Applying a spot UV coating to a printed product remains one of the most popular ways to make your printed products stand out. It makes a huge impact on the overall appearance of your printed product at a relatively low cost. You can add spot UV to enhance the design of almost any printed product including books, catalogs, booklets, calendars, magazines, paper boxes, and much more.
What Is Spot UV?
Spot UV is a UV coating technique that only applies the coating in specific areas of the printed product. UV coating applies a tough, clear-coat in liquid form onto the printed material then uses ultra-violet light to dry and bind the coating. The ultra-violet light allows the coating to dry almost instantaneously. A spot UV application uses this same technique, except instead of coating the entire material, it only coats specific sections. This allows you to create a design within the coating to add depth and contrast to your print in varying levels.
You can use this type of coating on almost any printed product to add an extra level of depth and uniqueness to your design. This makes it extremely popular for promotional materials as it draws in the attention of the viewer. It also makes for an effective and affordable way to make your printed product stand out.
What Design Looks Good for Spot UV?
While you can utilize spot UV on almost any printed material, it makes the largest impact on full-color prints. This helps seal in the color preventing it from fading while also giving the areas with the coating a unique shine. You can use this to highlight specific sections of your design that you want to ensure that your readers remember.
Another popular way of using spot UV is on a dark, matte stock paper with a design created entirely through the UV coating. The shine from the UV coating allows the design to stand out as the shading transforms depending on how the product is viewed. This type of design stands out and catches the eye as any light shines off of it.
Even though UV coatings can be applied on any type of paper, it is highly recommended that Spot UV is done over matte lamination as it produces far better results in terms of both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Spot UV can be applied to the entire cover area, as well as on specific parts of the images or texts on the surface. For Spot UV, screen printing is used for the printing process, which gives great results for images and texts of large size. One thing you must keep in mind while using Spot UV is the fact that it should never be done over gloss lamination, as this makes the contrasting effect barely visible.
How Do You Set Up Artwork for Spot UV Finish?
Setting up your artwork for any special finishes that only affect specific areas, like spot UV, requires a separate file called a mask. This type of file allows you to specify exactly where you want the finish using black to signify which areas should be coated and white to specify which areas should not be coated. The mask file and your colored artwork file make up your overall project.
The easiest way to create a mask file involves using a copy of your colored artwork file. Once you make a copy of your artwork file, remove all elements from the file that you do not want to be coated. Then, change the color of all other elements to black. In a CMYK color layout, black is considered C0, M0, Y0, K100. You can also make the mask file in the same way as a Pantone color artwork file. Also, make sure the spot UV printing file is a vectorial file.
When creating your mask file always make sure that the alignment of the mask file and artwork file are exactly the same. This includes the overall size of the files and the positioning of all shared elements. With the way UV coating gets applied after the printing of the file, also avoid specifying coating on any lines with a weight lower than 0.5 PT.