Lamination 101

Lamination Finishing for Print

Lamination is a process where plastic film is applied to printed pieces to provide protection against wear and add strength and rigidity. There are a variety of uses, both professional and personal, for the laminating process and choosing the right coating for your laminating needs will insure that the printed piece will stay protected and provide the right feel and look for the intended purpose.

There are 3 main kinds of lamination: matte, gloss, and soft-touch. Matte lamination offers minimal light reflection and gives the printed material a soft, glare-free look. If glare is a concern, the matte finish is the way to go. Here is an example of matte lamination from our print shop:


The gloss finish is the finish most people envision when they think about lamination. It is a clear shiny coating that provides an enriched, vibrant look. It is the cheapest option and hence very popular. The main thing to consider when going with the gloss finish is that the item you are laminating will not be exposed to consistent light reflection. As you can see below, it is the most recognizably-laminated-looking of the three methods:


The soft-touch lamination option is a third option that is visually similar to the matte finish, but has a smooth suede-like texture. The feel of the finish is not recommended for all purposes, but can be used to differentiate your printed piece and add perceived value in the look. Keep in mind though, soft-touch is the most expensive option of the three. As you can see below, the look is not too different from the matte finish, but the texture definitely sets the soft-touch method apart.


Kinetica Print is one of the few print provider in the Lower Mainland that provides in-house lamination for any print collateral. This enables us to provide affordable laminating solutions at the level of quality that we stand behind.