Lamination services are available in many office supply stores or print shops. Laminating is an art and if you don’t know how to do it, you can easily ruin your project. The price you will pay is relatively small, considering the damage that can be done by improper lamination. A professional will know which type of lamination is right for your particular project.

Applying laminate to objects increases and extends the life of the document. This is typically done on maps, art, news articles, posters, photographs, reports and a wide range of other documents. The process covers the document with a thin plastic covering that protects it from moisture, tears and wear.

The equipment used in laminating documents can be quite expensive, particularly for wide format projects. Unless you have a need for extensive laminating, the equipment will be cost prohibitive. It is much cheaper to hire a service for less frequent lamination needs. Another option is to purchase a machine for small jobs and send larger projects out to be professionally laminated.

Often, printed materials will need to be protected. This is especially true for water based inks. These images will be destroyed if they come in contact with water. Moisture and excessive humidity in the air can cause the same problem. A laminate film over the project will prevent these problems and your document will last for years.

Options in Lamination Services

When you contact a professional, you will find that you have several choices in laminating your project. The first decision you will need to make is in the finish you want on the project. The most common finishes available are high gloss, semi gloss, satin or crystal finishes. The higher the gloss, the stronger and more durable the finish. However, the project will also have a shiny look. If you don’t want the high shine, consider a satin or crystal finish for your document. The professional performing the service can make suggestions that will help you make a decision.

You have two choices for the edges of your document. Many finished products have a small laminated edge on all four sides of the document. This edge is usually about 1/8” on all sides. If you don’t want this clear edge, you can request edge to edge lamination. This method leaves no overhand. The laminate ends at the edge of the document.

Another choice is in the mounting of the document. You may decide to have the image mounted prior to being laminated. This is a great choice for posters, photographs or art work. Projects of any size can be mounted, from small photographs, to large poster sized art work.

Cost of Lamination Services

The cost of the service can vary widely. Some shops charge by the piece and others by the foot. In general, smaller jobs are charged by the sheet. Larger items, such as wide format laminating, are charged by the finished linear foot.

The thickness of the item being laminated also affects the price. In most shops, the thickness can vary from three to seven ml. The thickness of the document, the mounting or both will affect the total thickness of the project. In general, the thicker the item, the more expensive the lamination.

Extra services, such as mounting or binding will add to the total cost of the project. Many shops offer binding the pages of your project into books. This is often done for business reports or booklets for business meetings or conferences. Binding gives your project a more professional look that will give people a good impression of you and your business.

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