Raised UV printing, (also referred to as 3D UV or Sculpted UV), is a spot UV technique that builds up the UV coating to create dimension you can both see and feel. Raised UV is completely different from other forms of tactile finishes such as embossing, which presses a design into the paper, and thermography, which has raised ink. Raised UV allows the clear UV coating to be completely independent of ink or pressing a design through both sides of a piece.
Tactile Printing Effects
Flooded coating has the same feel across the piece. High gloss UV coating feels slick, while soft-touch laminate has a velvety feel. Spot UV printing can leave sections of the paper with a different finish all together. However, when these are combined with additional layers, a piece can become a work of art. Or even a functional piece with braille writing and diagrams for the sight impaired.
Some of the most amazing uses of Raised UV is in enhancing photography. A football where you can feel the grain of the hide, an iguana where you can feel every scale, droplets of ‘water’ on a beer bottle, or the feel of an orange peel are all possible. Or use it to make your headline actually pop off the paper.
Hidden and Ghosted Effects
Designers are beginning to use Raised UV to create entire elements of a piece that are not in the actual print. Headlines or design aspects can be done only in the Raised UV coating to make them stand off the paper. This allows a cost-effective piece to feel extremely expensive, adding to the inherent value of your product or campaign.
The Neuroscience of touch and haptic response in print is an exciting new area of research. Sappi has put together a great resource for this at sappi.com/neuroscience-of-touch
“In humans touch represents a powerful form of non-verbal communication. Our sense of touch plays a fundamental role in daily life, from learning about objects to communicating with other people.”
-Dr. David Eagleman
Designing for Raised UV
Raised UV is not difficult to design. Raised areas are their own layer in your artwork, much like a dieline or fold lines. You can even take your image and modify it in Photoshop to mask everything but the areas you want raised. By lining up your Raised UV layer with the original artwork, you can plan for the final piece and ensure that the additional UV will line up exactly the way you designed it. Give the lines on your picture some texture, give specific materials in your photo a different feel, or just accentuate specific areas to make your piece stand out from the rest.
Raised UV Designer Tips & Tricks
Some best practices to help you in your design development:
Submit your mask as an additional layer within your final pdf artwork.
Use vector images or high resolution images of at least 300 dpi.
Try not to use type under 18pt as it will be lost.
Keep Raised UV masks 1/16” or .625” from trim edges, folds, scores or creases.
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