Laminate to Accentuate: Finishing Options

The word lamination might send you into a tailspin of memories from elementary school. Laminated calendars, letter sheets and name tags are often the first memory that we have of the durable and reusable surfaces.

Fast forward into your adult and professional life – many of the signage that you come into contact with has some sort of lamination applied.  When large format printing is discussed, most people think about the act of printing and cutting – few people consider the finishing employed to protect the print.

On most all of our projects, we apply one type of lamination or another. Lamination serves two main purposes: to protect the final print and to alter the finish.

  1. Protection – Both liquid and film laminates protect the final print from abrasion, chemicals and UV exposure. Lamination added to outdoor prints extends the overall life by two to three years. Indoor prints that might be cleaned, walked on or exposed to dirt or debris should also be laminated. At Custom Color we even have a laminate to protect prints from graffiti.
  2. Alter the finish – Laminates come in many different finishes that can be applied to the print to alter the overall look. We stock glossy, matte and luster laminates but readily have access to laminates that provide shimmer and texture. Some prints are finished with a dry-erase laminate that transforms any print on a rigid substrate into a dry-erase board.

Our finishing arsenal is stocked with laminators. Jeremy and James man the lamination station of two roll and two liquid laminators. Our GBC roll laminator is a pressure sensitive laminator – this laminator is ideal for heat-sensitive inks. Our other roll laminator is an AGL thermal laminator – its heated rollers apply pressure to overlay the substrate with lamination.

Additionally, we have a liquid heat laminator and a UV liquid laminator. Our heat liquid laminator is often used for our wall murals and wallpaper while our UV laminator is used on rigid substrates like dibond and sintra. Customers often opt for liquid lamination because it offers a bit of a price break.

When asked what he loves about his lamination station, Jeremy explains that he loves getting to work on many of the projects that go through production. He said, “everyday is different” which makes his duties more exciting.  Over their combined 30 years of finishing experience, some of James and Jeremy’s favorite lamination projects have been for the Chief’s Hall of Fame, Fireball, Boulevardia and HyVee.

Your project could be added to their favorites list. To find out the best laminate for your project, contact us!