CRW Graphics

Posts Tagged ‘print large glossy photos’

Strike Through Varnish

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

My client asks: “What is the best way to produce the large glossy photos, add some drama to a design element within a photo, dull down the reflection of the paper so that the type is easy to read and not cost an arm and a leg?”

Should we use dull or gloss stock, spot gloss or spot dull varnish or both varnishes together? What would achieve the designer’s goals and keep the budget intact?

Book Printing
Example of Spot Gloss Varnish


First things first. Photos reproduce best on gloss stock. Therefore, we could simply print the piece on gloss paper and add dull varnish to the text areas to reduce the reflection. However, the large photos would be unprotected.


Option two is to print on dull stock and gloss varnish the photos. Problem: it is easier to “dull down a gloss than gloss up a dull” meaning the photos will not really “pop”.


Option three is to use two varnishes – gloss for photos and dull for the text areas. Problem: this treatment often results in trapping issues where the gloss and dull varnish meet. Also, some of the photos in my client’s piece have very soft edges. In addition, the two varnishes will add to the drying time which would impact the schedule.


Our best suggestion was the one which the client chose and loved the results. First use a good gloss stock paper. Then add a flood gloss aqueous coating over the entire sheet while simultaneously applying a special spot dull varnish to text areas and the design element. The result is high gloss on the four color photos, readable type areas and a design element which stands out from the photo. The best part of this solution is that the cost stayed within the client’s budget.

The designer is thrilled, to the production manager’s delight. And the job stayed within budget and on schedule.

What do we call this magic? Strike Through Varnish!

CRW Graphics experimented with several varieties of aqueous and varnish before determining this most effective formula. Our clients are extremely pleased with the results. The key? Allow us to consult with you on your special projects – hearing your concerns and offering our considerable expertise.

After all your success is our success!