4 Popular Print Finishes

In addition to the many cardstock options available, there are also a number of printing finishes you can add to your business cards and other print jobs. There are a variety of effects, which people use for different reasons: to add protection, to give their cards texture, or to draw attention. See below for some commonly used finishes.

Spot UV

Spot UV refers to a glossy coating applied only to some parts of the cardstock. People use this finish to add interest or draw the eye to specific places. A varnish is applied and then sealed with UV light, resulting in enhanced colors and a glossy final product. The coating also adds protection.

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping is malleable metallic material applied to certain elements of a card — often the text or logo. It will add a reflective surface to your card, helping it to stand out. The foil is often gold or silver, and many consider it to be a luxury finish. 


When something is embossed, parts of the page (such as images or text) are raised, creating texture and emphasis. This effect adds a tactile dimension to your card — you can actually feel the text and images.


Letterpress is sometimes referred to as “debossing,” or the opposite of embossing. Instead of raising certain parts of the card, letterpress indents text or images. Just like embossing, this finish creates a three-dimensional effect, producing shadows and highlights. (Letterpress and embossing can both get pretty pricey.)

These are just some of the basics to get you started. If you have any questions, or if you'd like to stop by our office to look at some samples and additional finishing options, get in touch.