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5 printing trends to look for in 2020 

We review all of our award-winning Project of the Month nominations from 2019 and analyse which 5 printing trends we think will be a big hit in 2020.


1. Foil Printing

Nearly half of our award winning projects from 2019 included some element of foiling, either as the main feature or as a more subtle embellishment.

3 of these involved a special-coloured foil block on top of a special cover material to give a gloriously luxurious effect. Take the Cavanna Homes brochure for example:

[foogallery id=”5233″]


We also love the cover of the Yorton brochure which looks equally stunning with a bronze foil block over the grey embossed stock:

[foogallery id=”5237″]


Other projects went down a more traditional route with standard gold foiling, either on a matt laminated background as per the Diageo pop-up invitation, or on a linen hardback case-bound cover such as the Martin Dutton Art Book.

[foogallery id=”5239″]


Finally, we produced this wonderful little IntoFilm invitation with digital foiling which is a new technique and suitable for very low-run printing:

[foogallery id=”5241″]


Foiling is a highly eye-catching printing embellishment that offers superb value for money and is unrivalled in quality. We’ve found it’s been increasingly popular throughout 2019 and it seems likely that trend will continue through 2020. Have a look through our foil printing page to find out more and learn a few tips to help you apply this unique finish to your collateral.


2. Binding

We’ve noticed a real mixture of different binding styles in 2019 and it’s a really important aspect of printed literature. Having the right binding can make all the difference to both the beauty and the durability of your printed media.

First up is the most common method, the saddle-stitched spine. Confusingly, there is no ‘traditional’ stitching going on here with needle and thread; it’s actually what most people would call a stapled spine (it’s called stitched because the method we use to insert the metal staples is just like a sewing machine). Saddle-stitching is practical, cost-effective and perfect for brochures with pages less than around 40pp.

Take a look at these examples from our case studies, from Vtec, Stay Campus London, Cavanna Homes and Baker Estates:

[foogallery id=”5273″]

Our second most-popular binding method is perfect binding (you might have heard of this as PUR binding, which is the same thing). This is more durable and tough than saddle-stitching and is best for brochures with 30 pages or more.

Here are a few examples of perfect bound brochures we produced for Yorton, Newtown Packaging and Spacestor:

[foogallery id=”5275″]

Finally, the thread-sewn binding method is something we used throughout 2019. This is stronger even than perfect bound and helps the brochure to open out much flatter too.

Here you can see this method in use for the Careflex brochure and for the Martin Dutton art book, which is cased in to hardback covers for the ultimate luxury:

[foogallery id=”5278″]


3. Pop-up cards

Anyone who has followed Newton Print will know that we’re huge fans of pop-up cards. We’ve produced dozens of these and it’s quite a surprise that only one made it into our Project of the Month awards last year!

This project was a real stunner, produced for London agency RPM for their client Diageo. It’s an invitation to an exclusive event, with the pop-up functions and gold foiling details providing just enough wow-factor to pique the interest:

[foogallery id=”5280″]

You can view lots of our other pop-up card case studies here.


4. Scratch n Sniff printing

Another of our favourites is scratch n sniff printing, which we’ve produced a lot of over the past few years. It’s such an impressive technology that we just can’t do justice to it on-screen, so do ask for samples!

Again, it’s a surprise that only one scratch n sniff campaign was awarded with the Project of the Month last year. This was the Stranger Things scratch n sniff card produced for the launch of the latest episode of the film by experiential agency The Persuaders:

[foogallery id=”5281″]


5. Soft-touch and anti-scuff lamination

Lamination has always been a popular method of embellishing and protecting print, and in recent years more exotic laminates have become popular. Last year we noticed a lot more demand for soft-touch (velvet) and anti-scuff lamination.

Anti-scuff is particular impressive for darker-coloured printing as it prevents fingerprints, scuffs and scratches.

Here are some examples from last year:

[foogallery id=”5283″]



We’ve noticed a trend towards lower volumes but much higher value printed media, as emphasised in this list. Many marketing teams are turning to printing as a well-proved marketing channel that also carries with it a sense of nostalgia and tactility that digital media struggles to replicate. Print has such a profound place in the marketing mix, and adding a special embellishment to your printing produces fantastic results.

You can see all of our Project of the Month award winners in our Case Studies section, and of course do get in touch if you want to experience any of these printing features for yourself.

Simon Besley

Author Simon Besley

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