KainosPrint offers a range of coating options which can add impact and robustness to your job

Machine varnishing

Machine varnishing is a process whereby a clear matt (dull and non-reflective) or gloss (shiny and reflective) ‘ink’ is ‘printed’ onto your job by a conventional offset press.

Machine varnishing tends to add slight depth to the colour of the printed piece. One of the main reasons customers use machine varnishing is to protect the printed piece, and printing which is going to have a hard life, such as the cover of a book or a booklet, will benefit from machine varnishing.

You can have machine varnishing on one side only, or on both sides.

Allow an extra two days for delivery if your job is to include varnshing. We need to be certain the job has dried thoroughly before dispatch.

Machine varnishing of digitally printed products with heavy coverage (big areas of dark colours for instance) can cause problems. If we believe the varnish will not work as it should on your job, we will contact you. We are working to find a solution to this problem.


Celloglazing is a process whereby a thin sheet of film is adhered to the printed piece by a special machine that uses both heat and pressure to apply the coating.

Celloglazing can be matt or gloss and can be single sided or double sided. It is a relatively slow process, and is more expensive than machine varnishing. The process tends to add depth to colours, robustness, and produces a rather luxurious, classy, ‘expensive’ look to the product.

Digitally printed jobs are much more difficult to celloglaze than offset printed work. Digital printing uses a very thin coating of oil, and conventional celloglazing plastic won’t stick to it. We have to use special high tack low temperature plastic, which is much more expensive than the celloglazing film used to celloglaze offset printed work. This explains why the Abacus shows a relatively high cost for celloglazing small quantities. Furthermore, we recommend double sided celloglazing for digitally printed products as with some paper stocks there can be a tendency to curl where jobs are celloglazed on one side only.

Don’t varnish or celloglaze a side that will be written on, and don’t order varnishing or celloglazing for the inside of books that will be perfect bound — varnishing, celloglazing and the glue used in perfect binding don’t like each other!

If you would like to see samples of machine varnished and / or celloglazed material, we recommend filling in our sample pack request form. Please be sure to ask for samples of varnished or celloglazed material. Click here to go to our samples request form.

Should I choose celloglazing or will gloss stock suffice?

Celloglazing greatly enhances the appearance of printing from a sales point of view. However in the case of calendars, for instande, once a calendar is in use, the celloglazed cover is unlikely to be seen for the rest of the year. Celloglazing is highly recommended for cook books in order to prevent dired flour, egg whites, sugar and so on from spoiling the cover of the book.

Gloss celloglazing gives a high gloss, shiny, reflective finish. A matt celloglaze gives the a very elegant, satin, dull finish. A printed product that will compete with others on a stand in a newsagent or bookshop would benefit from a gloss celloglaze. A book or calendar produced by a professional photographer (for example) to be handed out to clients, or sold as a premium product over the internet would benefit from a matt celloglaze.

Gloss celloglazing produces a vastly more glossy result from the result you will obtain by simply selecting gloss stock for the cover. Small orders — up to around 750 copies in most cases — are printed digitally — a method of printing that is far more economical for small orders than the traditional offset method of printing. Different digital presses produce different results for various different reasons. Some presses use a silicon oil on the printed part of a page which gives a very shiny look. In our (long!) experience, the oil can be unevenly distributed, or dry up altogether, making for an uneven and streaky amount of gloss. Other presses, those used by KainosPrint included, incorporate a wax into the toner. The wax is much more reliable and produces an even, satin finish.

All digital presses lay the toner on top of the paper, in contrast to offset presses (which we would use for orders of over 750 or so calendars), where ink tends to be absorbed into the paper, and thus takes on more of the character of the paper.

The end result is that with digital printing, the printed piece takes on more of the character of the ink / toner than the character of the paper. So even though you may order gloss stock for the cover, if the image covers most or all of the page, and you have not selected a celloglaze coating, the result may still look more satin than gloss.

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