September 24, 2012
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

There’s this thing called Spot UV, or Spot Gloss, or sometimes Spot Varnish.  This is the technical term for making part of a matte book cover shiny.  Sometimes what people choose to make shiny is the title!  Or maybe there’s a central character.  Or something!

Using Spot UV is a technique that designers apply to call something specific out to your attention.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of adding some extra emphasis to a title!  But sometimes it’s added for psychological effect.  For example, on the cover of Brain Camp, our creepy middle-grade alien-possession novel, the eyes of all the creepy campers on the cover are done in Spot UV so that if you tilt the book, they reflect at you.  It’s eerie!

For one of our upcoming titles, Jerusalem, we’re going to be putting Spot UV on the cover to highlight the title and author.  We just got the proofs in, so I thought I’d take some pictures to show how the Spot UV process works with the printer.

First, we take a print-out of the cover and physically circle all the places where we want the Spot UV to go.

So here’s that print-out!  It’s a dark cover, so it’s a bit difficult to see the blue circles, but if you look closely, you can see the title, author name, subtitle are circled — both on the cover and on the spine.  This is what we send to the printer (along with the files, of course).

The printer sends us back a proof that’s two different sheets — a clear sheet with just the Spot UV, and a sheet with the full cover proof on it.  They tape them together so we can see that the Spot UV is going exactly where it should.  This picture is the two sheets together.

Here’s the bottom sheet — the one that’s just the cover proof and no Spot UV.

And here’s the top sheet — the one that has just the Spot UV.

(Since it’s clear, you also get a view of all the things on the counter behind it!)  You can see they’ve printed the Spot UV in blue on this sheet.

And here are the two pages together again, with the Spot UV proof lifted up off of the cover proof.

We’re approving this proof this week, so when we get the book in a few months, we’ll have some more pictures of how it turns out!

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