Specialist Finishes

Bring your print projects to life with special print finishes for stunning results.

Gloss lamination

For a really spectacular finish to achieve maximum impact consider gloss lamination. This adds a high silk sheen to the protective plastic laminate and really makes photographs and images sing out.

It combines all of the practical protective qualities of lamination with a fabulous high gloss finish to give a really professional and show-stopping finish. No wonder it is so popular for brochures and presentation folders, which are both a speciality of ours.

  • For a really professional looking finish
  • Durable – increases shelf life
  • Lamination prevents cracking when folding or creasing
  • Suitable for card stocks of 150 gsm or more
  • Completely seals the print, providing a level of water resistance

Foil blocking

If you’re searching for a really striking finish to accentuate typography and add impact to a cover design or brochure, then foil blocking could be the answer you have been looking for.

Available in a wide range of colours, foil is fabulously reflective because, unlike metallic inks, it sits on top of the paper rather than being absorbed.

Its lustrous finish is perfect for high-end products and premium service providers, and works beautifully when combined with effects and finishes such as embossing, soft touch and matt lamination to create really luxurious and tactile print.

Foiling isn’t only for luxury brands though. It’s great for turning something plain into something really eye-catching and memorable.

  • Wide range of colours available
  • Suitable for coated and uncoated stock
  • Requires a special stamp to be made to impress the foil on the paper
  • Price based on coverage and complexity
  • Takes a little longer for the finished product to be delivered to you, but it’s worth it!

Metallic inks

Metallic ink is actually a varnish containing metal particles such as copper, aluminium, bronze or zinc mixed with a spot colour. When left to dry slowly they rise to the surface, reflecting the light to create a metallic sheen.

More muted than foiling, metallic inks can create a stunning yet subtle effect for a really sophisticated and memorable finish. 

Best results are achieved on coated stock, such as silk or gloss, because the metallic ink is less prone to being absorbed into the paper.

  • Wide range of colours available
  • Best suited to coated stocks
  • Metallic inks take longer to dry than traditional offset ink
  • Requires a protective coating to be rub resistant
  • An economic alternative to using foil

Anti-scuff laminate

After investing so much time and energy creating your collateral, the last thing you want is for marks and fingerprints to spoil your covers. That’s where anti-scuff laminate comes in.

Solid, dark colours such as black or blue have a tendency to show up knocks and scratches. Anti-scuff laminate helps combat this and gives a great overall finish to your print.

It does cost a little more, but for brochures, folders and flyers that you want people to share and keep, it is definitely worth it.

  • Recommended as an alternative to matt laminate for solid dark colours
  • Extends shelf life
  • Protects against fingerprint marks and scuffing
  • Ideal for menus and print that will be used again and again
  • Worth every penny!

Spot gloss uv varnish

An easy way to add interest and draw attention to key design elements is use spot gloss UV varnish. This approach only applies the gloss varnish to a selected area (typically a logo, a few key words or an image) before hardening it using UV light.

Colours appear much brighter and more vivid as the varnish catches the light and you can even add glitter for a really sparkling finish. Because the smooth texture and sheen creates such a contrast against matt stock you can use it to create really striking patterns. Not surprisingly, spot gloss UV varnish is one of the most popular printing techniques available.

  • Glossy coating, great for decorative effects
  • Use on silk stock for maximum impact
  • Reinforces perceptions of quality
  • May not be suitable for very small or intricate detailing
  • Allow a little extra turnaround time


The ultimate in tactile print. By raising up parts of the page, embossing adds emphasis and dimension by creating shadows and highlights to accentuate the design or image. 

Best results tend to be achieved with card stocks of 250 gsm – 300 gsm. Although you can emboss outside this range, we don’t recommend going lower than 200 gsm or higher than 350 gsm.

Fabulous on its own, stunning when combined with other printing techniques such as foiling, embossing has the power to elevate the perceived quality and importance of the company, product or service it is promoting.

  • Adds elegance and sensuality to any paper surface
  • Can create a perception of quality and authority
  • Requires a set of special dies to be made to press out the paper

Spot matt uv varnish

An interesting, unusual and tactile finish can be achieved using matt UV varnish to single out particular words or shapes against a gloss background.

As with spot gloss, it isn't suited to very small or intricate detail and you do need to allow a little extra turnaround time, but the result is worth it.

It isn’t often seen simply because not many people are aware it. Spot gloss is the more obvious and frequently used option, which gives the matt alternative a unique and radical feel.

  • Perfect for creating decorative effects
  • Use on gloss stock for maximum impact
  • Subtle but effective
  • Original and unexpected
  • UV coatings are environmentally friendly

Soft touch laminate

Add a little luxury to your marketing collateral with soft touch lamination. Wonderfully tactile, it instantly conveys a sense of quality and, because it engages your sense of touch, it creates a lasting impression which can really amplify your message.

Colours stay vibrant with soft touch lamination. It's robust, isn't prone to marking and although it is more expensive than matt lamination, it isn't prohibitively so. The end result can create a real WOW factor and add even more impact to your literature. 

If you want your brochure to be kept and shared with potential customers and decision makers, soft touch lamination is definitely worth considering.

  • Luxurious feel, velvety to touch
  • Helps to convey an up-market image
  • Ideal for premium brands
  • Works brilliantly with spot gloss UV
  • Plan in extra time to receive your finished product

Perfect binding

You may not be familiar with the term, but you will be with the finished look. Perfect binding is a widely used soft cover book binding method where the pages and cover are glued together at the spine. The remaining sides are trimmed to give them clean, ‘perfect’ edges.

Ideal for thicker brochures and magazines, perfect binding is also a popular binding method for annual and corporate reports, as it can add to the perception of authority, quality and professionalism.

PUR binding gives the same finish as perfect binding but uses stronger glue for a more robust and durable result. In particular, it suits publications with a high page count. Your Bishops Account Manager will be pleased to help you choose the right binding for your publication.

  • Professional, high quality appearance
  • Easy to stack the finished product
  • The square spine can be used to carry printed information
  • Spine width needs to be wider than 3mm
  • Burst binding is available for added strength

Saddle stitching

Staple binding to the uninitiated! A hugely popular binding method commonly used for brochures, programmes, booklets, newsletters and pamphlets.

Choose saddle stitching if you want the pages of your publication to lie flat when you open it out. Saddle stitching is more economical than perfect binding, but once you get past 64 – 80 pages (depending on the paper stock) the book becomes too bulky to fold properly and you lose the neat, flat, appearance. That’s when you need to switch to perfect binding.

Typically, saddle stitched products will have two staples binding the pages together, but larger books may require more. You can also choose to off-set the position of the staples (called staggered stitching) to make the end result less bulky for efficient storage.

  • Page count must be in multiples of four
  • Economical, with quicker turnarounds than other binding options
  • Great for direct mail because it adds minimal bulk and weight
  • High page counts are better suited to perfect binding