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Using spot varnish

From: Designing a Book Cover

Video: Using spot varnish

When it comes time to print our book cover you'll want to speak to your printer about paper stock. Have them send you samples so you know the kind of paper stock that you are working with and then there are printing extras. Do you want to use special inks so that you can achieve colors that can only be achieved with such special inks, neons or metallics? Obviously, these things cost more money. And then there are printing extras like embossing, foil stamping, lamination and I am going to talk about varnishing specifically, applying a spot varnish to a particular part of the artwork so that artwork will really pop from the page.

Using spot varnish

When it comes time to print our book cover you'll want to speak to your printer about paper stock. Have them send you samples so you know the kind of paper stock that you are working with and then there are printing extras. Do you want to use special inks so that you can achieve colors that can only be achieved with such special inks, neons or metallics? Obviously, these things cost more money. And then there are printing extras like embossing, foil stamping, lamination and I am going to talk about varnishing specifically, applying a spot varnish to a particular part of the artwork so that artwork will really pop from the page.

In this case, I am going to use the Animal Farm cover and apply the spot varnish to our simple graphic here. So in order to create a spot varnish we need to do this. Let's come to the Layers panel and make ourselves a varnish layer. So I am going to hold down the Alt key or Option key click on Create New Layer and call that varnish, and I am going to drag that up to the top. Then I am going to come and make a varnish color so I'll come to the Swatches panel, New Color Swatch, I am going to uncheck Name with Color Value and I am going to call this Varnish. Change the Color Type to Spot, very important that.

And then use whatever color you like, but something that's going to clearly stand out as being different from your layout. I am going to use 100% magenta and then select the artwork that you want varnished. Come to the Layers panel and copy that selection to your varnish layer. To do that hold down your Option or your Alt key and drag the square that represents this selection. So I have now got that artwork in exactly the same location on two layers.

With the artwork on the varnish layer selected, come and apply the varnish color. Make sure that's being applied at 100% Tint, so it looks like that, and then we need to change the attributes of this artwork. Come to the Window menu and to Output, to Attributes, and in this case these objects have only a fill so I only need to check Overprint Fill. If they have a stroke, check that where appropriate.

We can check what's going to happen here if we turn On the overprint preview. It's not going to knock out those elements behind it but overprint. Communication here is key with your printer. you have to mention to your printer that you are intending to use a spot varnish and explain to them how you've set up the spot varnish. If you are sending your printer the InDesign package, you can point out to them that you have the spot varnish elements on a varnish layer. If you are sending them a PDF, we need to make sure that the colors, we need to check the PDF to make sure that the varnish colors are separated as a spot color.

So I am going to make a Press Quality PDF, and I will call this varnish. In this case, I want to print the spreads because I am working with three pages. I want to view the PDF after exporting and I am going to come and turn on my printer marks. I also want to use the document bleed settings and I want the crop marks offset by 12 points. Then I will click Export. There is my result.

Now, if we come and look at the Print Production under the Advanced menu in Acrobat and to the Output Preview, we should see that we have our Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black and we have a Spot Plate for the Varnish. If we turn that off, the artwork is as it was and with that on it's currently being represented by the Magenta, but that's going to print as a transparent varnish which will really call attention to that particular part of the design.

As I mentioned before, make sure you communicate very clearly to your printer your intention to use a varnish.

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Image for Designing a Book Cover
Designing a Book Cover

36 video lessons · 20297 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 2m 42s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 44s
  2. 29m 57s
    1. The project brief
      2m 30s
    2. Doing research
      4m 16s
    3. Setting up a document in InDesign CS5
      5m 4s
    4. Setting up a document in InDesign CS4
      6m 4s
    5. Putting your InDesign CS5 document on a grid
      3m 2s
    6. Putting your InDesign CS4 document on a grid
      4m 31s
    7. Setting up the document in Illustrator and placing it on a grid
      4m 30s
  3. 40m 39s
    1. Creating hand-drawn type with the Blob Brush tool
      4m 13s
    2. Using Live Paint to color type
      3m 40s
    3. Choosing typefaces
      3m 42s
    4. Creating a simple illustration using the Pen and Gradient tools
      8m 43s
    5. Applying type effects
      5m 42s
    6. Manual tracing
      4m 42s
    7. Using the gradient and transparency effects
      9m 57s
  4. 17m 27s
    1. Distressed type
      5m 42s
    2. More distressed type
      3m 35s
    3. Using mirrored type
      3m 34s
    4. Using giant wraparound text
      3m 56s
    5. Starting text on the cover
      40s
  5. 13m 7s
    1. Illustrating concepts with abstract shapes and transparency
      6m 27s
    2. Representing the book content with icons
      6m 40s
  6. 24m 8s
    1. Using historic photography
      6m 21s
    2. Using Illustrator to create a simple illustration
      4m 19s
    3. Using gradient mesh in Illustrator to create a simple illustration
      4m 55s
    4. Using Live Trace on a photograph
      3m 52s
    5. Using black-and-white images creatively
      4m 41s
  7. 25m 30s
    1. Developing a book set
      2m 50s
    2. Designing the back cover
      8m 42s
    3. Designing the flaps
      2m 41s
    4. Designing the spine
      11m 17s
  8. 12m 56s
    1. Using spot varnish
      4m 30s
    2. Preflighting your document
      4m 51s
    3. Preparing the PDF
      3m 35s
  9. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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