Spot UV FAQs
& file specifications
When submitting files for print, some products will require a “separation” file which is in addition to standard artwork files.
Examples of these are products with Spot UV. The “separation” file reflects the area which will have the special print treatment.
This article will outline how to set up correctly “separation” files.
Step 1: Identify Area(s) with Special Treatment
Take your existing CMYK files and identify the areas you want to apply the additional print treatment.
Step 2: Define Separation
Once you have determined the areas that will have special treatment, create a separate file only with these elements. The file will be black and white, where the black represents the area which the print treatment will be applied to.
Note that the black elements need to be 100% black and as a vector format.
Step 3: Check Alignment of Separation(s)
We strongly recommend checking that your separation(s) aligns with your artwork. To do this, place your separation artwork and CMYK artwork on two different layers.
*TIP: Play around with the opacity of the top layer so that you can see if the two properly align.
What is Spot UV?
Spot UV is an additional coating of clear gloss that is applied to specific areas on your print (as defined in your press-ready file setup).
It is a speciality finish that adds an extra touch and eye-catching, but classy, dimension to prints. It can be applied to a small area or cover a large portion of artwork. Commonly, designers will apply the Spot UV on their logo or as an overlaid clear pattern.
Setting up press-ready files for Spot UV
Spot UV files should be supplied as separations. This means the Spot UV layer is supplied in a separate file (or separate page) of your press-ready PDF file.
Design considerations for Spot UV
There are several things to consider when designing for Spot UV.
File Setup and Preparation
It is important to have your file setup. This is a complex setup, and it is best to have an experienced designer prepare these files for you.
Blind Spot UV Text
When objects are placed in the Spot UV layer, but not registered to any CMYK print design – this is Blind Spot UV.
Text-content that is applied as Blind Spot UV may not be legible (as Spot UV is a clear layer). To read the text, it will need to catch the light in the right way – it may not be readable at all angles and under certain light.
Blind Spot UV can be a very impressive effect to your card – however if there is any text we recommend very large size if this is part of your design (14pt font size or larger). We do not recommend important information and contact details (such as phone numbers and website address) to be in Blind Spot UV for this reason.
Who are Spot UV Cards suitable for?
Spot UV cards are one of our most popular products – with all industries and professions. An inexpensive premium finish, a popular choice with:
- Designers – Graphic, Web, Fashion and Interior
- Media Industry
- PR Agencies
- Event Planners
- Social Media consultants and managers
- Customer Relationship Management
Will you check that my Spot UV file aligns correctly with my print file?
Our Prepress department is responsible for assessing files for potential print errors. Examples of these errors include incorrect bleed, colour space or low resolution photos.
Spot UV alignment to the print is an aspect of the design and should be verified by your designer prior to submitting an order – and then also confirming in your PDF Proof. We do not check this alignment during the proofing process.
Our Press and Quality Control teams will ensure that your order is printed as per the accepted proof.
What designs look best with Spot UV?
We like to encourage the most creative and exciting design work.
Many people choose to apply the Spot UV layer to simply text and logos on their business cards – however we suggest taking your design and creativity beyond this. Check out the gallery on our Spot UV page for some creative inspiration. Below are a few further tips:
- Blind Spot UV looks great on black (or other rich solid background colour)
- A tiled pattern, either shapes or your company logo, can create a striking texture over your card
- For the greatest impact of Spot UV on your logo, consider different ways that the clear gloss layer can be applied
- Spot UV highlighting parts of a raster image (such as water droplets) can create an eye catching effective if executed well (but can look unprofessional if not set up correctly)
Can I have full-coverage of the Spot UV on my card?
Yes you can! This will be similar to a Super Gloss coating all over the card. You will need to specify this in the design file you upload into your order.
We do not recommend full coverage of the Spot UV on both sides – you should order Super Gloss coated cards for the same finish (and more cost effective!).
How accurate is the Spot UV registration?
Unfortunately we cannot guarantee exact Spot UV Gloss registration to the CMYK print. The Spot UV layer may shift up to 1mm in any direction.
A Spot UV card is printed with the CMYK design – and then the clear Spot UV coating is applied over the top of the card. As the Spot UV coating is applied at a different time and has different properties, it may not overlay exactly to the printed design.