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There’s no question soft touch ‘fiber’ paper stocks are very unique and create the sensation of feel to your design. However, they have production drawbacks with buying even cartons from paper mill and the effect of paper color when printing CMYK inks.
A less expensive alternative is coating your next print project with UV Soft Touch coating. UV Soft Touch coating is applied inline in the coating unit and is not a varnish. Varnish is a form of coating but it is applied in a printing unit, not a coating unit. Varnish will use a valuable printing unit on press and be more expensive. UV Soft Touch coating is also ‘cured’ inline on press by ultraviolet (UV) energy. The difference between aqueous Soft Touch coating and UV Soft Touch coating is UV Soft Touch has higher rub resistance, no streaking in coating and softer feel due to thicker coating layer.
Applications for using UV Soft Touch coating include: unique business cards, postcards, rack cards, flyers, greeting cards and presentation folders.
When using UV Soft Touch coating there are a few design thoughts to keep in mind. Number 1, Soft Touch coating has a matte finish and will flatten out color and contrast. Use a larger shadow dot when possible to help compensate. Number 2, if you have a particular Touché color stock in mind, you can create that unique background color in CMYK and use Soft Touch coating to re-create the look of the original Touché paper stock. Most importantly, number 3, there is no need to cross your fingers that the printing process is going to work. No special meetings required to read over the ‘printing tips’ with your printer that the ink will adhere to the stock surface on ‘fiber’ paper stocks. We run Soft Touch coating all day long on 20 point business cards with no issues.
Even better, combine soft touch with spot UV coating for a special effects. Here is an example of combining soft touch and UV and how the files were made:
Have you used Soft Touch coating? What was your experience with Soft Touch coating?
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