Spot Gloss issues

technica

Member
I recently designed a print project for a client that required a "spot gloss". This is the first time I've done this and I am very disappointed with the results. You can not tell AT ALL that there is a "spot gloss" present. The printer has assured me that there is and his explanation is that it was done "inline" and that there is "heavy ink coverage" so I may not of gotten the results I was expecting. I do believe the printer (although his explanation means nothing to me) but I am really shocked by the less than spectacular results.

Any ideas as to why it turned out the way it did? :confused:

Paper: 100lb. Not matte but not glossy.

PS. I want to emphasize "at all". Even holding it up to the light at every angle you can not tell there is a gloss applied.
 

Cornishpastythighs

Well-known member
Is the piece printed using UV inks and spot UV gloss coating or did he print conventional and use spot gloss varnish, it will make a hell of a difference. If the colours were wet when he put down his spot varnish it will have 'sunk' into the dark inks and the gloss will be very poor.
 

technica

Member
Is the piece printed using UV inks and spot UV gloss coating or did he print conventional and use spot gloss varnish...?
I don't know much about the process that was used unfortunately. I know it was a 4/4 4 color process and that's it.

We paid about $1500 for an effect that is completely unnoticeable. I guess my main goal is to figure out my responsibility for the result. Did I choose the wrong paper weight, did my design somehow effect the results... or did the printer do something incorrectly. I'm not looking to blame anyone but I need to learn from this experience and to do that I need to know what happened.

Can you think of any reason that if you ran a spot gloss process properly that the results would still be completely unnoticeable?
 

Jimbo

Active member
When you say 100# not matte and not gloss then I assume you put varnish on offset stock. You'll never get the effect your looking for on offset stock. The only thing the varnish is doing is soaking into the paper.

Generally you varnish on a coated stock so it sits on the surface and makes your images pop. I've only varnished offset paper to trap in inks to keep from scuffing but you'd never know varnish was applied.
 

technica

Member
When you say 100# not matte and not gloss then I assume you put varnish on offset stock. You'll never get the effect your looking for on offset stock. The only thing the varnish is doing is soaking into the paper.
I'm not sure exactly what kind of paper was used. I originally requested matte because I wanted everything that wasn't varnished to be dull and subdued. The printer said he couldn't use a matte stock because the ink wouldn't print well (not exactly his words). I told him that was fine I just didn't want to use a "glossy" paper. He assured me it wouldn't be. So that's why I used the description "not matte but not glossy."

So far I've gathered from the replies:
1. The printer may of used an offset stock instead of a coated stock.
2. The colors may of been wet when the varnished was applied.
3. He may of used a combination of conventional print and spot gloss instead of UV ink / spot UV.

Im curious about the printers explanation. That it was done "inline" and that there is "heavy ink coverage". I don't know enough about printing to understand this. Can someone interpret this for me and explain why it would effect the varnish outcome?

Thank all of you for your feedback. I really appreciate it and am learning quite a bit. :D
 

RGPW17100

Well-known member
Here is probably what happened. No printer likes matte stock so they used a dull stock like Productolith Dull. This is a stock between a gloss and a matte which is a poor choice for a spot varnish. As mentioned earlier UV is the best effect you will see. Another alternative we use which shows pretty good results is we use a gloss sheet. After the four colors are printed we use a special effects varnish called strike through matte varnish. This will print everywhere on the sheet except where you want it to shine. We then aqueous coat with gloss aqueous to give you the effect you are looking for. All of this is done inline in one pass. We do this on a five color press and do it using conventional printing. This is not as good a UV but it works real well if there are a lot of dark colors.

Using a gloss on Matte or Dull stock will not give you a noticeable look. Ask your printer if they know how to use strike through varnish. If not you will have to shop around for someone. This is a product that requires experience using it. You really need to use a lot of it to get the desired effect and the results could take hours to show up after the printing is done. Here again experience using the product is key.
 

TonyD

Member
What you need is a book from Sappi entitled Sappi The Standard 3. The book features many varnish/coating effects and actually says how each effect was produced. Everything was printed on an offset press. You can read an online version of the book at the link below. I will also include a link on where you can request your own copy.

Online:
http://www.na.sappi.com/c/document_...fee-547e-4dc6-aef9-b5d3c0754288&groupId=10165

Sample Request:
http://sappi.litorders.com/SelectInventoryList.aspx?Stock_Number=PRO-5646

I will send you a PM with my contact information in case you need help on future projects.
 

technica

Member
RGPW17100
I think you may be pretty close. Combined with a aqueous coating or varnish instead of a UV coating like I had imagined.

TonyD
This is perfect, thank you very much! I will be getting my own copy of this for sure. I wish I would have had this two weeks ago. :D

I know now that when you request a "spot gloss" from a printer you must specify between varnish, aqueous and UV. I wish this would have been mentioned to me prior to printing. I thought I made the intentions behind the spot gloss and the desired effect very clear. Either I didn't communicate this as well as I thought or the printer made the mistake of choosing the wrong type of coating and/or paper. Either way, live and learn.

Thanks again for all the help.
 

nhprinter

Well-known member
If a customer wants the full effect of a varnish it should NEVER be run inline. You can get away with it with coaters, but with OP varnish it just soaks into the ink. The only time we will varnish inline is if it's just for protection and not for effect. (and usually that's just using satin varnish)

If your printer would have let the process inks dry overnight and then overprinted using a high gloss varnish you most likely would have been happy with the result no matter what stock you were using especially if you had heavy ink coverage because the varnish would have sat on top of the ink.
 

technica

Member
If a customer wants the full effect of a varnish it should NEVER be run inline. You can get away with it with coaters, but with OP varnish it just soaks into the ink. The only time we will varnish inline is if it's just for protection and not for effect. (and usually that's just using satin varnish)

If your printer would have let the process inks dry overnight and then overprinted using a high gloss varnish you most likely would have been happy with the result no matter what stock you were using especially if you had heavy ink coverage because the varnish would have sat on top of the ink.
Ugh, well he did say the result we ending up with was because it was done inline. I guess he was right. I wonder why he said it like he had to do it that way? If he knew that was going to happen why didn't he do overprint instead? These questions can't be answered I'm sure. At least I know know what happened.

Any suggestions for my course of action with the printer? My client approved the proof (I didn't get to see it), so I don't expect any sort of refund. However I would like to ask him about the fact that we paid so much money for an effect that we didn't get. Advice?
 

TonyD

Member
The reality of it is that gloss varnish isn't going to be nearly as glossy as a UV coating. In the future I would recommend going with a printer that has UV capabilities. Remember that even if your printer did pull the job out and let it dry and then hit it with a gloss varnish you'd be two passing the job. Two passes = higher price, especially with high quantity runs. With UV the inks are dry so the varnish sits on top, producing a nice gloss. You can even double hit with gloss varnish to produce an even better effect.

One cool technique that you may be overlooking is called strike-thru. It involves using a conventional varnish and applying the varnish in the areas where you want the dull to be. So, if you want a title of a magazine to be gloss and the rest dull you'd hit everything but the type with the varnish. After the varnish is applied the sheet goes to the coater unit where gloss UV coating is applied overall. The matte varnish strikes through the gloss UV providing lots of contrast. Typical dull/gloss levels we see is around 20 dull/95 gloss. With this technique you can create all kinds of neat/intricate patterns without having to worry about the limitations of a cyrel plate. Best of all, you're not shelling out an extra 600 bucks on a plate since you're applying the coating overall.

I did send you a private message with my contact details by the way. Maybe we can work together on your next project. I guarantee you will have a great experience.
 

turbotom1052

Well-known member
if he had told you he needed to offline varnish the piece and it would add a significant cost increase to the job would you have been willing to pay? I cant think of too many print buyers these days that would have accepted the cost increase that would come with an offline varnish. I guess your printer felt the same way!!!
 

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