Spot UV – how does it work?

When placing orders and searching for printed products you may have come across the term ‘Spot UV’. Let’s take a look at this fantastic technique and see how it works.

What is Spot UV?

Spot UV involves a clear, shiny coating applied to specific areas of artwork to create an eye-catching contrast, making it a luxury choice for business cards or brochure covers.

Although it can be applied to the whole card, the ‘Spot’ element of the process is worth mentioning. This is the practise of picking out a particular element of the design to give a great contrast with the rest of the design, to make a long-lasting impact. Spot colours are used to identify the specific area and can be as specific as a one-point line.


How does Spot UV work?

For standard UV coating, sheets are fed through machines with rollers that flood the sheet with UV coating. After application, the sheet is fed under Infra Red and UV lamps which dries it instantly. For the spot process, the UV varnish will be spread across a die-cut template, most often a very thin film which is placed over the sheet in order to ensure that only the required elements of the design are coated to create the desired contrasting effect. Once the varnish is dry it proves a far hardier coating than the usual semi-aqueous coated papers.

What makes Spot UV so special?

Spot UV is the ultimate in deluxe printing techniques; it provides a unique and exceptional way to introduce yourself and is the perfect way to make a lasting impression. With the high clarity and eye-catching varnish, we recommend pairing the Spot UV with a Matt Lamination to add real contrast and depth to your design as well as receiving another boost of durability from the lamination process. The thick UV varnish will also give a smooth but tactile quality to the products leaving you with the perfect way to promote your business with something that nobody will want to throw away!

Spot UV

How to set up a file for Spot UV

When submitting artwork for Spot UV work we prefer two versions; the first will just your artwork and the second will need to be with the elements that you would like the UV varnish applied to marked clearly in a clashing colour such as 100% Magenta. This will enable us to pinpoint exactly where you would like the varnish applied to ensure that your order is to your exact specifications.

Our artwork team will be able to set up the file for you, all you need to do is identify the UV areas. After you place your order, we will send you a proof via email to check we’ve understood your requirements and so you can check the UV lines up in the right places.

Spot UV


  1. I don’t normally leave comments like this, but I just have to say:
    What a pleasant surprise to find such a well-thought-out page.
    I came across the term “Spot UV” and found this page while looking for a definition.
    This page is well laid out, explains it perfectly (with an animated .gif to boot), and even gives the reader an expectation of how long it takes to read the page “[Reading time: 2 minutes]”.
    Absolutely flawless.
    Kudos to whoever is responsible.

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