In my previous blog post, The use of Print Finishes with Design, I showcased a few different examples how print finishes can spice up a print design. In this follow-up post I will discuss the more technical side of print finishes; how to add a print finish to an Adobe® InDesign® file. I realise that there is not an absolute standard to the method. In this post I will share my method that seems to do the trick. I will use the famous Printhouse/jelly 2010 Calendar as an example.
Step 1: Planning Spot UV Areas
There are numerous different ways Spot UV can be applied to artwork. It is basically up to the designers imagination.
A few common ways of using Spot UV:
- Important text such as a heading
- Covering a whole image
- Covering a section of an image
- A graphic/object over a solid printed area
At the bottom of the calendar the 2 logos are in Spot UV only, on a solid printed background. Thus the logos are not in their corporate colours, but shapes in solid Spot UV on a ‘charcoal’ background. I have also emphasized certain areas on each illustration of each month for the calendar with Spot UV. This add a bit of texture on each page over the illustration.
Step 2: Create Spot UV Layer
Decide what needs to be Spot UV. Then, create a new layer in the InDesign file. Name it “SPOT UV” or something else that will make sense for the function of this layer. In this post I will refer to this layer as the SPOT UV layer. It is best to have this layer at the top of all the other layers.
Step 3: Get Your Spot UV Into Shape!
If there are printed objects that need to be Spot UV (eg. a logo), duplicate the objects onto the SPOT UV layer. It is important that they are exactly the same size and in the exact same position. An easy way I do this: Select the shape. Edit > Copy > Paste in Place. While it is selected, move it to the SPOT UV layer. Change the colour to black. If it is an image in a box, delete the image out of the box and make the colour of the box black.
The Spot UV graphic has to be in vector format. The standard for a logo is vector format. The illustrations for the calendar was in a bitmap format. To achieve the selected Spot UV areas over the illustration I had to trace it separately. The vector shapes can be created in Indesign. Another option is Adobe® Illustrator®. The shapes then need to be copied over to the Spot UV layer in InDesign.
All the shapes that needs to be Spot UV has to be the same colour. Some designers use 100% magenta. I use 100% black. Most Print Finishers prefer the latter.
Other Colour Options
As mentioned before, most finishers prefer all the Spot UV shapes in a simple 100% black as a separate PDF. Another option is to create a spot colour in the color palette. Name it “SPOT UV”. You can make this colour black or some people prefer any bright colour. When you add > New Colour Swatch in you Swatches palette, make sure to set the Color Type to Spot. The will prevent the shapes on the SPOT UV layer to show up in your CMYK colour separations.
The same method can be used for foil blocking. Just change the name of the layer and spot colour to “FOIL BLOCK” to avoid any confusion.
Step 4: Save PDF File
The best is to check the specification of the print file/s with your printer/print finisher first. I normally save a high resolution print PDF without the Spot UV layer. And another high resolution PDF with the Spot UV layer only. Thus, you will have a PDF file with black shapes only.
If you have saved a spot colour for the Spot UV you can save all the layers together in one high resolution PDF file. In the InDesign file you can set the Spot UV layer to be non-printing… just in case. When exporting the PDF, make a note in the slug area, directing the printer to the layer.
For the less tech savvy people that would like a great design and finished off with the endless possibilities of print finishing, do not fear. Contact the capable people at Printhouse Corporation to discuss your ideas for a new project.