What is spot UV printing?

Spot UV is used to enhance the final finish of your print job. Once all the ink layers are laid down, any paper lamination is added, and the drying process completed first. The Spot UV is then printed on top of the paper, as a clear gloss, and then dried for the finished result. Spot UV can be applied accurately over letters or parts of photographs or even as text over a plain matt background to add interest and intrigue to your print.

UV Coating is a tough clear-coat applied over printed matter. It is applied in liquid form, then exposed to Ultra-Violet (UV) light which bonds and dries it instantly…hence its name “UV Coating.”  In digital print engines the same effect is created using an additional “clear” toner which is added to the print and then fused to create the gloss finish.

An example of a large logo created with the Spot UV technique in lieu of ink

Spot UV refers to the application of this UV Coating to a specific area (or areas) of a printed piece rather than coating the entire surface. Used primarily as a design technique, Spot UV is a creative way to add depth and contrast through varying levels of sheen and texture.

Because the Spot UV technique creates a very distinctive look, it is most often used on pieces that are promotional in nature…such as brochures and presentation folders. It is also a popular choice for high-impact business cards and book covers.

Spot UV can be applied over inked images to enhance a printed design. Or, it can be applied directly to the paper substrate to create the design by itself, without the use of any ink. If applied directly to the paper, Spot UV offers the best contrast when applied over a darker substrate. In fact, a very popular finish combination is a high-gloss Spot UV over a dark, matte stock.