as much as direct plastic laminate. UV coating dries relatively slick, so if for any reason you’d need to write on the surface, print over it, glue it or apply certain kinds of labels to it, they likely won’t stick unless those areas are excluded before starting the UV coating process during printing.
UV coating offers a number of benefits over other types of coating, including:
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There are a few cases where UV coating is not a good fit for your printed project. For example:
Lamination, such as matte or gloss, may be perfect for your specific needs. With that said, UV coating is often one of the most cost effective and affordable options to add a layer of durability and protection to the finished box design or other printed piece. Plus, it won’t weigh down the finished result the way that other types of coatings or coverings can.
Different types of coating make your product packaging design stand out in different ways. It’s important to know before you begin, the kind of results you want to achieve. Along with UV coating, there are certain additional options that you can include to create a remarkably different effect.
For example, spot UV coating is great when used with logos to add a layer of dimension. It naturally draws the user’s eye and their attention, so you can highlight important areas on your packaging that you want your customers to see and notice.
Another option is soft touch coating. This adds a velvet-like, soft matte look to the piece, which gives it a touch of elegance and sophistication.
We invite you to read more about both spot UV coating and soft touch coating in detail to learn more about how these similar methods of digital or offset printing can help add a touch of refinement to your product packaging.
Of course, seeing (and touching) is believing, so if you have questions about how the finished product looks and feels, we invite you to request samples so that you can see the differences in all of the coating options to decide which one is best for your specific needs.
Our comprehensive A-Z guide to packaging definitions can help you get up to speed with industry terminology as you create your own custom boxes
We understand that it’s one thing to request samples and look over the different options, versus actually speaking to a packaging and printing expert to get your questions answered and get more information.
If you have questions about UV coating for your printing packaging, or other types of packaging or printing questions, we’d love to speak with you! We promise to explain things thoroughly, without the use of printing jargon and technical explanations so that you ultimately benefit from our knowledge, experience and expertise in a way that positions your packaging in the best way possible.
UV coating is just one of the many types of coatings and printing options available for your product packaging. Contact us today to learn more about your options and let’s work together to bring your packaging vision to life in a way that attracts your perfect customer and builds brand awareness and loyalty.
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