The Beauty of Printing With Spot Gloss UV

Posted by Olivia dela Rosa on November 04, 2014

The Process of Spot Gloss UV Printing explained and some great examples of Spot Gloss Finish Business Cards and Brochures

We’re always on the lookout for new, innovative ways that will change the game for the print design industry. But sometimes, the thing that catches our attention is the one that has already been around for some time. We’re talking about the beauty of printing with spot Gloss UV.

Spot UV or varnish happens to be one of the most popular techniques to increase the apeal of  printing. Originally its purpose is to protect and cover the paper and ink, but because of its futuristic and glossy, sleek finish it is mainly applied to enhance the design and make it stand out.

Basically spot UV is a high-gloss liquid coating applied as a finish, after the print has been produced. It is a post-printing operation that can be done either online or after a while as the ink dries using a separate machine. You can consider using this finish depending on your design, the thickness of the paper (paper weight) you are using, and the details that you want to “highlight” in it. The UV part comes from the fact that this technique uses ultraviolet light to cure the glossy coating. The whole process can be actually quite simple to produce and also environmentally friendly, as the liquid coating does not contain solvents or give out volatile organic compounds after curing.

We love how spot UV can make even the dullest of designs look classy and sleek. For designs that are focused on typography or are trying to give a minimalistic feel, spot UV is perfect because of its accentuating effect. The partially coated element of the design catches light, giving it a strong contrast against the muted (matte) background. You’ll know what we’re talking about when you see our collection of print designs that got spot UV right. (Also, we have a surprise waiting at the end of this post so better to keep scrolling till the end.)


Blackbird business card with spotgloss UV printing

Blackbird via Tumblr

Spot UV business card David Trujillo

By David, for David. Self-promotional business cards by David Trujillo. Smart use of silk laminate, blind spot gloss and a hint of rainbow foil.

Spot UV business card Un.titled

How about a bit of silver ... and red? Business card for Un.titled. Design took a minimalist approach with clear and matte silver foil, with just a hint of red foil sandwiched in the middle. 

Spot Gloss Business card

Black on Black Spot Gloss Business card by Cat 5iveprint

Red Gloss finish business card design by Printnex

Spot UV business card Abel Martinez

Black over white. Self-promotional business cards for Abel Martinez Foronda

Green Spot Gloss finish

Savoir Faire business card design by Tasteofink

Spot UV business cards Radio by Tung

Blue card + red foil = classy. Business card for Radio designed by Tung.

Spot UV business card Minus 20

Bare and bold. These super sleek business cards for Minus 20 were designed by The Forgery.

Spot UV business card Bolgeblikk

Oversized and UV coated font, yes, please. Bolgeblikk scored big on branding with these business cards designed by Oslo-based design studio Tank.

Redesign your brand with a dash of gloss. Pen & Peplum's business cards are just a perfect balance between the blog's distinct branding and minimalist design, enhanced by a gloss UV finish. With a little help from a friend in providing the official logo, Pen & Peplum's creator Miranti designed her blog's new business cards, brand board and thank you cards as part of the site's rebranding.


Spot UV catalogue Making Public

We're seeing red. This is the official catalogue for the art exhibition Making Public, as designed by HelloMe.

Spot UV catalogue SETA

Tracing paper and a hint of gloss makes a good cover. SETA catalogue cover designed by Ivaylo Nedkov for FourPlusStudio.

Spot UV catalogue The Real Deal

How company reports should be presented.  Official annual M&A report of Clayton Utz designed by design agency BTP.

Spot UV catalogue Hard At Work

Gold label. Catalog cover for Carhartt.

Spot UV catalogue Honor

Nothing says luxury like gold. A piece from fashion label Honor's brand board and collaterals.

Spot UV catalogue British Council

Another gold label over black. A hint of gold coating works on global brands, just like with this British Council exhibition catalogue.

Spot UV catalogue Peugeot

Cool, modern, strong. The monochromatic theme of this press kit finished off with spot UV gives off a truly modern feel for a brand like Peugeot.

Spot UV catalogue Surface And Structure

Nude, gold and gloss. A Watson & Company book design for Luxembourg & Dayan.

Spot UV catalogue Think Work Observe

Will make you rethink your next catalogue design. A Think Work Observe-directed and designed catalogue for Tacchini Italia Forniture.

Spot UV catalogue Mona Labno

A Mona Labno wordmark designed by her husband Cris.


Spot UV collaterals Ben Eine

Something as simple as the letterpress design of these letterheads and comp slips can be spruced up with gloss UV coating, like the one for the printed black drips. Part of the visual identity for street artist Ben Eine designed by Root.

Spot UV collaterals MHM Architects

Blind emboss, metallic copper strokes and lots of white space. Perfect design for MHM Architects, as done by 26Lettres.

Spot UV collaterals Nike Hospitality

Intricate details of gold. Invitations and collateral design developed for Nike Olympic Hospitality Space during the 2012 Olympics by Darrin Crescenzi.

Spot UV collaterals Danielle Rech

Blanc et noir. Assembly Agency got a new look, as duo d uo redeveloped the agency's visual branding.

Spot UV collaterals Art of Kinetik

Only a certain type of visual identity will work for a brand that offers a range of super-luxury yachts like Art of Kinetik. Based on what we see, Kane and Associates did a really good job.

Spot UV collaterals Un Aire De Diptyque

Beautiful card from Diptyque, a provider of French fragrance and solid perfumes.

Spot UV collaterals Pratte Architectes

Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architectes celebrated its 55th anniversary by tapping Paprika to redesign the architectural firm's branding.

Spot UV collaterals Prive

Using nude hues and foil blocked to perfection, these stationeries really suit a luxury brand like Privé

Spot UV flyer The Kitchen

Design Friendship came up with this fancy flyer for The Kitchen.

Spot UV flyer Maison Gerard

Classic yet modern for Maison Gerard. This high-end art deco furniture and objets d'arts store celebrated the launch of its new gallery showroom with collaterals designed by Mother New York.

Spot UV flyer Glitz

Work of art for this art project. Loving the subtle contrast from the white space and gloss. Glitz Contemporary Art Project collateral designed by Daniel Freytag.


Spot UV record sleeve Alfonso Cruz

Vibrant colors, flattering texture. Project Mooncircle by Alfonso Cruz.

Spot UV record sleeve Ghost Maps

Dreamy, modern, Ghost Maps' The Ocean From The River designed by Oran Day and David Smith.


Spot UV record sleeve Black Acid

Black on black for this punk rock band. Electric Deluxe designed this record sleeve for Black Acid, along with the use of black matte/gloss finish and an indistinct typeface.

Spot UV record sleeve The Movements

Eye candy. The reversible spot-varnished slip cover for the Like Elephants 1 & 2 LP by The Movements is a sight to behold, and there are only 300 copies of this that were issued.

Spot UV record sleeve Young Magic

Cutting edge sleeve design. This one is a work of art for Young Magic's album Melt, and if you see the rest of Leif Podhajsky's body of work, you'll understand why we are amazed.

There are a lot of designs and variations that you can do when it comes to applying spot UV, and the good news is it's also relatively cheap.

Better news: Through our Coupons page, you can save almost half the price on spot gloss business cards. Overnight Prints currently offers a 48% OFF coupon when you buy any type of business cards, and you will get spot UV finish for free.
For a limited time, you get 500 business cards with spot gloss finish for only $29.05 - this really is a GREAT offer from Overnight Prints!

About the Author

Olivia dela RosaOlivia dela Rosa
Freelance writer and editor since 2011. Major design enthusiast. Resident writer and trendhunter for Printingdeals.


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