Advanced Labels Blog

Bring Your Labels to Life With Tactile Varnish

Jan 25, 2016 02:25 AM


Most labels are produced with some type of protection in the form of varnish or lamination. But varnish treatments can also be used as another element of your label design, adding special effects with depth and contrast that help your products stand out on the shelf. And by utilizing rotary screen printing technology, varnishes can be applied to extremely detailed areas of your label design with perfect registration.

As the name implies, tactile varnishes have a different feel when touched. They can be very smooth or very rough and anything in between. Tactile varnishes can create a compelling aesthetic, with labels almost demanding to be held. Varnishes can be applied in many different ways, all of which can be combined on the same label to produce highly contrasting or subtly interesting labels:

  • High gloss varnish (a wet look)

  • Satin (well balanced between matte and gloss)

  • Matte varnish (subdues glare and reflections)

  • Soft touch (smooth, synthetic feel)

  • Textured (rough or gritty, great contrast with soft touch)

  • Thermography (raised printing creates a very high build of varnish)


Multiple varnish treatments can also be applied to visually enhance specific areas of your label design. These are commonly referred to as "spot varnishes", whenever a varnish is applied in a certain area instead of covering the entire label surface. Some creative varnish applications have even been used by themselves to create label designs that use no inks at all.

By applying varnishes with rotary screen printing, Advanced Labels is able to create unmatched varnish coverage, as detailed in the graph below. And not only are we able to apply the maximum amount of varnish, but we are able to do so with razor sharp precision. Varnishes applied with rotary screen printing use nickle-based mesh screens that produce the highest edge fidelity– meaning you can choose to spot varnish the finest details on your labels.


Consider a creative application for varnish on your next label design. For printed samples of labels featuring excellent use of tactile varnishes and spot varnishes, contact Advanced Labels today.

Tactile gloss spot (red area) and supermatte varnish

Topics: Digital Labels, Flexo Labels, Graphic Design, Rotary Screen Printing

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