Spot UV Postcards (Postcards & Rack Cards)
Stand Out from the Crowd with Spot UV applied to your postcard or flyer
Spot UV print increases the response to your campaign
Why do you stand out of the crowd?
When applying spot UV print and coating to your printed pieces, you are elevating the perception of quality and elevating the beauty of your piece when compared with regular flat printing
What does UV Coating mean?
It means that Ultra Violet Light is used to cure (more about what cure means below) the coating
What is UV Coating and what is Spot UV Coating?
Let’s understand what UV coating is first, and then we’ll narrow it down to spot UV A UV coating is a synthetic, liquid coating (polymer) that is applied on top of ink-printed paper, cardstock or synthetic substrates. When we refer in the printing trade to UV coating, we understand that the whole sheet of paper, or cardstock or synthetic matter will be fully covered by the liquid.
Spot UV in understood as the application of a coating of UV in certain areas of the sheet or substrate.
What are the steps to have a Spot UV postcard produced? How do I prepare the files if I want that effect?
There are 3 steps on the production side:
- 1st Step: Print a postcard in full color as we would normally do. This step is illustrated in the following graphic;
This 3D graph shows a conventional postcard that has been printed in full color. We will show the steps to get the area that displays the Everglades, covered with UV.
- 2nd Step: Apply and print the UV coating only on the areas where you want to see the effect of spot UV
This 3D graph shows the specific area/amount of UV coating will be applied on top of the postcard. Because the coating covers just a fraction of the area of the postcard, it is a Spot UV application. The image represents the UV with a black rectangle, which is how you have to identify this area when you submit files.
- 3rd Step: Congratulations! Once the spot UV has been applied and cured, your Spot UV postcard is now ready to be used in your marketing campaign
This 3D graph shows the specific which area of the full color postcard received the layer of spot UV. For the purpose of understanding the process, the spot UV layer is separated from the postcard but that has been done purposely to provide an expanded and clear visual
How does UV coating “cure” or “dry”?
You might be familiar with how inks dry. Think about inks that you would use to paint a wall, or inks that you would use to paint on canvas and the most likely answer is to let them dry by themselves. When having dried, the inks have somehow gained strength. That process is known as curing of the inks.
The way in which UV coatings “dry” or “cure” is by exposure to intense ultraviolet light. The coating would not solidify unless it is exposed to ultraviolet light. It will stay in a liquid state if not exposed. The ultraviolet light generates a chemical reaction in this product and solidifies. Because there are no solvents or water, there are no fumes or volatiles evaporated.
What is the effect of spot UV?
- Effect #1: Extremely reflective and glossy:
When the UV coating is “dried” or “cured” with the ultraviolet light, the solid layer that the liquid transforms into becomes extremely reflective and glossy. Because in a spot UV application only certain areas of the sheet have received the coating, those specific areas will become very shiny.
Almost none of the substrates on which uv coating is applied are as reflective and shiny as cured UV. Therefore the end result is a visible difference of reflection and gloss between the exposed areas and those that have not been exposed. This in itself is a very beautiful effect. The nicest effect is achieved when the paper, or cardstock or synthetic is as matt or dull as possible, in contrast with the gloss of the spot UV.
Artistically, Spot UV is frequently applied on top of a black-matt substrate. The high contrast of gloss creates an effect that is lovely and is perceived as a higher quality product
- Effect #2: You can see and feel the layer of UV coating that has been applied
Because the UV coating does not evaporate but harden, as explained above, the layer of UV coating adds thickness to where it is applied. In a way, your piece becomes a 3-dimensional piece.
- Effect #3: Can you write on top of UV coating?
Regular pens cannot print on top of UV coatings, just because the coating is a plastic which requires special inks to print on top of them. Sharpies will might print on top but don’t count on being able to print anything on top of UV print. If there is a space where people should fill in information, do not overprint that space with spot UV.
- Effect #4: Is UV coating waterproof?
While the coating itself is waterproof, the substrate itself on which the UV is applied is not. So even if you fully covered a postcard with UV coating on both sides, the moisture will still damage the paper when it comes from the edges. The piece will last much longer without being damaged by the water when compared with a non-covered-with-uv-coating piece
- Effect #5: You will hear people say: “Wow! This postcard looks so nice!”
The piece looks so unique and distinctive, which is the right prescription for catching attention and creating interest from your audience.
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