Thursday, May 27, 2010


Adding seasoning or a marinade to meat, fish or a vegetable is a great way to tenderize it and add a little flavor. These coatings, add a characteristic to your food that you just can't achieve by cooking without them. Even a chef will add at the least a little salt and pepper to a filet! It's fair to say that coatings add complexity and enhance the overall taste, smell and visual presentation of a meal.

As a printer, we also look to achieve enhancements on print materials by adding varnishes and other coatings. Press coatings and varnishes improve the look of a printed piece by creating different textures and visual effects. They can change the look and feel of a brochure drastically and as with cooking, there are a number of coating possibilities to choose from depending on the artist's desired outcome.

There are a number of things to consider when choosing the right coating for your print project. While I recommend you work closely with your printer to see physical samples for the different types of coatings, I have listed a few things that will help you get a rough idea for the coating of your choice (there are many more types of coatings but these are the most common):

Aqueous Coating - water based coating that adds protection to a press sheet, helps dry the press sheet quickly and can add a variety of different finishes such as gloss, dull, matte, satin, pearlescent, and touch coatings.

Gloss Finish - varnish or aqueous coating that adds a high reflective, shiny appearance to the sheet.

Dull or Matte Finish - varnish or aqueous coating that reduces the sheen on a press sheet.

Satin Finish - varnish or aqueous coating that creates a smoother sheet and less shiny than a gloss finish but more shiny than a dull or matte finish.

Varnish - a liquid based coating that can be either gloss, satin or dull. Varnishes can also be tinted with a pigment for effects.

Pearlescent Finish - made from crushed mother-of-pearl particles, this coating adds a pearl like smooth finish.

Soft-touch Coating - an aqueous coating that adds different textures than a traditional finish (rubbery finish or leather-like feel).

UV (Ultraviolet) Coating - Clear liquid coating that dries with ultraviolet light leaving a high-gloss, satin or dull finish. A gloss UV Coat will give you the most shine but will also result in the most visible finger prints.

Textured and Sandpaper Finish - Coating that creates a rough texture and depth to an image area or creates a sandpaper type feel.

Scented Finish - Scents are within the coating and when applied and rubbed on the press sheet, a fragrance is released.

Flood Coating - process of applying any type of coating above to the entire press sheet or entire image area as one flat coating.

Spot Coating - process of applying any type of coating above to an isolated or designated area (ex - part of an image that you want to stand out) on a press sheet.

Now that you have an idea of some of the different types of coatings available in printing, I will share with you one of my favorite types of coatings (marinade) that I use on pork and chicken meals. Here is the recipe and check out the video above for detailed instructions on making this wonderful meal:

Garlic Dijon Basil Pork
- Mix together well olive oil, dijon, chopped garlic and basil together. Your the chef so you choose your recipe size! I add about 1-2 tablespoons of both oil and dijon, 3 cloves of garlic and about 1/2 teaspoon of dry basil (or 1 teaspoon of fresh basil).
- Line a baking dish with tin foil and place the pork in the dish.
- Salt and pepper pork and baste the mixture thoroughly on both sides.
- Let the pork sit at least 15-20 minutes to absorb the marinade (the longer it sits the better it tastes) and go ahead and pre-heat the oven to 450 while you wait.
- Cook about 12-15 minutes or until done to your desired level. I like to eat pork right around 150 but this is medium and may not be to your tastes.