A spot-UV gloss effect can really add some pizazz to your book cover.
But it’s a little tricky to set up. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial.
I recommend using Adobe InDesign for book layout. (I know… no one likes Adobe’s subscription-payment model, but I’ve yet to find a free/inexpensive option that does a tenth of what InDesign does.)
Once the layout is completed, it’s time to add the spot gloss.
- Create a new layer above all other layers.
- Create a new color swatch. Change the Color Type from CMYK to Spot. And make it a bright color that will stand out on your layout. I use 100% Magenta. I usually label the color swatch “SPOT VARNISH” so I don’t use it by mistake.
- I’m unaware of a shortcut for this step.* Using the Pen tool, you need to draw the areas that will be spot-glossed. If it’s a rectangle (like in the Bloom County book above), then it’s easy. If it’s something with a weird shape, bump your screen up to its best display (View -> Display Performance -> High Quality Display) and take your time.
- This one’s super-important! Select all of the spot gloss areas on your Spot Gloss layer and go to Window -> Output -> Attributes. Click on Overprint Fill. If you don’t do this, the spot-gloss areas will obliterate anything beneath it!
- Nervous yet? Me, too. So go to Window -> Output -> Separations Preview and change View from Off to Separations. If you don’t see a fifth Spot Varnish layer, you did something wrong in Step Two.
- Now, zoom in and toggle that Spot varnish layer on and off. You should be able to see all of the underlying layers unaffected by the Spot varnish layer. (if everything is blotted-out white, you’ve done something wrong with the previous step!
*If you know of a shortcut, it’s time for a guest post! I tried everything I know to avoid tracing the Evil Inc After Dark logo (created in Adobe Illustrator). I tried dragging paths over from Illustrator to InDesign… and from Illustrator to Photoshop to InDesign. I tried all of the above with copy-paste. I tried every sneaky graphic-designer trick I could remember, and got a big fat zilch. Ironically, if I would have just traced the damned thing, I would have spent a fraction of the time I was trying to save.