I'm working on a colourful publication. Each page has a different coloured design all over it, covering it completely. I want it to be completely matte, but I'm not sure how to achieve that. Here is an example of the look I'm trying to get:

enter image description here

However, in my experience, offset printing always ends up being shiny. Am I right that it is impossible to achieve this through offset printing? How can I achieve the look I'm going for?


The sample you show was printed using offset lithography on uncoated stock. It looks like a small run so it was probably done sheetwise rather than by web.

The finish is matte due to the ink being completely absorbed into the stock.

On occasion, a varnish overcoat can be applied to remove or subdue differences in reflection caused by various thicknesses of ink on the page.

The application of a matte varnish doesn't appear to be used in this example you show.

The interesting point about your sample is that the stock used was white and the whole page was printed in reverse with the copy in register with the other spot colours.

Nice job.

  • Thank you for your reply. The thing is, I had it printed on what I thought was uncoated stock, and it turned out shiny. The paper is called "offset paper" in my (non-English speaking) country. I guess it was coated after all? I then looked through my printer's catalogue, where they feature all the kinds of paper they stock, with an example print. Every single print was shiny (even if the paper wasn't). Does this mean they don't stock uncoated paper? Should I look for another printing house? I have many questions due to little experience in printing.
    – rachel1
    Jun 2 '16 at 20:49
  • @rachel - Offset paper can be coated or un-coated. Was the catalog printed on different kinds and weights of paper or was the whole catalog printed to showcase styles of design rather than printing effects?
    – Stan
    Jun 2 '16 at 21:14
  • @rachel - Ask your question with samples to look at and feel. You can scrape the coating off coated stock. It's a kind of starch. Tear the paper to examine the grain direction and what colour the fibres are. How does it take stitching, glue, embossing, and post-press tooling. Ask for samples. Is the black ink the only shiny one? Ask what the printer can do to get you the effect you strive for. You're lucky that you're in the place where printing was developed and perfected.
    – Stan
    Jun 2 '16 at 21:20
  • Calandering (the rolling/hardening process) can have as great an effect on the paper as coating; the only difference between a "cold pressed", a "smooth" and a "vellum" is how hot and how tight the rollers were when the paper went through. Jun 3 '16 at 2:08

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