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Spot varnish is a clear ink used to enhance specific areas of a print piece with a gloss or dull sheen. Gloss varnish adds extra shine to a photo, creates a three-dimensional look as a drop-shadow or be used to create subtle art or type over a solid or blank sheet. When gloss varnish is used in combination with dull varnish, there is a bigger contrast and it adds more “pop”. Allowing the print piece to dry before printing the varnish achieves the best results.
- Create a layer in your files for the spot varnished areas.
- Create a spot color and name them gloss varnish or dull varnish,
set them to overprint.
- When you want the greatest contrast, you should add a second color of dull
varnish to all areas that do not have gloss varnish.
- Varnish will soak into an uncoated sheet and you won’t be
able to see it. Only coated stocks should be used with varnish.
- Make sure to use at least a 10 point type and 1 point rule if spot
varnishing text. The slightest mis-registration will make it hard to read.
Text is rarely used as a spot varnish unless it is a headline or subhead.
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Tricks of the Trade Series
Spot Varnish is part of a series of tips to help enhance all your print projects.
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