A Comprehensive Guide to Soft Touch Coating and Soft Touch Lamination

guide 101 soft touch coating vs soft touch lamination

If you want to retain a loyal client base, higher standard quality, and customer satisfaction should be your top priorities in your decision-making process.

In industries like custom packaging, the appearance of your item holds greater importance. After all, it's the very first point of interaction between the potential buyer and the product. That's why choosing the right finish is crucial to achieving a sophisticated final look for your boxes. Surface finishes enhance the visual appeal and also protect the product from external damage, maintaining its quality and durability over time.

Soft touch coating vs soft touch lamination is a never-ending debate, as they are popular printing techniques. While both options are used to provide a luxurious and velvety feel, they differ in their application processes and overall impact. Let’s understand their unique characteristics and benefits to decide which one is the right fit for your business.

How Would You Describe the Texture of “Soft Touch"?

how would you describe the texture of soft touch

Imagine running your fingers over something that feels like a blend of short-napped, suede, and chamois leather – that's the texture of a soft touch. It suggests that a surface is not rough or coarse but rather has a smooth and comforting feel. It's all about pleasant and softness that is easy to notice and enjoyable to feel. Thus, a soft touch is more like a velvety finish applied mostly to retail packaging. This kind of texture stimulates the tactile sensation, creating a wholesome and satisfying experience.

What Is Meant By Soft Touch Coating?

what is meant by soft touch coating

It is a versatile finishing liquid that is layered evenly over the graphics printed on the packaging while serving as the last step of the printing process. It dries within seconds and offers a high-quality finish without taking much time or cost. Moreover, you can adjust the coating depending on the surface thickness. It keeps artwork vibrant yet smooth. The best thing about this coating is that it's fingerprint- and scuff-resistant.

What Is Meant By Soft Touch Lamination?

soft touch lamination

Another type of lamination that attaches a BOPP (bi-oriented polypropylene) plastic film to printed material using heat and pressure. This textured matte film can be bonded to cardboard, kraft, paperboard, and more – making it adaptable to any printed material regardless of its nature. The thin film of laminate acts as a barrier to moisture, scuff, and smudges of fingerprints.

This process is ideal for achieving a satin, sleek, and soft look because it tones down the vivid, sparkling colors on darker prints. Unlike the coating, it adds a layer of protection. Hence, it gives extra resistance and strength against the rigors of shipping. Well, we can say that is the reason behind it being a bit pricey.

Key Differences: Soft Touch Coating vs Soft Touch Lamination

soft touch coating vs soft touch lamination

Soft Touch Coating

Soft Touch Lamination

Application Process

Simple process, a liquid coat is applied with UV light

Complex, thin film is applied using heat and pressure

Uniformity of Finish

Slightly textured finish, not uniform

A more harmonious and even finish


Cannot withstand heavy handling

Robust level of protection, best for frequent handling



Expensive due to the extra layer

Turnaround Time






What Products/Industries Work Well with Soft Touch Coating?

Products that require a lush and tactile feel are well-suited for soft touch coating.




Business cards, brochures, promotional posters, banners


Cosmetics, electronics, luxury goods, jewelry boxes, apparel


Book covers, magazine covers, invitation and greeting cards, special editions

What Products/Industries Work Well with Soft Touch Lamination

Products that need an elegant, classy, and elite look with maximum sturdiness go best with soft-touch lamination.



High-end packaging

Lavish big-budget gadgets, fragrances and perfumes boxes


Textbook covers, educational flashcards, restaurant menus, product manuals and catalogs, limited edition books

Retail product packaging

Toys and games, consumer electronics, luxury apparel and accessories

Merits of Soft Touch Coating vs Soft Touch Lamination

These two premium finishes make unboxing special for customers, keeping the packaging clean and resistant to scratches and specks.

Advantages of Soft Touch Coating

Advantages of Soft Touch Lamination

An attractive choice for projects with low-budget

Creates sturdier and more durable packaging

Allow creative and customized designs by selective application to specific areas of a print

Gives a uniform and consistent finish across the entire printed surface

The application process is fast due to quick

Deeper and richer look due to increased color



Retains the original color and vibrancy of artwork

Creates moisture-resistant barrier

Which One Is Best For You? Soft Touch Coating vs Soft Touch Lamination

So, choosing between these two depends on your needs and requirements. You can consider factors like your budget, desired tactile feel, level of strength, priorities for the printed material, etc. For a more deluxe result, you can combine these methods with other printing techniques (embossing, debossing, foil stamping, spot UV, etc). Each one has certain attributes.

  • If cost is a major concern and a softer feel is sufficient, soft touch coating may be the preferred choice.

  • If robustness, moisture resistance, and added protection are crucial, especially for high-traffic or e-commerce applications, soft touch lamination might be more suitable.

Further Reading: Choosing Custom Packaging: 7 Key Considerations

Worrying About Budget Constraints?

At Half Price Packaging, we provide premium quality soft-touch coating and lamination along with many other economical add-ons. We give special discounts on bulk or wholesale orders. If you have any specific demand, our skilled team is available 24/7 to help you with all your queries. Our design support is complimentary, too.

Look no further, contact us now to get an instant quote!

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