Lamination is a transparent, plastic film that is stuck to both sides of a printed sheet. It is used to protect the item from moisture, stains, and increase its durability and strength. Laminated sheets also have more vibrancy and sheen added to its ink colours. If you require lamination for an upcoming project, consider the following criteria first. These will help you decide what type of lamination is right for your needs.
There are a variety of lamination thicknesses to choose from, and they are measured in mils. One mil does not refer to a millimetre but is instead equal to 1/1000ths of an inch. Because your sheet will be sandwiched between two pieces of laminate, it will be double the thickness that you choose. That means the overall thickness of a printed piece that is 1.5 mils will be 3 mils.
Generally, the more rigid you require your finished piece to be, the thicker the laminate you should pick. Although, if your piece needs to be folded, it is best to use a laminate film that is 3 mils or less. Folding becomes more difficult the thicker the laminate film is.
There are several levels of shininess that laminate comes in. The level you pick will depend on your personal preference and the project.
If you want glass-like shine on your printed materials, you should choose a glossy film. It can also enhance the vibrancy and colours of the ink on the page. That is why it is a popular choice for promotional items like showroom displays, presentation folders, and the cover of bound books.
For a softer appearance, select a matte laminate to reduce glare. This type makes it easier to read material because of its reduced sheen. It is ideal for reading material like maps, menus, and the pages of a book.
You can choose between a sealed or a flushed edge when laminating your printed pieces.
A sealed edge is when the lamination extends past the edge of the piece. It is used for materials that could come in contact with grease, oil, moisture, or other contaminants. Usually, the lamination film is extended about 1/8″ to 1/2″ beyond the edge of the piece to create a border. Doing this ensures that debris and fluids never come in contact with the printed piece.
Flushed edges are used when excessive moisture or dirt is not an issue. It is also used when more aesthetically pleasing, like for business cards or the pages of a book.
The thickness of the laminate you select will dictate whether you need to round off the corners of your printed piece. A 90-degree angle can be quite sharp if the laminate is thick, posing a safety hazard. If children will handle the laminated item, it is better to round the corners regardless of thickness. Rounded corners can also make a piece look complete. Square corners can be left as is if the laminate chosen is thin enough to be pliable.
Depending on your project, you may need your printer to add some finishing touches. For example, if your sheets are going into a ringed binder, you will need holes punched along the sides. The same goes for tags and instructions that need to be hooked or tied to merchandise. You may even require your laminate piece to be die-cut in a unique shape, such as a tabbed divider in a binder or a bookmark. If you are laminating a menu, it may need to be scored so that it can be di or tri-folded. Memo boards are commonly laminated and usually require magnets or an adhesive to be installed on the back.
All credit goes to Lamin-8: Best Digital Printing in Toronto