Lamination is a clear film or protective layer that goes over the top of the printed item. The transparent film actually makes the printed item thicker so it makes it more rigid and increases the life of the printed materials. Importantly, the actually colours and the detail in the printing are also protected.
We are actually exposed to lamination quite often in our daily lives but we rarely notice it. Sometimes the lamination is obvious. Occasionally, the clear film will actually extend beyond the border of the printing. An example might be an award or certificate of some kind with a clear overlay. I also remember hitting a century in cricket many years ago and my team mates were kind enough to laminate the scorecard for me.
If you were to open your wallet or purse, it is likely to contain several items that are laminated.
These include your Driver’s License, various credit cards and your Opal card if you are a user of the public transport system in New South Wales. Without lamination, these items would not last very long. The printing would get dirty and eventually these items would have to be replaced or discarded.
We don’t notice lamination on credit cards because all credit cards are laminated. What you can notice is actually a lack of lamination. The best example is business cards. As a printer of business cards, we recommend to our clients to add a laminate, normally a gloss overlay to increase the durability of the business cards. Those that aren’t laminated are typically thinner and easily torn and also get dirty much more easily. These lower quality business cards tend to get noticed for the lack of thickness and strength.
The Case For Lamination For Label Printing
When it comes to lamination for label printing, it stands to reason that if the labels are to be used for any length of time, then they should be laminated. These include cosmetic labels where lamination can be used very effectively. Most cosmetic products last several days or more likely, weeks or months or even years so they should be protected with the clear film which is called lamination. This transparent film often in combination with a synthetic label stock adds protection to the actual printing on the label. The synthetic stock makes it difficult for moisture or the actual liquid or other cosmetic product to seep underneath the label.
There are restrictions in using lamination for label printing. For example, bumper stickers and other labels for outdoor used require something stronger still, usually a vinyl label. Labels are used for many purposes and as such the price of labels varies depending in part on the actual label material types used for your label.
The actual laminate itself is not very expensive. It is the application of the laminate that is expensive since not all label machines cater for lamination. For examples, labels on A4 sheets do not have the opportunity to add any protective overlay as this lamination for label printing comes in rolls so a roll fed machine is required. What you actually pay for is the use of the machine to add the laminate to the label.
When it comes to assessing whether or not you should use this clear film called laminate to protect your labels, it depends on the purpose for the labels. In many cases, it is worth paying more to ensure your label remains protected from the actual product inside your tube, bottle or other container and other outside elements such as water or even temperature changes.