Insiders Guide to Spot UV


We believe that it is important that not only should a business card look good but also feel good as well. Therefore, having spot UV on your business card enhances the printed product and can give the card a completely different feel.


Spot UV is a thick, transparent coating of UV varnish which is cured using an ultra violet light. The UV varnish can be applied to the whole of the card but the 'spot' element is the process of selecting out a certain area of the design which will give the design a contrast between the smooth, shiny texture of the spot UV and the soft, flat texture of the rest of the card. This contrast is an excellent way to create a long lasting and eye-catching impact.   



Firstly, you will need to plan out your artwork with your printing supplier as areas requiring Spot UV will need to be marked up clearly, this allows the printers to know where to apply the Spot UV varnish later in the printing process. The process begins when the artwork is printed, and the ink is applied to the sheets of paper from which the sheets are fed through a series of machines with the aid of rollers that allow the material to slide past while the UV varnish is smoothed over a die-cut template that ensures that only the elements of the design that requires the varnish are being coated. The sheets are then fed under an Infra Red lamp where it is set to dry, the varnish coated sheets are then fed under a UV lamp where it is further dried until it is completely dry. When the sheets are completely dry they can then be folded or guillotined ready to be sent off to the customer depending on the product being produced. Typically, Spot UV is added to a job along with a matt laminate, as it greatly enhances the smooth shininess of the Spot UV since the matt creates a striking contrast between the dull reflections being emitted and the enlightening sheen of the Spot UV varnish, resulting in an intensifying effect to the business card, small high quality leaflets or company brochures.    



The majority of printers prefer you to submit two versions of your artwork that are exactly the same size and can be provided in a single pdf file with two pages. The first version will be what you desire your design to appear like and the second version will need to be clearly marked up to show the elements of where the UV varnish is going to be applied to with a contrasting colour. Using contrasting colours to distinguish the two apart will enable the printers to pinpoint exactly where you want the varnish to be applied to. This will ensure that your order is exactly what you asked for.    

CMYK Explained!

Confused about all this talk of CMYK, additive colour and subtractive colour? Well we have provided you with a small but informative explanation of what it all means! 

Read more