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What is Lamination in Printing?

What is Lamination in Printing?

Read Time: 4 Minutes


09 Sep 2020

Whether you’re new to online printing or you’ve been printing materials for your business online for a while, you might have noticed online printers like us talking about something called lamination, or finishes, that you can add to your product. In this blog, we’ll answer your questions about what lamination is, why you might add it to your print and what print items it looks best on. 

First things first, let’s start with a quick definition…


What is Lamination in Printing?

Lamination is a finishing process in printing where pressure and heat is used to bind a thin layer of plastic known as a laminate to paper or card. Lamination is generally used to protect the paper from general wear and tear and improve the longevity of the printed item. It’s available in gloss, matt and velvet textures.


What’s the Difference Between Lamination Types?

As we’ve just mentioned, lamination comes in three different textures: matt, gloss and velvet. The type of laminate you choose affects how your print feels, with each giving a very different texture to the print. Here’s a little bit more information on each type.


This is a great no-shine finish that gives a subtle, smooth texture to your print. A very common finish, often used on multi-use restaurant menus.

matt lamination business card with a white background and black logo

Matt lamination example



The opposite of matt, this is a high-shine laminate like that used on glossy magazine covers.

pink business cards with a gloss lamination finish

Gloss lamination example



This is a luxurious matt finish with a soft, almost peach-fuzz like texture. Often used on novel covers.

multicoloured presentation folder wallets with velvet lamination coating

Velvet lamination example


What Are the Benefits of Adding Lamination to Print?

People add lamination to their print for a whole range of different reasons. Here are the main ones.


Like we’ve discussed, adding a layer of lamination can help protect your print. On business cards, this can help stop the edges from getting worn, it can help menus last longer in restaurants, and it can help posters last longer too! 



As part of this extra protection, it also makes your print wipeable. Taking menus as an example again, it means you can wipe them down after each use with a slightly damp cloth without damaging the print. High quality, clean menus for longer – what’s not to love?



Adding a specific finish also improves the perceived quality of your print. Magazines use this all the time to make their covers glossy and attractive, and novels often have velvet lamination so it feels good in the reader’s hands. This is especially useful for business cards too, where the feel of the card boosts the all-important first impression of your business.


Enhanced Colour

Adding a lamination also affects the overall colour of your print. Matt creates a slightly duller colour, whereas gloss lamination makes colours look more vibrant. Velvet lamination makes colours look deeper and richer.


Matt Lamination and Additional Finishes

Matt lamination is a basically a gateway finish to a bunch of other cool finishes! For a lot of our products, if you choose to add matt lamination, you might notice a couple of other choices pop up that complement this option extremely well. These are:


This finish allows you to create patterns or add details to your design in gold and silver foil. It looks great on logos as well as text for invites.


Spot UV

This classic finish allows you to add gloss to specific spots of your artwork like a logo or icon. It’s slightly raised from the print, and super glossy, making it really stand out on a matt background.


What Print Items is Lamination Available On?

Now you know all about lamination, we bet you can’t wait to get started on adding it your own print creations! Lamination is really easy to add to flat and folded print items, meaning it can be used on many different things. Here’s the full list of what’s available with lamination when you print online with instantprint:

  • Business cards
  • Flyers
  • Folded leaflets
  • Stapled booklets
  • Perfect bound booklets
  • Wire bound booklets
  • Notebooks
  • Diaries
  • Posters
  • Greetings cards
  • Presentation Folders
  • Menus


How Do I Add Lamination to My Order?

To choose a lamination for your print, you might need to change the stock you’ve chosen. Choose 350gsm silk and the lamination options should appear.


If you have any more questions about lamination or need extra help deciding which type you should go for, get in touch with our team for a free consultation today! Just click on the orange live chat icon in the right-hand corner of your screen or contact us here.

Laura Vickers

About the Author

Hi, I'm Laura, instantprint's Customer Service Team Leader. My team of print experts is passionate about helping you discover which options are best for your business's needs.