How to set up a Spot UV mask file

When ordering Spot UV business cards, a Spot UV mask for the business card is required. In this short tutorial, we will show you how to properly set up a Spot UV mask. Please note that the Spot UV masks CANNOT contain any gradients, drop shadows, or low resolution graphics. All mask files must be a separate file from your main print files.

See below for our short tutorial on how to set up a Spot UV mask file.

Step One: Getting you started

First, you’ll have to determine whether or not you will need Spot UV for one side of the business card or both sides. If your business card will only have Spot UV on one side, you should have a total of three files (front print, back print, front spot uv mask). Having Spot UV on both sides of the business card should have a total of four files (front print, back print, front spot uv mask, back spot uv mask). These Spot UV masks must be on a WHITE background and the Spot UV selection must be filled with 100% K (black).

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Quick Tip – This tutorial also applies to Foil, Embossing and other Spot UV masks as the mask prepping is the same.

Step Two: Establishing Your Mask

For this example, we will be adding Spot UV on both front and back of the business card. The Spot UV look that this business card will achieve is the ‘black-on-black’ look that’s very popular with Spot UV.

Front Print File

This is the front print file (should not contain any Spot UV masks or markings). This file is strictly for print and has nothing to do with the Spot UV mask.

Back Print File

This is the back print file (should not contain any Spot UV masks or markings). This file is also strictly for print and has nothing to do with the Spot UV mask.

Front Spot UV Mask

This is the front Spot UV mask file. This file MUST be separate from your front print file. The mask file needs to be on a white background and your Spot UV selection must be filled with 100% K (black). Anything filled with 100% K, will be in Spot UV. The white area will be matte.

Back Spot UV Mask

This is the back Spot UV mask file. This file MUST be separate from your back print file. The mask file needs to be on a white background and your Spot UV selection must be filled with 100% K (black). Anything filled with 100% K, will be in Spot UV. The white area will be matte.

Step Three: Confirm Your Mask Placement

Please keep in mind that during production Spot UV can shift up to 1/16″. We advise that you DO NOT use Spot UV for small, thin text because of a possible shift. Spot UV is a transparent UV Coating that is applied to the top layer of the business card. Spot UV can also make certain colors more vibrant due to it’s high gloss coating. Below is an example of where the Spot UV masks will be placed. The Spot UV masks are highlighted in a magenta color to show the placement of your mask.

MAGENTA COLOR SHOWS ONLY THE PLACEMENT OF MASK (WILL NOT PRINT)

Front Sample (Print & Spot UV Mask)

Back Sample (Print & Spot UV Mask)

The Finished Product