If you’ve been putting out quality print media for your ministry, but you want to take it to the next level, this is for you. Printed materials that look great are awesome. Printed materials that look AND feel great are even better. Never underestimate the wow factor of a tactile experience when someone touches your card for the first time.
With this in mind, let’s look at two ways to “upgrade” your printed materials: METALLIC FOIL and SPOT GLOSS. Both add an extra punch to the look and feel of invite cards or whatever else you print.
Design this just like you would any other project. I’ve used Adobe Illustrator to set up a fairly basic design to use as the base here:
This is set up at business card size (3.5×2″) with a 1/8″ bleed on all sides. We’ve got a nice clean type layout, and just enough decoration in the background that it’s not plain and/or boring. Fonts used are Rosewood for the big type and Rockwell Condensed Bold for the smaller words. The diamond shapes next to “is” are pulled out of the letters in the Rosewood font.
Now, I wouldn’t mind this card just as is, but why not add some flash to it? It’s easier than you might think. I’d like to make the Rosewood font all silver foil. That’s “Jesus”, “way”, “truth”, and “life”. All we have to do is make a new layer called “FOIL”. I know, it’s clever. But it’s always a good idea to deliver clean, clearly labelled files to your printer.
We can go ahead and add a “SPOT GLOSS” layer as well and we’ll have a layers pallet that looks like this:
You can see the “ARTWORK”, “FOIL”, and “SPOT GLOSS” layers. Some printers may require a different file for each piece of the job, or the different layers might be enough; you’ll have to ask your printer what they prefer. Either way, you should start like this so everything will line up properly.
Now, select the 4 words we want in foil and CUT them (CMD/CTRL + X). Why cut and not copy? Because inevitably, the foil and the ink/printed parts will get ever-so-slightly off, and you don’t want white bits peeking out from behind your pretty foil.
Then, select the foil layer so it is highlighted (like in the above screenshot). In Illustrator, you can paste exactly where you cut/copied from by pressing CMD/CTRL + F instead of “… + V” like you would for normal paste function. So do that, and make sure everything is still aligned. While you still have everything in your foil layer selected, change the fill color to 100% K (pure black). [Note: some printers have different requirements on this, similar to layers or different files. 4Over likes 100% K in its own file, while Taste Of Ink prefers same file/different layer and 100% Magenta. Again, find out what specifics your printer has. This tutorial will put you on the right track and it will be an easy adjustment from here to whatever they want.]
Hide the other layers, and you should just have an image that looks like this:
This will tell the printer to print foil (since your layer is foil, and assuming you’ve ordered a foil product from them) where the black is.
Now, if we hide (the little eyeball icon next to the layer name) the FOIL layer, and show the ARTWORK layer, we’ll get this:
It looks funny, right? But that’s because the other parts will be printed in foil and we want them to be awesome all on their own.
Now, just to finish this off, let’s add spot gloss to the remaining white parts and make them really shine!
To do this, select everything that is showing that is white. That’s 4 bits of text and two shapes. COPY (CMD/CTRL + C), don’t CUT these ones. Spot gloss is clear, so if you remove this part from the base layer, you’ll have invisible text that is shiny (that is a really cool effect, but probably not the best for this design).
Paste-in-front (CMD/CTRL + F) on your SPOT GLOSS layer this time, and convert to 100% K. Should look like this (if you hide the ARTWORK layer):
Again, it looks weird, but this is telling the printer to just put gloss where the black is and leave everything else with a matte finish. The gloss will stand up off the card and feel as cool as it looks when you’re done!
That’s it. That’s how you set up a file for printing full-color process with additional foil and spot gloss layers.
Now that you’ve got this down, consider other ways to add to your designs with these. Maybe a spot gloss pattern over the entire card? It’s transparent, so you can place it over text and everything and it won’t ruin the readability of the info. Or, how about an invisible logo reversed out of the spot gloss (that layer would be all black with your logo in white)? There are a ton of options.
What other ideas do you have?