Spot UV Varnish

What is Spot UV?

Spot UV is an eye-catching technique used to bring attention to certain areas of a page. It is a clear varnish that is applied to highlight certain areas of a page by creating a contrasting texture between a dull matt and a high shine gloss. Spot UV can be applied in matt on top of a gloss background or more commonly as gloss on a matt background. When gloss spot UV is added to a print, the colors will be lifted and vibrant, taking on a glossy 3D effect.

Typical uses for gloss spot UV include logos, photographs in a brochure, and text on a business card. However, the possibilities are endless. Spot UV is a great way to make your print projects stand out and draw attention to the specific areas you want to highlight.

Spot UV Varnish print

Blind Spot UV

For a subtle enhancement to your printed items, blind spot UV is the perfect choice. This UV varnish is applied to a plain background without any specific print below it. Blind spot UV is a popular choice for business cards as it makes your logo appear to be shining out of the card as you tilt it. It also works very well with text, allowing you to have your company name or message repeated over the surface of your printed item.

For the best results, combine the gloss spot UV with a matt or soft touch lamination for a luxurious look and feel to your printed item. If applying to unlaminated paper, be aware that the UV varnish can be absorbed, reducing the high gloss effect. Cup sleeve printing is another great way to make use of the blind spot UV technique.

spot UV on drinks packaging

Blind Spot UV on Whisky Box

How is spot UV applied

After the sheet has been printed and laminated, a template is positioned on top of it and sent through a machine that coats it with a strong, clear liquid polymer. The sheet is immediately dried with infrared and UV lamps, which is where the term ‘spot UV’ comes from.

Setting up artwork

Artwork is supplied in the usual way with the spot UV area supplied as a separate file. This file should contain only the UV area and nothing else.

  1. Create an extra layer in your design tab and entitle it spot UV.
  2. Select a clashing colour, e.g. 100% magenta and save it as spot UV.
  3. In the first layers of your file copy the areas which will have spot UV and paste this on your new Spot UV layer in exactly the same position.
  4. The spot UV layer should now be coloured magenta.

Select the Spot UV areas carefully.

Spot UV is an excellent way to add contrast and highlight important design elements, such as logos, text, and patterns. When using Spot UV for cup sleeves, it’s typically applied to printed logos for a striking effect. Alternatively, you can also use blind UV to liven up the plain reverse of a cup sleeve with text or a pattern. Whatever you choose, the resulting contrast and highlight will make your cup sleeve stand out.

Think about the finishing process of your item.

When adding Spot UV to a cup sleeve, be mindful of its placement near folds or trimmed areas, as the varnish requires a consistent surface tension to prevent cracking and flaking. To ensure the best results, a minimum distance of 3mm should be kept between the varnish and any folds or trim.

Spot UV on business card logo

Spot UV on logo on business card

If you have any questions about Spot UV then call us on 023 8087 8037 or email us.

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