Want to know more about printing? We’re the print experts! Check out the printing processes Independent Printing & Packaging offers below and click any topic to find out more. You’ll be directed to our help guide so you can become a print expert too!

In-house processes include:

Printing Terminology Guide FAQ

Q: What is the difference between 4-color process vs. PMS spot colors?

Process color printing uses the color model that describes each color in terms of the quantity of each secondary color (cyan, magenta, yellow), and “key” (black) to produce virtually any color. PMS color matching uses a Pantone® color guide to pick an exact color specified. At Independent Printing & Packaging, we have press capabilities that can print up to 8 colors, which gives you the opportunity to use 4 color process with additional spot colors and/or finishes to get a truly desirable finish.

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Q: What are UV Inks & Coatings?

UV inks and coatings are desirable because they essentially do not contain solvent that must evaporate during the curing phase. The cure takes place under a strong UV (ultra violet) light source in a dryer (or reactor). Since UV contains little or no solvent, there is a lot of interest in using it because of the lack of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). VOC’s can be potentially hazardous to breathe and dispose, thus the reduction is appealing to the environment.

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Q: What fulfillment services do you offer?

At Independent, we offer a user-friendly warehouse management software program which links you with our unique, fully-automated system, along with space and personnel to inventory, track, pick, kit and ship your goods. Since we utilize radio frequency (RF) technology, you’re privy to accurate, “real time” inventory information whenever you need it. Call 800.236.2439 for details about our fulfillment system.

With our system you can:

  • Enter your own order/shipping information
  • Make quick inquiries about your inventory
  • Track which Rep or store location is placing which orders in which quantities
  • Generate the reports you need in the formats you need them
  • And, of course, there’s more!

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Q: What is foil stamping?

Foil stamping is a process where a shiny metallic leaf is physically stamped with heat and pressure onto the substrate. Benefits are a highly reflective finish that demands attention. We carry a wide selection of standard foil colors in metallic, nonmetallic and special effects categories.

Go to our Sample Request Page and ask for our SELECTION GUIDE. Included are swatches of our standard foil colors.

Our Standard Foil Colors (click to view):

Metallic Colors

  • Gold
  • Dull Gold
  • Silver
  • Dull Silver
  • Light Copper
  • Dark Copper
  • Red
  • Electric Blue
  • Sapphire Blue
  • Burgundy
  • Green
  • Mini Pillars
  • Spectrum
  • Pink
  • Ocean
Non-Metallic Colors

  • Black
  • White
  • Cardinal
  • Yellow
  • Light Blue
  • Clear
Q: What is Embossing/Debossing?

Embossing and Debossing is the process of leaving a relief imprint on the substrate. It is applied in the same process as foil stamping, in which a metal die is pressed to leave an impression.

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Q: What is Die Cutting?

We have the capabilities for using custom cutting dies during the production phase of printing. This gives you the opportunity to push the envelope when creating totally unique packaging, and also have custom prototypes made to see what your ideas will look like before production.

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Q: What is Lamination?

The ultimate in lasting impression! Lamination involves the bonding of a thin, transparent layer of film to the surface of a printed sheet. Colors become brilliant and your graphics will be eye-catching. It can be foil stamped and even spot varnished.

The ultimate in durability! Film lamination is the most durable and scuff-resistant finish that can be applied to your packaging product. It resists tearing and is ideal for folders and products that are handled frequently. It never loses its luster and can be wiped clean. This means your printed product will last longer, increasing value and cost effectiveness.

The Effects of Film Lamination on Color
Film Laminates are not 100% transparent and can shift color balance. Gloss films usually have little effect on color. This is not the case with matte or delustered films, where dramatic color shift can occur in extreme cases. If color is critical, it is recommended to approve a finished proof with film laminate on it. Available in gloss, satin and delustered finishes.

  • Looks and feels richer than paper alone.
  • Deepens and brightens colors.
  • Enhances contrast.
  • Adds toughness and durability.
  • Scuff and scratch resistant.
  • Can be applied to coated and uncoated paper stocks as well as specialty stock.
  • Moisture resistant.

There are three base films used in thermal laminating:

1. Polyester (PET) is the film of choice for most applications. It is the industry’s most popular film. Polyester has high tensile, tear and impact strength. Since it does not contain plasticizers, it will not become brittle with age. Polyester is available with a gluable/stampable coating. An excellent choice for foil stamping and turned edge applications. Available in gloss, satin and delustered finishes.

2. Polypropylene (OPP) is the clearest of all films, but lacks the toughness, durability and heat resistance of Polyester film. Because of its softness, OPP has poor scuff resistance. Available in gloss, satin and delustered finishes.

3. Nylon is generally more expensive than the other two films. However, it is the most stable. Due to it’s unique stability and non-curling properties. Nylon is the best solution for moisture-related curl problems in single-sided laminating applications. Gloss Nylon features good clarity and excellent abrasion resistance.

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Q: What is Aqueous Coating?

An aqueous coating is a fast-drying, water-based, protective coating that is applied in-line on press to achieve a variety of finishes at a more economical price than varnish.

Your job goes through our facility quicker! Aqueous coatings are applied to your printed sheet immediately following the inks. Directly after the coating is applied, the sheets are sent through a heated air system that quickly dries the coating. The printed sheets can move on to the finishing department within minutes, as opposed to conventional varnishes which may need hours or even days to dry.

Protect your image! Aqueous coatings provide excellent rub and scuff resistance. They give protection that far exceeds standard varnishes. Your product will be resistant to smudges, fingerprints and scratches during shipment through to end use. They are available in gloss and matte finishes.

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Q: What is Printing Varnish?

Varnishes are clear, resinous liquids applied to printed surfaces to improve the appearance of the product. They can be either matte or dull finish. Varnishes also offer a level of protection, although it is not as protective as aqueous based coatings.

One advantage to varnishes is that they can be applied in spot areas to accent a particular photo or graphic on the printed sheet. Aqueous coatings, on the other hand, are applied overall to the sheet.

Varnishes are best applied to coated stocks. Uncoated stocks will soak the varnish into the paper so it’s virtually invisible.

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