A Handy Guide to Laminating

By: Lyndon Thomas

Laminating is one of the most effective ways of protecting paper documents or pieces of printed communication, particularly those that need to be displayed over a period of time without becoming tatty or faded. This handy guide to laminating will help to illustrate its benefits and uses, as well as explaining how to get the most out of laminating.

What does laminating involve?

Laminating is basically the process of putting a printed document between two pieces of film or plastic then applying heat or pressure to seal everything together, leaving the document toughened and water-resistant. This helps keep printed documents looking new for longer. This process can also help to protect documents from fading in sunlight and to ensure that they stay in a good, readable condition.

The process of lamination has been around for a number of years and is a tried-and-tested way of preserving paper-based communications. Its popularity continues to pay testament to its effectiveness.

What can laminating be used for?

1. Printed signs and posters
Posters that are created to advertise events are often stuck up outdoors. By laminating these, they will continue to look new and to catch people's eyes, even after a few days outside.

2. Leaflets
Leaflets are often laminated so that they can be left in public places to be read by a number of people without getting tatty.

3. Wipe-clean writing surfaces
Teachers or childcare professionals often create activity worksheets that can be written or drawn on with drywipe pens and then can be wiped clean and reused, making them not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly.

4. Business cards
Your business card is often the only way that someone can find out your contact details following a meeting, so it is important that the details on your card are kept in pristine condition, and laminating can help with this.

There are several other types of paper communication that could benefit from being laminated, too.

What are the benefits of laminating a document?

Laminating gives printed documents a longer shelf life, meaning that any investment in printing will deliver more value.

For example, signs that need to be placed in positions where they could be damaged by water or the weather could benefit from laminating. Health and safety signs in a kitchen or directional signs pointing people to events all need protection from the elements and by laminating them, they will last longer.

In addition to this, lamination makes documents look professional and gives them a sense of finesse that they otherwise wouldn't have.

Where is laminating carried out?

Many printing companies offer finishing services in addition to their printing services. Laminating is one of the most common and effective finishes that can be applied to a printed document and is a fast and cost-effective way to keep documents looking new.
More information about the types of lamination on offer and the costs associated with these can be obtained from printing companies that offer this service to any kind of business, organisation or individual.

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The author has worked in the print industry for over 30 years. Lyndon spent much of that time working in Australia, before returning to the UK several years ago where he worked as a print manager for a UK design agency. Lyndon writes for Minuteman Press UK; a printing franchise organisation that provides a wide variety of printing and laminating services.

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