Spot UV Varnish

What is Spot UV?

Spot UV is a finishing technique used to draw attention to specific design elements (like images or text) on your printed Zcards. It is also called a number of other names such as Spot Gloss, Spot Varnish and UV Printing.

Spot UV is a technique where a clear varnish is applied to your chosen design element. This adds a different texture to your Zfold design – the contrasting bright gloss makes the chosen element stand out from the matt background. The Spot varnish feels different but also looks different, as it catches the light. 

Spot UV is most effectively used on matt and soft-touch laminated Zfolds. This is because the contrast will be greater than on a glossy background. 

Use Spot UV to highlight your logo on your Zcard cover, or to draw attention to your business / company name. 

Spot UV Varnish print

Blind Spot UV

Blind Spot UV is the more subtle of the two forms of UV varnishing.  Here the UV varnish isn’t highlighting a design element on your pocketfold card, but it is merely applied to the background as a sort of subtle all over design.

Blind spot UV works very well with text: you could have your company name or message repeated over the entire surface of your printed Zcard. 

We’d recommend adding this form of Spot UV to matt laminated Zfolds (or soft-tocuh laminated – which is a form of matt lamination). 

It’s not advisable  to add spot UV to unlaminated paper as it can be absorbed, so the desired high gloss effect will be lost.

spot UV on drinks packaging

Blind Spot UV on Whisky Box

How do you apply Spot Varnish?

Once the sheet has been printed and laminated a template is placed over it and it’s fed into a machine which applies the polymer (which is a durable clear liquid).
The sheet is then instantly dried under infra red and UV lamps (hence the term spot UV).

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.

Make sure not to overdo Spot UV in your Zcard designs. The power of the high gloss varnish lies in using it subtly and with restraint – adding the varnish to just one important element (like your logo) will make it stand out all the more.

Think about the finishing process of your item.

Avoid adding the spot UV near to folds or trimmed areas as the varnish needs a consistent surface tension and will be prone to cracking and flaking if placed too close. 3mm is the minimum recommended distance from the edge of your printed Zfold. 

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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