Packaging Finish Guide: What to Know Before You Print

Whether your product package lands on your customer’s doorstep or stands out in the store, the presentation of your packaging should be spot-on. Here at JP Graphics, we know you spend time and money perfecting the graphic designs, shapes, and sizes of your packages so we’re here to make sure you’re getting the job done by choosing the perfect finish. In this article, we’ll dive into the most common packaging finishes, exploring options like matte coating, gloss coating, and lithographic laminating. Each finish has its benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to know what’s best for your product before you print.  

Popular Types of Packaging Finishes 

Matte Coating 

Matte coating for packaging is just like a matte finish on a photo or painting. Since a matte finish defusing light, the surface is non-reflective. A matte coating also makes the surface feel velvety and soft. Many high-end cosmetic, electronic, and fashion brands choose matte coating because it has a chic and elegant look.  

Benefits: With no reflection to worry about, packages with a matte coated finish don’t have a glare making packaging easy to read.  

Drawbacks: It is more common for matte coated packaging to get scuffing and scratching on the surface without the protection that a gloss or other coating provides.  

Gloss Coating 

One of the most common packaging finishing options is gloss coating. Packages with a gloss coating finish have a shinny finish that’s reflective and slick. Is gloss coating for you? Gloss coating is a very popular packaging finish across many industries but most commonly the cosmetic, food, and beverage industries. This is because it makes packages pop with its vibrant shine.  

Benefits: Gloss coating enhances the colors and graphics of your packaging making them very attention grabbing to consumers. On top of the aesthetic benefits, gloss coating also provides a layer of moisture and damage protection for your packaging. 

Drawbacks: While glossy coating is a popular choice for food packaging, according to a study by Adcock Solutions, researchers found that consumers perceive food sold in matte coated food packaging as more natural than food sold in gloss coated food packaging.  

Lithographic Laminating 

Lithographic printing methods followed by a lamination process is commonly known as Lithographic Laminating. The purpose of lithographic lamination is to provide high-quality printed and finished packaging on cardboard surfaces, but you can choose lithographic lamination with a gloss or matte finish. Companies ordering long runs of packaging printing for luxury consumer goods, high-end electronics, and specially food items often choose lithographic lamination. 

Benefits: The lithographic lamination process produces detailed designs with high-resolution images.  

Drawbacks: Litho lamination can be more expensive and time consuming than other finishing options. Also, the lamination is not 100% recyclable.  

Let’s Make the Best Choice for your Product 

When it comes to packaging, the finish you pick is a game-changer. It’s that final touch that really makes your product shine. Understanding the ins and outs of each option is key. At JP Graphics, we offer these finishing options, providing you with a range of possibilities for packaging that not only wows but also protects. Partner with us to ensure your packaging stands out, no matter what finish you choose! 

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