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Coating refers to the covering applied to the surface of an object (commonly known as the substrate). It can improve surface properties of the substrate, such as appearance, adhesion, wetability, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and scratch resistance. Common coatings in printing include water-based coating, matt coating, satin coating, UV coating and acrylic based coating (OPP/AL/PE film).


Embossing is typically done by applying heat and pressure with male and female dyes made of copper or brass. The dyes are fit together to squeeze the fibers of the substrate. The combination of pressure and heat raises the level of the image higher than the substrate, at the same time “ironing” is done to smoothen the image. Debossing is similar to embossing, but lower the image on the reverse.

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping typically refers to the application of pigment or metallic foil (often gold or silver in color). It can also be in various patterns or what is known as pastel foil (a flat opaque color or white special film-backed material), or paper where a heated die is stamped onto the foil, making it adhere to the surface leaving the design of the die on the paper. Foil stamping can be combined with embossing to create a more striking 3D image.


Burnishing is an ink transfer method that involves the use of a smooth flat object rubbing the back of the paper which has been laid over an inked plate. The resultant printed piece will have a polished finish.