If you've ever browsed a magazine or newspaper, you may have noticed that some of the text is in a different colour than the rest of the page. You may also have seen something similar on product packaging, whereas parts of the design are glossy or have a different finish for emphasis or aesthetic appeal.
This glossy finish is called spot UV, a printing technique that can add extra visual interest to your project. Spot UV coating or spot UV printing is one of the most popular printing effects used today. In this blog post, we'll discuss the benefits of using spot UV and how it works.
What is Spot UV?
UV coating, in general, is a type of finish or digital embellishment that uses polymer resin and ultraviolet light to add a glossy, protective layer to print materials. The coating hardens and dries when exposed to ultraviolet radiation to create a hard and shiny finish. UV coating enhances the design and durability of packaging and paper products.
On the other hand, spot UV coating is a UV coating technique. It is a printing process that can be used to add extra shine and emphasis to certain words or images on a printed piece. The coating application is more targeted, meaning only specific spots or areas are covered.
It's a great way to make text or logos pop, and it can really enhance the overall look of your finished product.
Spot UV is popular among businesses and manufacturers for its ability to add visual interest and sophistication to printed materials. Thanks to its versatility and striking results, spot UV coating is one of the most commonly used embellishments in the printing industry.
The Spot UV Printing Process
In standard UV coating, sheets are fed into machines with rollers that coat the sheet with UV varnishing. The sheet is exposed to infrared and UV lamps that instantly dry the coating.
In the spot UV process, the client provides a mask file with instructions on where to apply the coating. The mask files cannot contain gradients. Pixels must be black and white. Blurs and shadows are a big no-no since the design should only have clean, sharp edges. The printer will follow these lines and edges to the very last detail.
Next, the UV varnish is spread across a die-cut template. A very thin film is placed over the sheet to ensure that only the specific spots or areas of the design are coated to create the desired contrast.
The key is to keep the specified spots minimal or fewer than the entire area. Typically, designers concentrate spot UV on the message or artwork, leaving the rest of the surface unembellished. Too much spot UV can make the design look cluttered or unnecessarily over the top.
Uses of Spot UV
Although spot UV coatings protect the surface they cover, their primary function is for decorative effect. Light catches the coated portions of the paper or piece, grabbing the consumer’s or the recipient’s attention.
If you're a business owner, then you know that finding new and innovative ways to market your products is essential for success. First impressions count, and the look and feel of your packaging or item greatly influence buying behaviour. Spot UV is a unique printing technique that can create an extra level of sophistication to your products, making them stand out from the competition.
Make your business card stand out and memorable with spot UV coating. With this one-of-a-kind printing technique, potential clients, colleagues, and personal and professional connections will be sure to remember you and give you a call.
Brochures and Flyers
Whether you’re promoting a service or product, customers are more likely to take action if your brochure or flier has interesting finishes and textures. They can connect with your brand through visual and tactile elements. Duplicators can help you design and produce brochures, flyers, and other print materials in larger volumes on a smaller budget.
Spot UV coating ensures that your postcards stay in excellent condition, preserving the message and photograph or illustration despite not being enclosed in an envelope. It makes the gesture behind the postcard even more heartfelt and well-thought of.
You may opt to apply spot UV to the packaging box, not just the product itself, to impress the consumer further. It shows that you genuinely care about the impression you’re leaving and have carefully considered every aspect of the consumer’s shopping experience. Spot UV also strengthens the packaging box for transit.
Spot UV has a range of applications that are not limited to what we have listed above. It can be applied to virtually any paper product or print material, as long as the technology you have allows.
Benefits of Spot UV
Spot UV produces a high-gloss finish that gives the impression that your product is high-quality, luxurious, and reliable. The lustrous shine, combined with design elements such as colour, typography, material choice, and illustrations or imagery, makes the product more attractive and engaging.
The spot UV varnish also creates special effects that enhance the depth and dimension of flat images. Since the body is designed to respond to touch, a product or material with spot UV coating engages the senses and reinforces sensory recall. This makes your product more unforgettable and distinct.
Texts with spot UV coating are more legible and understandable. Spot UV makes the product easy on the eyes because of its beautiful design execution, and the printed words are clear and readable.
Colours are more vivid because the finish makes them appear brighter and sharper. The product looks livelier and more inviting since the colours are more pronounced.
Packaging and print materials are high-touch objects. This means they get handled and passed along often. Smudges and fingerprints can compromise the design. Spot UV offers a protective layer, so the design remains intact despite constantly being touched.
We’ve established that spot UV protects the product from wear and tear. However, it also helps extend shelf life by keeping dirt and moisture out. Spot UV coating also reduces sunlight and water damage.
Although spot UV seems like an added expense to your printing process, you actually get more value out of your money because your product lasts longer and looks more attractive.
Spot UV can be applied on a wide variety of materials. However, it is not recommended on very thin stock or packaging.
Thanks to its versatility and striking results, spot UV coating is one of the most commonly used embellishments in the printing industry.
Other Digital Embellishments
While spot UV is the most popular custom printing effect, you can integrate it with other digital embellishments to maximise space usage and design impact. You can create contrast by adding soft touch or matte coating before accentuating areas with spot UV to really make elements pop. You can also try die-cutting, embossing or foil stamping.
Spot UV Coating: at a Glance
As we’ve discussed, spot UV coating is a transparent varnish hardened and cured by ultraviolet light. It is a great way to add a premium look and feel to your products. This type of coating creates a raised, glossy effect that really makes your products stand out.
Plus, it's a great way to protect your products from wear and tear. Spot UV coating is also extremely versatile. It can be applied to a variety of materials, including paper, plastic, and metal. Spot UV can be combined with other digital embellishments or custom printing effects like foil stamping, die-cutting, aqueous coating, and embossing or debossing.
So, whether you're looking to add a touch of luxury to your packaging or you need a durable coating for your product labels, spot UV coating is the best option. This extra step to modify your packaging or print material is a worthy investment.
Add Spot UV to Your Materials
If you have more questions about spot UV printing, do not hesitate to contact Duplo International. Our printing and UV coating technology enables us to produce superior results at large volumes while maintaining the integrity of your product. We use high-precision automated printers to create products that help generate leads or boost sales for our clients.
We hope that this comprehensive guide on spot UV coating has enlightened you. Visit our website or fill out the contact form to learn more about us. You can also contact us today to find out how we can help you use spot UV coating on your products. We'll work with you to identify the best areas to coat and ensure the finished product looks perfect.