Spot UV Varnish

Spot UV Varnish – what is it?

You may have heard several terms regarding Spot UV – UV printing, spot varnish, spot gloss etc. They all refer to the same printing technique where a clear varnish is applied on specific areas of your printed product design. This eye-catching effect creates a contrasting visual between the background matte and the high shine gloss. As such, Spot UV varnish works best on a matt (or matte) background.

Sometimes, Spot UV can be added to colours – which makes them take on a 3D visual. 

Spot UV varnish is often used for company names and logos. It can also be used on selected photos (for example, in a brochure or catalogue) to highlight them. 


Spot UV Varnish print

Blind Spot UV

The more subtle way of applying the varnish, blind spot UV is a common choice for business card designs. The glossy varnish is applied to a plain, generic background and not a specific bit of text. At first glance the business card may appear to be fairly ordinary, but as soon as your customer picks it up they’ll notice your logo shining out of the card as if by magic and disappearing and reappearing as the card is tilted.

You can also have blind spot UV with text – e.g. your business name repeated over the surface of your printed product. 

As with regular Spot UV varnish, we’d recommend adding blind UV to a matt stock with matt lamination. You can also use Spot UV to great effect on soft touch lamination (velvety and luxurious). 

Please note: we wouldn’t recommend using Spot UV on unlaminated paper – it can absorb and lose its glossiness. 

spot UV on drinks packaging

Blind Spot UV on Whisky Box

How is spot UV applied?

When 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.

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

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