V is for Varnish

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Welcome to our #OKalphabetseries where we visit paper and printing terms daily. Come back each day as we weave our way through the alphabet and share our 110 years of knowledge with you.


Image Credit: Bill Steele

V is Varnish
Varnish is available in gloss, satin and dull finishes. It is essentially ink without pigment. This allows it to utilize a regular ink unit on a press. Varnish can be run inline or drytrapped for a variety of effects at a relatively inexpensive cost. A gloss varnish will deepen colors on a printed piece, while satin and dull finishes will reduce contrast. Varnish can be used in spot areas or flooded over an entire sheet for protection. Not only can varnish protect, but it can add depth, dimension and beauty to a printed piece. Tinted varnishes are also an option and offer soft tonal, transparent color. Learn even more about varnishes and coatings in our mill partner Sappi's Standard 3: Varnishes and Coatings. Or visit Verso's Ed #4: Protective Covering. Another great resource on varnish techniques can be found in this incredible 1999 piece called Varnish Techniques on Strobe.

W is for Wet Strength
U is Uncoated

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