Making Files for Spot UV and Foil


What is Spot UV?

Spot UV refers to the application of UV Coating, applied in liquid form and drying instantly via Ultra-Violet light. In photographs and large printed pieces, it acts as a unique way to add depth and contrast through varying levels of sheen and texture. In smaller printed pieces, adding Spot UVcan make an element raised and stand out.


What is Metallic Foil?

Metallic foils are shiny, illustrious sheets that are applied after a thin layer of varnish is applied to a coated stock. Our metallic foils provide an easy way to add not only shine, but value and prestige to your printed pieces. 


Tips for Spot UV & Metallic Foil:

• Use Spot UV to add a 3D, tactile quality to an element that you’d like to emphasize. Logos, Names, or important images are great places to start.

• Try not to add Spot UV to overly large areas. It may oversaturate the piece and won’t necessarily offer the best effect.

• Use bold fonts or thicker lines when using Metallic Foils or Spot UV. These elements don’t translate well to thin details. If you intend to add foil to fonts, it is best to use fonts that are larger sizes, such as 16 pt. or over. However, this varies by font type. Many serif fonts or script fonts with small details don’t translate well with Metallic Foil.


How Do I Make a Print File for Spot UV or Metallic Foil?

To upload a document with Spot UV or Metallic Foil elements, we will need two separate files. We will need:

1. The original artwork (if you need help with document templates please refer to our downloadable templates)

2. A separate file containing your "mask" layer. This file will identify the area(s) where the Spot UV or Metallic Foil will be applied. Please follow these simple steps to create your mask file:

A. Start with Your Original Artwork:
Create a copy of your file, or simply duplicate everything into a new one.

B. Make your Desired Changes:
In the second copied file, remove everything except for the area where you would like Spot UV or Metallic Foil to appear. The Spot UV/Metallic Foil artwork or text must be in the exact same location where it appears in your original file. If you would like to add Spot UV or Metallic Foil to text, please make sure that the font is outlined or converted to curves.

C. Change your Selection to Black:
Select the area you would like to have Spot UV/Metallic Foil and convert it to 100% black. Save out as a "Spot UV Mask" or "Metallic Foil Mask" file.

D. Upload Both Artwork Files: 
Upload your file containing original completed artwork as front side. Upload the file containing areas that will be covered with spot gloss, filled with 100% back, as your spot gloss mask.


If you are making a file for Metallic Foil, the process is slightly different.
Any element you are having foiled you will also need to delete in the original artwork.
For instance, in the example shown above, if you are having the logo foiled, you will also need to delete it on your design file, leaving only the solid background.

Please reference the image to the right to see the differences between the creation of Spot UV and Metallic Foil file creation.