How Does it work?, How is it Done?
Spot UV can make areas of your design really stand out. You need to have planned for this with your print supplier in the early stages of the design process. Although this is not done at the design stage, it is a print process applied right at the end after the printing, but before a job is folded or guillotined.
As soon as the ink is applied to the material, then the Spot UV is added on top. Almost like another skin of ink, gloss spot UV looks like a layer of cellotape. This process is either done on the end of the printing line, within the same process of the job being printed or is done after on a separate machine, this all depends if your print supplier has this facility added to the end of their printing presses. Its used to be common for a full colour printer outsource this technique, but as it more often these days, most printing companies add Spot UV in house.
Spot UV is normally added to a job along with a matt laminate, this is to further enhance the shininess of the Spot UV. Having a matt material which obviously dulls the light helps to bring out the vibrant reflectiveness of the varnish. The ‘Spot’ printing technique is almost as if it’s another ink or separate colour. If you are printing a full colour document, then the spot process is an additional coat on the top of the rest of the CMYK colours used to produce the colour work.
The only downside to Spot UV is its not a cheap process, its more cost effective to be printed on the grid system, where your job will be printed with other customers work therefore sharing the costs, this type of printing is also known as ‘gang printing’. But even this method doesn’t make this cheap.
Widely used on business cards and small high quality leaflets, and company brochures as it normally corporate companies who have the budget for printing this technique. It’s certainly is not to advisable to use it on Posters, the cost would be maybe 3 times as much as the printing costs.
If you are printing a bespoke order, then the cost for SPOT UV depends on its size as a percentage of the overall job, so a small logo with the Spot UV added may only be 10-15% of the overall design, this helps your print supplier estimate the cost.
It does have some other limitations; it does not work very well with fine detail. It cannot cope with fine lines or hairlines or even small fonts. But it’s the larger more solid areas which tend to help with its success, flat square or rounded oval logo work very well and it’s the bigger the area the more it will reflect. You’re best to ask your print supplier if the design you want the area to be added to is possible.
Dean Williams is a design and marketing blogger working for Print-Print Limited, promoting business and building brands through quality print marketing. If you’re interested in small business promotion then please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org