What is Spot UV in Printing

What is Spot UV in Printing

Read Time: 4 Minutes


04 Sep 2020

What is Spot UV in Printing?

Spot UV is a finishing technique whereby a thin layer of UV gloss is applied and bound with heat to specific areas on card or paper. This is then dried under a special UV light. Spot UV can either be raised or low/flat to the card – it all just depends on how much gloss it added! Spot UV is used to draw attention to specific areas of a design like the logo and create a design that stands out.

Adding spot gloss, or spot UV, to your print design is a great way to make it stand out and give it a premium feel – and when you print spot UV online, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Whether you’ve been interested in enhancing your print with spot gloss for a while or you’re completely new to the idea, we’ve covered everything you need to know in this handy guide.


What Type of Spot UV Should I Choose?

Online printing is all about customisation. So, it’s no surprise that you can even customise the thickness of spot UV on your print. Here are the two options we offer and a little bit more about them.

Low Spot UV

A thin glossy layer with barely any rise or bump. This is a more cost-effective option, giving the same visual effect as our raised UV option, just a little less change in texture.

low rise spot UV circles on a business card

Low spot UV printing example


Raised Spot UV

A more premium gloss option, the raised layer is twice as thick as our flat choice. This gives your print an unmistakable glossy texture that’s even more noticeable.


pink business card with raised spot UV circles

Raised spot UV business card example


What Are the Benefits of Using Spot UV?

Now you know what it is, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of what this finish can do for your print. People use spot UV for a range of different reasons; here are the top ones.

It looks amazing

We’ll start with the most obvious one looking at this stunner of a finish: it looks incredible. And who doesn’t want their brand to look incredible? Print is already such a highly visual form of marketing, so spot UV enhances that further and creates an attention-grabbing look.

Stand out from the crowd

Not everyone uses spot UV – whether that’s because they don’t know much about it or they think it’s too tricky to set up (it’s really not, but more on that later…). Because of this, adding spot gloss to your design can really give you a leg up on the competition and make your print stand out.

Draws attention exactly where you want it

Humans love shiny things. We can’t help it. So, if we see certain areas of a design shining when they catch the light, you bet that’s the first thing we’re going to look at. Because of this, many people use spot UV to highlight key details on their print design, like a logo or contact details.

Get creative

If a logo or background pattern features something that’s shiny in real life, like a music record or teeth (e.g. for a dentist’s business card) and it’s related to your business, spot UV is a great way to get creative with this. Add this shiny layer to things that are shiny anyway and you’ll look like a design genius without even trying, we promise!


What Print Items Is Spot UV Available On?

Raring to get going with your own spot UV design? We bet! Here are all the products we offer spot UV printing on:

  • Business cards
  • Flyers
  • Booklets
  • Presentation folders

To find the spot UV option, simply choose your stock as either 450gsm silk, 350gsm silk or 250gsm silk an add matt lamination. You’ll then be given the option to add raised or low spot UV to your design.


How to Set Up Your Spot UV Artwork

Now you know what it was, what it can do, and how to find it on our website, the final (and let’s face it, most fun) step is creating your design! We’ve created a step-by-step spot UV artwork guide covering all the basics and how to check your proof which you can find here.

For more advice or help setting up your spot UV, get in touch with our team. We’ll even add spot UV to your logo for free if you’d like us to! Or, create a spot UV design in seconds with our free spot UV business card templates – simply upload the one you want to your basket for instant glossy goodness.


About the Author

Hi, I'm Jess and I head up the studio team at instantprint. I help customers understand how to supply their artwork for print.