Lamination or Encapsulation?

Encapsulation is often mistakenly referred to as lamination, when they are technically two different processes.  Here, we explain the difference:



Lamination is when a thin layer of plastic (often on one side), is trimmed flush to the edge of a printed article. At, we offer our business cards with matt lamination (non-shiny)  and gloss-lamination (shiny) to enhance its look, feel & durability. We also offer our leaflets with matt and gloss lamination for the same effect – which makes it perfect for restaurants, cafes and retail stores when they are likely to be handled several times.


HOWEVER, lamination is NOT completely waterproof, which doesn’t make it ideal for outdoor, permanent display of posters or other printed materials.



Encapsulation is when a thin layer of tough plastic on both sides is sealed at the edge of a printed article and is waterproof. Encapsulation is great for protecting things such as maps and posters, when its use will be mainly outdoors and exposed to wet and windy conditions!


To summarise, laminating is suitable for indoor applications and moderate use, whereas encapsulation is ideal for outdoors use or in situations when a printed article needs to be well protected to preserve or extend its life.


More about Lamination

Lamination usually consists of a thin layer of film (around 30 microns) which is applied to the surface of paper or card to enhance its look and feel. Lamination films typically used by printers include OPP (Polypropylene) which is ideal for internal use.

Lamination options that are usually available include Matt, Gloss, Satin or Velvet. Typical examples of laminated articles include business cards, wall maps, book covers and restaurant menus.


More about Encapsulation

A sheet of paper or card is encapsulated when it is completely encased in film, with a sealed plastic border around its edges. Encapsulation also typically uses a thicker, tougher type of film such as Polyester, which is available in Matt or Gloss.

    1. Tony January 17, 2019

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