How to Set Up Artwork for Spot UV and Foil Printing - pel hughes print marketing new orleans la

Spot UV and foil printing can produce striking effects on your printed materials. Especially beneficial for save-the-dates or to embellish logos, spot UV and foil printing both add a luxurious touch to printed pieces. To better understand how your artwork should be set up for this type of specialty service, it’s wise to have a basic understanding of spot UV and foil printing.  

Spot UV 

The term “spot UV” refers to the process of applying a varnish to areas of a document for a raised and shiny effect. While varnishes can be applied to an entire document, spot UV focuses only on specific areas of stock. The name comes from the ultraviolet exposure used to dry the coating of the varnish in a quick manner. The drying process is what gives spot UV its lustrous effect.  

You have probably seen spot UV embellishments on save-the-dates, business cards, or to add texture to artistic photography.  

Foil Printing 

“Foil printing” refers to a process of applying a metallic foil to paper stock. Metallic foils can also be pigmented, which provides a selection of color with a metallic finish. Foil printing can also be called “stamping” and “foil blocking”. The process to produce foil printing involves placing foil to paper stock and using a combination of pressure, heat, and metal dies to produce a desired effect.  

You have probably seen foil printing on greeting cards, event invitations, and even restaurant menus.  

Preparing Artwork for Print 

Before you give your printer your designs, it’s important to know how to set up your artwork. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide. 

#1 Create Your Design in A Vector-Based Program 

Create your artwork with software like InDesign or Photoshop and save your design as a PDF file. Avoid using file extensions like JPG as it could affect the appearance of your final product. Save your artwork with the words “final design” in its file name. This file will help your printer understand how you want your printed product to look.  

#2 Separate the Effects You Want from the Main Design 

Open a new file of your artwork and cut the items that will have either spot UV or foil printing effects to their own file. The items you do not want to have special effects will be in another file. Label these two files accordingly. Be sure to place the “cut” images exactly where they would appear in the final design.  

#3 Convert Images to a Spot Color 

The images you want to have a spot UV or foiled effect need to have a spot color. Be sure to set your color mode to “CMYK” and choose cyan, magenta, or black. This spot color should be 100% color, not a tint.  

#4 Save Your Files With Clear Labels and Send to Your Printer 

Each file should be clearly labeled for your printer. The file that will be used for the special effect portion of your product should be saved with the words “spot” or “foil plate” in its file name. Be sure to send the total rendering to your printer so he or she knows what you envision for the final product.  

Spot UV and foil printing can take your wedding invitations, business cards, and other items to the next level. If you need help understanding more about the process or assistance with setting up your artwork, give Pel Hughes a call at (504) 486-8646. Our mission is to deliver high quality print materials with unparalleled client service.