Spot UV coating or Spot Gloss adds a dramatic flair to any print project by adding a clear coating to certain areas. It makes pictures or text elements pop.
In order to specify which areas of your project are coated, you’ll need to create a separate file called a mask.
What is a Mask?
Mask files are black and white files that show where to apply special finishes, like coating. They are separate from your colored artwork file, but both files work together to create your project.
Creating a Mask for Your Coated Project
The easiest way to create a mask for your project is to use your print file. Remove all elements from the file that are not coated, since the mask is only used to show the placement of coating.
Next, change the color of everything to be coated to black (C0 M0 Y0 K100). There should be no other color in your mask file.
Another option is to create a new file the same size as your artwork. Place the elements to be coated in the identical position as your artwork, and fill them.
If you would like to have a design element in Spot UV only (also called blind Spot UV), place the element on the mask file only.
Best Practices for Mask Files
When creating masks for coated projects, alignment is the most critical part of the process. Make sure your artwork and mask files are the same size, and all shared elements are in the same position.
Because coating differs in application from ink and occurs after the printing process, coated areas shouldn’t be extremely small and thin. Stay away from delicate graphics or thin/small fonts. The minimum line weight for Spot UV masks is 0.5 PT.