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How to set up artwork for foiling and spot UV

Adding a foil or Spot UV finish to your print is a sure way to make a bigger impression with your marketing materials as well as add a luxurious look and feel.

However, submitting your artwork files for foiling or spot UV can be tricky if you are not sure how to.

Don’t worry though, we have put together a step-by-step guide to help you do just that.

But first…

What is foiling?

Foiling or ‘foil printing’ is the process of applying a coat of metallic sheet foil using heat and pressure to your print. It creates texture and contrasts to capture people’s attention. Silver or gold is most common, but foiling is available in various colours including copper, green, red, rose gold, blue and even holographic!

What is Spot UV?

Spot UV is a great way to add depth or texture to your print and is commonly used on business cards, flyers and presentation folders. It adds a layer of clear polymer, which is then cured under a UV light to achieve a glossy seal. Not only does it look great, but it also makes your printed materials interesting to touch.

Setting up your artwork for foiling

To make foiling as simple as possible, all we need is two PDFs; one that shows your design and the other where we need to apply the foil.

To do this, follow these steps:

  • Create your design and save it as a ‘print-ready’ PDF (with 3mm bleed and trim marks)
  • Duplicate your design for the foiling file
  • Create a new colour swatch and set the colour name and the colour values to the relevant specification, for example:
    Foil Gold: C:0% M:20% Y:100% K:0%
    Foil Silver: C:20% M:20% Y:20% K:20%

(If you’re not sure what the colour values are of your chosen foiling, please ask your printer)

  • Recolour all design elements that you will be foiling in the relevant fill colour.
  • Delete any artwork that you do not want foiling
  • Save the file as print-ready

Setting up your artwork for spot UV

Like foiling, we need two PDFS from you - one will be your artwork on its own and another to show where the spot UV needs applying. Here’s how you do it:

  • Develop your designs as normal and save it as a ‘print-ready’ PDF (with 3mm bleed and trim marks)
  • Next, duplicate the design file and remove any elements you do not want spot UV on.
  • You will then be left with the element you want to spot UV on. We recommend re-colouring them to a solid file colour (make sure to use the same colour for everything)
  • If you want to add any additional UV elements that you are not including in the design itself, you can also add these onto the file.
  • Save the file as a ‘print-ready’ PDF with ‘SPOT UV’ mentioned at the end of the file.

Once you’ve sent the print-ready files over to us, your printer should provide you with a proof with three files:

  • File One: The artwork on its own
  • File Two: The artwork + the foiling/spot UV elements
  • File Three: Just the foiling/spot UV elements

By doing this, you will be able to see if the print finish is lined up accurately.

And that is pretty much it!

Still not sure?

If you need a hand setting up your artwork for foil or spot UV printing, we are here to help. Simply give our design team a call on 01522 300222 and we’ll get you all set up.

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If you would like to speak to our team, simply call us on 01522 300222.

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