Soft-Touch Print Finishing

The term “Soft-Touch” is used to refer to any finishing method adding a soft or slippery feel to print materials. Unlike most design elements which appeal to the sense of sight, a soft touch finish allows a printed piece to gain distinction by stimulating the sense of touch.

Sometimes called a “velvet” or “soft-feel”, the use of soft-touch finishes is growing in popularity; particularly for business cards, presentation collaterals, and many other types of promotional printing where distinguishing qualities are important.

How is a Soft Touch finish achieved?

A soft-touch finish is accomplished by applying either a soft touch laminate film or a soft-touch coating. Soft-touch coatings are applied in a liquid form, usually as an inline process, after the printing ink has been applied. The coating then dries with the “soft feel” texture.

Looking deeper, the use of laminating films which are heated and applied to one or both sides of printed materials will provide a soft velvet-like finish adding another dimension to your projects while the high dyne level allows for post-lamination enhancements, such as foiling, water or solvent based ink and other top coatings.

Alternatively, the UV coating may be applied by flooding a sheet of paper with a specialized ultraviolet solution, and then transferred under resilient ultraviolet lighting. The UV coating dries instantaneously, revealing a supple and vibrant finish, without the sticky effects of conventional coatings.

In addition to professional aesthetic quality, UV coatings act as a barrier for printed materials, preventing scuffs and scratches for projects which may have long-term use.

What does a Soft Touch finish feel like?

Many describe it as feeling like a rose petal, short-napped velvet or chamois leather, but regardless of everyone’s interpretation, a soft-touch finish gets your piece noticed and almost always provokes an inquisitive response to its unique and surprising feel.

Many traditional printed pieces, particularly promotional pieces, have a shiny appearance and a slick feel. This is usually attained by the application of a gloss aqueous coating, UV coating, or laminate. Conversely, a piece with a soft-touch finish will have a subtle texture with almost no sheen or a matte finish.

If you would like to know more or you have an upcoming project which might be right for a soft-touch application, contact Kessler Creative at 888-416-4098 we’ll be happy to get you some product samples and answer your questions about soft-touch printing finishes.