Your custom business card is a marketing tool, plain and simple. If your card looks like it was printed off a dot-matrix printer, you will be perceived in a similarly non-flattering way. But if your business card is visually impressive, you will gain instant credibility and an immediate positive impression.
Metal business cards and plastic business cards definitely impress, but they are expensive. One of the most cost-effective ways to boost your card’s “wow factor” is to create your artwork, then find a printer that offers spot UV business cards.
What is Spot UV?
Spot UV (Ultra Violet) refers to the placement of a glossy coating on specific areas of the card. Whereas glossy business cards are shiny all over, spot UV business cards are typically printed on non-shiny cardstock like silk. The spot UV gloss is then coated over the silk business card stock on specific parts of the card.
The effect makes the glossy or spot UV areas jump off the card, especially when reflecting light. The effect does not change the underlying color, it simply makes it shine.
Where to Add Spot UV to Your Card
The best place to add spot UV to your business cards is the logo. Most logos are designed to be eye-catching, so embellishing them with spot UV is a natural fit. You could also apply spot UV to the company or contact details, which produces a pseudo raised-letter effect and is extremely cool looking.
You can also be creative – for example, applying spot UV to background areas to show a slogan, or doing a “reverse spot UV” technique where the background is glossed but the logo is not, for example.
How to Add Spot UV to Your Card
Spot UV business cards are typically offered by printing companies specializing in premium business cards. But luckily, this product is not cost-prohibitive like other “high-end” products such as metal business cards or many plastic business cards.
Most printers will require an extra file to serve as a spot UV template, often called a “mask file.” It usually consists of a white background, with black areas in 100% black (K) showing the parts to be glossed. This mask file should precisely match the area on your design that you want UV spotted. Check your printer’s specifications.
Tips for Using Spot UV
Spot UV is most effective when applied to silk business cards. It is not available on metal business cards, plastic business cards, or glossy business cards.
The key is to be selective to retain a classy and elegant look. Don’t go crazy – too much will neutralize the impact and will essentially leave you with a glorified glossy business card!
Also, avoid placing spot UV on small text, as this could bleed into unwanted areas. Finally, avoid using spot UV on your business card with other enhancements such as foil stamping, as this puts stress on the paper and could cause imperfections.
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