Lamination 101

What is lamination?

Lamination is the process of fusing a layer of protective plastic, or laminate film, to the surface of printable media. It is added to a digital book after printing and before binding.

Why should I laminate?

Lamination produces a strong, washable surface on your printed piece. Because of the glossy finish created, laminating a book’s cover enhances your product’s professional appearance and appeal. And, lamination will make your finished piece more durable and long lasting.

When can I choose to laminate my printed piece?

As mentioned above, lamination is done after printing takes place and before binding. But you should decide whether or not you want to laminate much sooner in the process – ideally in the design phase. Why? Lamination can impact page dimensions and paper choices.

Will choosing to laminate add cost to my project?

When you choose to laminate, it does add a moderate cost to the price of your printed piece. But because the piece is much more durable, most people find lamination is well worth the additional cost.

Does it matter what type of paper I choose?

In short, yes. There are some papers that are simply better for laminating than others. You’ll want to choose a high-quality stock, and gloss finish is best because lamination sticks to it better than it does to matte finishes. And, heavier weight papers are more difficult to laminate than lighter ones because the heat required for lamination is not transferred as well.

Are there any alternatives to laminating?

Ultraviolet coating can be used instead of lamination to cover books. UV coating requires spraying the page with a special coating and then drying it with ultraviolet light. UV coating offers many of the same benefits as laminating; however, it may crack when scored or folded at the book’s spine.

What if I’m not sure whether or not if I should laminate?

When you call Seaboard Graphics, we’ll help you with your project from start to finish. We’ll explain the lamination process to you in full, and help you decide if laminating is right for your printed piece. Just call us at 315.652.4200 and one of our friendly, knowledgeable associates will be happy to assist you.