The Finishing School

Adding textured finishes to your print

There are many methods to add texture to your print including varnish, embossing and textured laminates.


Embossing is applied to a sheet using a foiling press. A die is made in the shape of the raised area and then applied to the sheet to selectively raise that area. Debossing is where the sheet is pushed in, instead of up and is achieved by applying the die to the top of the sheet, rather than from under.

Another finish available is graining, this creates a texture on paper and can be applied selectively or across a B1 sheet area. The example below shows a graining effect on the spine of Creative Review, this texture mimics an old fashioned book binding method called wibbling. Wibbling is normally done by hand, but by using a graining on the spine a wibbling effect can by applied onto thousands of sheets per hour. Graining is often used on the spine to give a perfect bound magazine a more premium finish.


A textured varnish can be applied either using a screen machine or a Heidelberg twin coater.

Screen applied options are ( runs at 2 -3,000 sheets per hour);

  • High build, this is a spot UV varnish effect with more varnish applied, providing a more glossy and raised effect.
  • Structured varnish, this uses a special screen and varnish make up to create detailed raised effect that is often used to produce a leather or snakeskin effect.

Heidelberg applied (runs at 15,000 sheets per hour)

  • Textured varnish, this provides a low subtle textured effect and a glossy finish
  • Textured matt varnish, this has a matt look and a rough texture.



Textured laminates are available. Celloglas stocks linen effect laminate, this offers a raised gloss finish and adds a level of protection to the printed sheet.