In the third blog of the series, we will be discussing varnish.
Varnish is a thin lacquer type substance that is applied to a book cover with an offset press. In order to have a varnish finish the entire cover must be printed offset. It is applied as a liquid, either as a flood (covers whole surface) or spot (covers only certain spots. People do this for effect sometimes), and then dries clear. It very minimally protects against sun fading, and general wear and tear of a book. You are likely to get frayed corners with this type of coating. If you want your cover to be embossed or debossed, however, this is one of the right finish options for you. The varnish floods into the ridges and ripples covering all nooks and cranny’s of the surface.
Varnish is available in gloss, semi-gloss, and matte. In order to get a high gloss sheen, you would need to do multiple floods of varnish.
Offset cover printing is an expensive option if you are not doing over 1000 books.
Varnish can be used as a coating for any type of book, even litho-wrapping.
Next week we’ll discuss UV coating.