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Gloss Blocking?

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by davegrant, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. davegrant

    davegrant New Member


    I'm hoping someone can give me the name of the finishing process often used on leaflets, pamphlets and business cards wherein one particular section is given a gloss finish.

    i.e. a matte background card, with a glossy logo.

    I gather the process used for gold/silver leaf is called foil blocking, what's the name of the process used for gloss?

  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Spot UV :icon_wink:
  3. pcbranding

    pcbranding Member

    It has a couple of terms but SPOT UV VARNISH is most common. This can be gloss or matt and even coloured/tinted and helps protect the print from effects of sunlight.

    Treat it as an extra colour, so a four colour process job plus a gloss varnish is 5 colours.
  4. davegrant

    davegrant New Member

    and that's isolated to one specific location i.e. only the logo, the background remains matte?

    i read about spot uv before but thought it was a 6 colour-press or something?

    how do they isolate the area, would it involve creating a sort of custom plate to the exact contour of the affected area(s)?

    thanks for the replies
  5. pcbranding

    pcbranding Member

    Yes it requires another plate that has the areas you want varnished on it (in the same way that if you wanted a special/spot colour throughout a document.)
    Most printers will sort out this plate for you and others will ask you to create a file or separation showing the areas you want varnished.

    It's very common and nothing to worry about :)
  6. leicesterpdc

    leicesterpdc New Member


    I know this thread is a little old now, but I thought I would add some more information for other people searching.

    Spot UV is usually a separate plate to the normal four CMYK plates, which goes on last as a separate layer. When designing for spot UV its important to make sure the spot UV layer is on the very top of all the artwork and is set to overprint, as otherwise the layer will print as a solid colour (which is not very pretty on your beautiful artwork!)

    Also, some general warnings to watch out for with spot UV - Because it is set up as a separate layer, it can sometimes move, so if you are trying to align the spot UV up with anything printed, its important to be aware when the printed items come back it may not be as how you imagined.

    Also, when running spot UV to the edges of printed material, slight cracking and flaking can occur to the items - this is a small problem, personally we do not see it that often, but it can happen.

    We have a full list of guidelines, warnings and suggestions available for download on our blog for your use.

    Also, Leicester ( have half price spot UV products throughout September and we would be happy to help if you needed any of your artwork printing in spot UV :)
  7. SparkCreative

    SparkCreative Member


    If it's set up correctly with tick marks, a good printer should be able to align it properly with the printed artwork - it's just like another ink, as you said, and I'd be pretty unhappy if the fit was off on a special colour that I'd specified - likewise with a spot UV.
  8. leicesterpdc

    leicesterpdc New Member

    Hi SparkCreative,

    I'm sorry, I should have explained the tolerances better. You are completely right in that there can be 0 to minimal movement when the printers are not batch printing. Basically, we are batch printers and the sheets we use are invariably much larger, and go through a lot quicker, and because of this the tolerance is a 0.5mm to 1mm movement due to the sheets stretching when going through the presses.

    Batch printing has its advantages in that it makes prices (generally for business to business) much cheaper, and turnarounds are quicker, and because of these advantages we have found our customers are happy to accept some small tolerances.

    It is just something for DaveGrant and others to check, that if his spot UV was printed in a batch printing process, then its useful to keep in mind that there might be some slight movement. If this was something he is concerned about then it may be a better option to find a printer who do not batch print.

    I hope this helps :)

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