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OUGD504 - Studio Brief 1 - Print Formats and Finishes

Coated and Uncoated Paper:

Coated and uncoated paper stocks are easily distinguished y their appearance.

A coated paper has a shimmer to its surfaces and will feel smooth and waxy to the touch, whereas uncoated papers appear matt and will feel rougher or grainier to the touch.

Coated papers as being like a pane of glass and uncoated papers as being like a sponge.

Printed coated papers will appear bright and colourful almost as though the inks were sitting on the surface whereas printed uncoated papers will appear duller and less vibrant where the inks have soaked into the paper’s fibres.


Die cutting is a manufacturing process used to generate large numbers of the same shape from a material such as wood, plastic, metal or fabric.

Simply put: It’s a way of making a hole in paper in a desired shape using the same presses that we use for letterpress printing.


Embossing is ago raise an image up above the surface of the paper whereas debossing pushes the image down into the surface of the paper.

Either process can have colour or can be blind.

Both embossing and debossing are produced on letterpress equipment and require film and metal dies to be made.


The litho-laminating process is a means of creating a corrugated board that has a high quality litho printed surface.

The loth-laminating process can be sub-divided into three main types - inline, offline and sheet to sheet.


Duplex printing is a feature of computer printers and multifunction printers that allows the automatic printing of a sheet of paper on both sides.

Print devices without this capability can only print on a single side of paper, sometimes called single sided printing.


Foil stamping, typically a commercial print process, is the application of pigment or metallic foil, often gold or silver.

But can also be various patterns or what is known as pastel foil which is a flat opaque colour or white special film-backed material, to paper where a heated die is stamped onto the foil.

Making it ashore to the surface of the paper leaving the stamp on the paper.

To Do:

With a focus on Stock, Substrate and ‘special’ Print Finishes find as many variants as possible for each of the following areas of design:

Branding & Identity
Packaging & Promotion
Publishing & Editorial
Information & Way-finding.

You should consider production values, scale and functionality in relation to appropriate contexts and target audiences and evaluate their impact on the design decisions that have been made.

Wherever possible you should aim to collect physical/actual examples of print as this will help you to evaluate the important tactile, formal and functional element of your source material.

Your findings should be recorded and critically evaluated on your Design Context blog.

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