First, let’s have a look at the components of a printed piece before we discuss applying laminating film.

Stock – Paper stocks have different textures and levels of acid content in addition to varied thicknesses.
Toner vs. Ink – Printing machines use either powdered toner (dry) or fluid ink (wet) to add an image to the stock. Whether you are using an oil-based media or not is also important to consider.

Heavy vs. Light Toner Coverage:

When you print using a high amount of toner coverage, for example, a full-color brochure with a full bleed, maximum adhesive strength will be required. It is important that prints are completely dry before applying laminating film to prevent unsightly bubbles, condensation, etc. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will only require minimum adhesive strength when printing with lighter toner coverage. For example, a menu that is mainly wording with minimal graphics and a lot of the white paper showing through.

Adhesive Types of Laminating Film:

Standard: To be used when toner coverage is light.
PRO: To be used with water-based inks when toner coverage is medium.
Digital: To be used with oil-based inks when toner coverage is heavy toner.
Pressure-Sensitive: To be used with stocks made of non-porous material (like a sheet of vinyl or other plastic).

A side Note for Schools:

Are you a school that laminates student projects with standard laminating film? Then you may be having trouble with your film not adhering to the students’ projects made with construction paper.

Construction typically often has a much higher acid content than standard copy paper which can cause a lack of film adhesion (peeling) to construction paper. In this case, you need to switch to an acid-free paper, and if possible, slow the speed on your laminator. You can also upgrade your films adhesive strength.