Reversed out type + Spot UV

bagopeas's picture

Hi all,

Im working on an invite in which i am going to have white text on a black background. i wanted to know whether there are any guidelnes i should follow to ensure legibility. aslo i am using scotch modern as body text. should i be worried about the ink filling up in the thin strokes?

same questions apply to spot uv varnish.

thanx in advance.

Queneau's picture

As far as I know, white text on a black surface will look thinner than black on white. So you'll probably have to take this into account.

greetings Jeffrey
infraordinaire

J Weltin's picture

If your type size is below around 11 point you should consider a medium or semibold weight. I would also open up the spacing a bit.

bagopeas's picture

thanx Queneau + J Weitin

so would u suggest using a san serif reversed out, rather than a serif?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Depending on the printing conditions, you should consider the possibility that colour plates might not line up perfectly. If you mix your background colour with more than one ink, knocked out text can easily be destroyed.

riccard0's picture

so would [yo]u suggest using a san[s] serif reversed out, rather than a serif?

That would definitely change the effect of the design. If you can, you should bring the question to the attention of the printer, which indubitably will have some samples and insights to share.

bagopeas's picture

hmm good idea. im going for black spot uv on a black background.

bagopeas's picture

please take a look at this link in which i put examples of my design http://typophile.com/node/64070. Might give toy guys a better idea of what im trying to do. The grey text indicates the text which will be spot UVed, but it will be black on black ie. the background is black and the spot uv is black.

CreativeNRG's picture

Spot varnishes are not black in color... they are actually a clear yellow, which appears clear over the ink. If you print spot varish on white paper it will actually turn the stock a slight 'yellow'.

Depending on if you use a 'dull' or 'gloss' varnish it will cause a color like black to change in appearance as it catches the light.

bagopeas's picture

that definately explains why using a spot varnish on uncoated paper not only sinks but turns the area it yellow ( thats what i read somewhere but didnt quite understand why). thanx again CreativeNRG and everyone else. great help!

This is the first time i am attempting this technique so i want to make sure all goes well.

CreativeNRG's picture

I have a press sheet of a gloss varnish printed directly on uncoated white stock. I'll snap a photo tonight of that, along with it applied over dark brown.

bagopeas's picture

great! cant wait to see it!

CreativeNRG's picture

Here are some snapshots I took of a press sheet with 'Gloss' varnish. I didn't have the best lighting conditions but hopefully this will give you an idea. One thing is for sure... if you look at this straight on the Gloss varnish 'disappears' completely. You only see it when you turn the card and it catches the light.

If you want to do this with text it could be extremely difficult to read.

[Gloss Varnish Over White Uncoated Stock]


[Gloss Varnish Over PMS 1545]

bagopeas's picture

thats lovely! thank you for posting it CreativeNRG

so in the first 2 pictures there is a gloss varnish on a white uncoated paper which i see has turned the paper slightly yellowy. what about the final foto? is that the back of the design or an entirely different one using brown paper?

also i need you to please clarify the difference between glossy and dull varnish. ive been googling it but the fotos look the same to me, i cant see a real difference.

Ive included some examples of black on black that im trying to achieve and also im meeting with the printer today to see what he has to say. with the regards to the varnished type, it might be quite interesting to engage the audience in trying to decipher the hidden text. also as u can see i highlighted the important info in white so its draws the audience to the keys words as soon as they turn over.

CreativeNRG's picture

Ah, why didn't I just find an example to show you the effects of a dull and gloss varnish together. [Bangs head on the desk]

CreativeNRG's picture

By using both 'dull' and 'gloss' varnish together you can achieve this type of result shown over black. They may have also used a gloss varnish over a very dark PMS Gray. There are a couple of different ways this might have been done.

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'Dull Varnish' will produce a very matte finish and light will not reflect well off of it.
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'Gloss Varnish' will produce a very shiny finish that will reflect light and appear almost wet.
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Your examples show this really well and it would be an excellent idea to bring them along so the printer can see exactly the affect you're after.

The third image I uploaded is a 'Spot Gloss Varnish' over a solid PMS 1545 [Dark Brown].

bagopeas's picture

hahaha thank you, that makes everything a lot more clearer!

bagopeas's picture

ok my last reply was supposed to come after ur reply, how did that happen?! ha!

CreativeNRG's picture

Quote bagopeas: "ok my last reply was supposed to come after ur reply, how did that happen?"

Because I have a bad habit of going back and 'editing' my previous post before the time limit locks me out. Unfortunately, Typophile resets the post time after an edit which bumps things out of order. :(

Knowing what you're trying to accomplish... one might recommend that you print the background in the darkest PMS gray you can find... then print the type in Black and drop a spot gloss varnish on the black type.

bagopeas's picture

haha i know what u mean, i frequently edit right after posting because i type so quickly i often leave major typos!

ill run your recommendations by the printer and see what he says. im also reading up on a few designers who applied matt lamination before applying a spot uv varnish on certain areas in their specific designs. is that an alternative process to dull varnish or the same? i read it produces a 'velvety' feel and im not too keen on that. does the dull varnish do the same?

CreativeNRG's picture

UV and matte lamination is done 'offline' after the sheet is printed. Most of the time this is a protective cover. They basically apply it off a roll to cover the entire press sheet. I've not heard of printing on that after it's been applied but it wouldn't surprise me.

There is also an 'aqueous coating' (matte or gloss) that is used as a protective cover over the sheet. This protects the ink from scuffs. Most magazine covers have either an aqueous coating or lamination applied. This keeps the ink between copies from rubbing together during transport. If they don't do this micro vibrations in the bundles will rub the ink off in spots like sand paper.

A dull varnish shouldn't produce a velvet feel if you have a stock with a smooth finish.

bagopeas's picture

ok i spoke the printer who wanted to use art card ( shock!horror!) so basically i found some reaaaaaally nice pure white 350gsm paper to work with.

its uncoated paper, but the printer said that he can matt laminate it before applying the varnish.

he also said because there is white text they are going to have to color the paper a really dark grey, so as u suggested im going to find the darkest PMS grey to achieve the look i want.

hopefully all goes well!

kentlew's picture

Note that you will get two subtly different effects depending upon whether you choose to put down matte lamination and then print spot gloss varnish on top, or whether you put down gloss lamination and then a spot matte varnish on top.

For a black-on-black type treatment, what you describe will probably give the results you're after.

But when working with photos, for instance, I've found that matte lamination kills the color in a way that the gloss varnish can never bring back. Whereas the opposite approach will maintain richness and still yield a nice effect (although the matte varnish over gloss lam will never have quite the same velvet surface as matte lam).

Also, is your printer really talking about a lamination, or does he mean an aqueous coating? Laminations can have a tendency to cause curl (because it's a plastic coating) if the back isn't somehow balanced out and if the humidity of the shop doesn't match your world. A publisher I worked with used to have a heck of a time with certain book covers curling during different times of the year.

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