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Terminology Used For Finishing


The cover and text sections are stitched together using two wires. This is the most common form of finishing, particularly for magazines. (Fig 1

Perfect Binding

Produces a square backed product. The finished is achieved by using glue to stick the text sections to the cover. Not suitable for work with a small number of pages. (Fig 2)


The same finish as perfect binding, but the adhesive used is much stronger. Extra costs are involved because of this.

Case bound Pages are trimmed to size, thread sewn and the covers ‘drawn on’, end papers are used to attach the cover to the text (usually using the same material as the text). (Fig 3)
Matt/Gloss lamination

A sheet of laminate film is used to cover the whole printed sheet to give either a matt or gloss finish. Commonly used on covers.

UV Varnish The same finish as lamination, but instead of a piece of film being used, a liquid varnish is added to the sheet. A cheaper option to lamination.
Spot UV Varnish

A screen is made of the areas which need to be varnished.

Machine Varnish

Varnish added at the printing stage. Does not give as high a gloss finish as lamination or UV Varnish.

Foil Blocking

Process that adds metallic colour to all or part of a printed image. Area foiled created from a die which we have to create, usually supplied as a separate file with the artwork. Can be combined with embossing (see below).


Whereby an image is pressed into the paper/board so that the image is raised from the surface. Debossing is the opposite of embossing i.e. the image is pushed down into the paper/board rather than raised. Area embossed is created from a die which we have to create usually supplied as a separate file with the artwork. 

Cut to shape

using a die we hold or a new one made specifically for the job this process cuts the printed job to a specific shape that is not attainable by standard guillotining. Examples include folders which have a wallet that need cutting to shape before making up or items such as tabbed dividers/specific designed shapes.

Saddle stitched                                 Perfect Bound                           Case Bound

Fig 1                                                                Fig 2                                                             Fig 3