Print finishing

Finishing is the name given to everything that happens to your printed material after it leaves the printing press. PrintTogether main offers only involve basic finishing such as trimming, folding and stitching (and stapling for bigger newsletters and booklets). However, there is a wide range of finishing options available if you would like to go a little bit further. As with any process, using additional types of finishing costs more and can have an environmental disadvantage.

Finishing such as folding, collating, guillotining are generally not seen as having an impact on the environment as long as the energy used to power machines comes from a renewable resource.

Other finishes have more of an impact. For example:

Saddle stitching

Saddle stitching is the use of metal staples to hold pages together for items such as small newsletters and booklets. Staples are removed during the recycling process, but they are not recycled themselves.

Die cutting

Die cutting is the process used to cut a specific shape into, or out of, your printed material. For example, you may want the edges to be rounded or an unique shape, or you may want a section cut out to see through to a page below etc. Die cutting is a great way to add an extra element to your design without using any harmful processes or materials. The process uses a die, made from either zinc, brass or copper, which can be reused.

Embossing

Embossing, like die cutting, is another great way to add that little bit extra to your design. It is used for thicker items such as covers and flyers. As with die cutting, embossing uses a die made from zinc, brass or copper. Embossing does not require any chemicals. It can also create a great effect if combined with an aqueous varnish on the raised areas.

Binding

For bigger publications, such as large booklets and books, pages are bound to the spine with glue. Some glues contain petroleum which is hard to remove during recycling As an alternative, water based glues are available which are easier to recycle.

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THINGS TO AVOID:

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping uses a metal die to imprint your materials with a polyester film. Although the process of making the die is not overly harmful, the film is difficult to remove during recycling, resulting in most materials ending up in landfill instead of being re-pulped.

Thermography

This is an intensive process involving the use of rubber, oil based ink, resinous powder and a whole lot of heat. The end result gives a raised, glossy appearance. The heating process is overly energy intensive and materials using thermography cannot be recycled. This process can be substituted by other processes such as embossing (see above).

If you think you would like something a little different from our main offers and are happy to pay a little more for finishing, contact us and we’ll do what we can to help you achieve your desired result in the most environmentally friendly way.