John Bechtel


The undertaking of this investigation was to question the aesthetic significance of overprint varnish. To do this a statistical investigation was developed to answer the question: "When the protection factor of overprint varnishing is of little or no significance, does overprint varnishing of the finished product add an element of aesthetic quality sufficient to justify the outlay of additional funds?" The philosophy of the investigation revolved around the investigative sample distinguishing the overprint varnishing process as a significant aesthestic enhancement process. To do this a sample of 15 sets of magazine quality reproductions, all printed under the same conditions, were secured from a local magazine printer. One-half of the above samples were coated with overprint varnish. Finally the 15 sets, each containing the same reproduction varnished and unvarnished, were submitted for aesthetic evaluation to an investigative sample of printing experts and a group of randomly selected people "off the street." The findings of this investigation using a non-parametric sign test as the evaluation tool, indicate the group of printing experts differentiate the overprint varnished reproductions as significantly discernible. On the other hand the sample group of people "off the street" did not significantly identify a difference between the varnished and non-varnished reproductions. This being the case, the application of overprint varnish for aesthetic purposes is concluded as being quite questionable. To the printer and especially the buyer of printing, such questionable 'conclusions should drastically influence his use of overprint varnish.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Paper coatings; Paper finishing; Printing

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)


Hacker, Robert

Advisor/Committee Member

Guldin, Mark

Advisor/Committee Member

Frazier, Clifton


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TS1109.B4


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