Relief varnish

also relief lacquer, outline paint, Braille paint, water drops paint

With the relief varnish can be lettering and other designs emphasizing three dimensions without the substrate to deform. Is used, a special UV-lacquer which is applied with a sufficiently large layer thickness. The relief paint has a solid content of almost 100%, which cures by UV light while maintaining its dimensional effect. The relief varnish is available in various compositions in transparent form for glossy or matte effects. But further, it is also possible to color it with pigments.

Technical background

For the order of relief varnish screen printing machines are used. By the screen printing method to reach the specific wanted high layer thickness. The height of the paint job can vary. The paint is placed in the screen printing machine with a rubber squeegee through the fine mesh of the screen printing form through the material to be printed. At the points of the fabric where the print image no paint is to be applied according to the mesh sizes before printing made ​​paint opaque. The relief varnish should always be applied to clearly defined areas and defined as overprinting layer. The finished printed documents should be processed only in small batches, so that the relief not pulls the trigger on the overlying pages.


Sheer relief varnish changed the underlying colors. Due to its high degree of gloss and the resulting paint film thickness it provides a good alternative for the goffering. Relief coatings are often used to e.g. making headlines and book titles in book production hapticality.

Application possibilities

Because of its special tactile properties it is also used for playback of Braille.


The relief varnish is suitable for almost all materials(e.g. papers, foils, various plastics or cardboard). His best effect reaches the relief paint on smooth and coated papers. When an uncoated paper test prints are advisable. The basis weight of the materials should be slightly larger, because the paint applying strong. Fine lines and intricate details can not be applied with very thick coats, but still put in a good mixture. Larger areas have an unsettling effect, the edges are messy and the paint sinks into the center. Painted surfaces should be avoided in the areas of utilization, cutting and creasing rules. Relief paints are not agglutinated or printable. It also should not be printed bled off because of paint when pruning could shatter otherwise.


The production costs are fixed in the lower price level.

Sources and additional literature

[1] Beckmann, Till; Morlok, Franziska: Extra: Enzyklopädie der experimentellen Druckveredelung; Birkhäuser Verlag, 2009

[2] Hille, Frauke Helene: Veredlungsmöglichkeiten und Spezialeffekte für Bücher und Broschuren; Diplomarbeit, Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig (FH), Fachbereich Medien, Studiengang Verlagsherstellung, 2008

[3] Murvai, Geza; Ober, Juliane: Inline-Veredelung im Bogen- und Endlosdruck. Bundesverband Druck und Medien, 2007

[4] Printperfection