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Gloss and texture in print finishing

Julia Bernert

Published on 22.08.2020

New printing methods make it possible to apply metallic and wood effects.

From a subtle sheen to a powerful glitter look – new printing methods can be used to apply the very latest finishes to surfaces. Gold particles and metal pigments lend printed products an air of exclusivity. The effect is created by precisely aligning reflective surfaces. The secret behind this method is a tiny particle called an iriodine, of which more than 25,000 tons are produced annually. The particles can be overprinted polychromatically, opening up a whole new range of possibilities for designing print products. Thus, a colour may change when exposed to sunlight, for example, or can reveal secret images and messages if rubbed with a coin. Another of Vogt’s processes allows marks simply to be removed by wiping.

The company Kurz has delivered a brand new product in the form of a new foil transfer module called a DM-Liner. A combination of roll-on digital printing and modern inkjet processing adds a metallic finish to plastic and paper substrates. This system is suitable for gold and silver pigments as well as holographic designs. The metal finish transfer is available as an additional effect after colour printing, enabling you to react flexibly to any special customer wishes.

The finisher Achilles relies on an advanced silk-screen printing process, recreating natural structured surfaces which look “totally genuine” with its line of finishes. By deliberately combining glossy and matt relief varnishes, it is possible to create realistic wood effects. This technology makes it possible to recreate the feel of a whole range of different materials, e.g. rubber, denim or even sand.

Moreover, the industry is also already well equipped for the future with its use of environment-friendly inks, circular production and its renunciation of toxic chemicals. The sustainable company Oeding Print has managed to create print finishes with fragrance and soft-touch effects using such environmental products, unequivocally demonstrating that eco-friendly values and technological innovation are entirely compatible with one another.


Vogt, Firma Leonhard Kurz, Oeding Print

Herr Malte Linneweh, Achilles

 Text: Vera Schattauer