Illustrator Tutorial: How to prepare a spot UV document for print?


Business cards are an essential marketing tool in today’s competitive business world. Your business cards are the face of your company and they are often one of the first things that your new clients will see when they are considering working with you. How do you leave a lasting impression with your business card? One great way to do this is by adding a Spot UV finish to your business cards. Spot UV finishes jazz up business cards and help to make them much more memorable.

Earlier this week, I talked about the differences between glossy, matte and Spot UV printer finishes (click here to see that post). Today, I wanted to teach you exactly how to set up your Spot UV illustrator document for print.

Step 1: Create your business card design

You can create business card designs in either Adobe Photoshop or Ilustrator. If you are going to be adding a Spot UV finish to your business cards, I recommend that you create your business card design in Illustrator. It will make your life a whole lot easier because both logos and Spot UV should be added in vector format.

Step 2: Select your spot UV areas

When it comes to where you want to add a Spot UV finish to your business cards, you have a lot of options. You can add a Spot UV finish to your logo design, to important text on your business card (ie. your contact information) or even to the background design of your business cards. Choose the area where you want to add your Spot UV wisely so that it enhances the overall design of your business cards. Remember that you want to keep the Spot UV simple so that it makes your business cards pops while still keeping a classy look. Too much Spot UV on a business card will work against you and loose its effectiveness.

Step 3: Add your Spot UV layer

Now that you have chosen which area of your design will get the Spot UV finish, you need to duplicate the Spot UV object(s) onto its own Spot UV layer. The easiest way to do this is to select the shape, go to Edit -> Copy -> Paste in Front. Be very careful when you paste your Spot UV duplicate on its own layer. It needs to be the exact same size and placed in the exact same place.  Change the colour of the Spot UV area to black.

Step 4: Saving your PDF

Save your Illustrator file as a high resolution pdf. If you need help doing this, please visit my tutorial: Creating Print-Ready PDFs. Ask your printer if they would like one pdf file or if they would like a separate pdf for the Spot UV area.

Video Tutorial

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