Adding a Finish part 1: Spot UV & Hot Foil Stamping

Adding a Finish part 1: Spot UV & Hot Foil Stamping

In this series we will take a closer look at the types of finish you can add to board game components. They are commonly used on the game boxes in order to help the artwork stand out. But can also be applied to other paper components such as punchboards, game boards, cards and more. The first two that we will discuss are the ones most commonly found when you look around at a board game store. These are spot UV and hot foil stamping. What do these terms mean exactly? And what kind of effect do they add to your components. And more importantly: how does the manufacturing process work?

One of the nice things about being a board game manufacturer is that we apply a lot of different techniques that are normally only used in specific parts of the printing industry. As board game publishers and designers continue to seek out new ways to make their game. We keep on expanding our portfolio of technologies. As a result, our board game manufacturing capabilities include a lot of specialized printing techniques. The two that we will discuss today are printing techniques that aim to enhance the visual appeal of printed materials. They can both enhance and add to the visual elements of the design.

Spot UV Finish

Spot UV (the UV stands for ultra violet) is a printing technique that gives a shiny, reflective effect from a visual point of view. And a slightly raised surface effect from a tactile point of view. The production process involves applying a clear varnish or coating to specific areas of the printed surface. After the varnish is applied, it will be cured using ultraviolet light. The spot UV itself is transparant by nature and will allow the print below it to remain visible. The shiny, reflective effect it gives draws attention to and highlights elements of the printed design. When designing a spot UV for your game, remember that the smallest it can be is between 0.1 and 0.2mm in order for it to be visible and be accurately aligned with the artwork.

Hot Foil Stamping Finish

Hot foil stamping is a process where a foil is printed on a transfer sheet in order to be applied to the paper surface. After that, a stamping tool that is shaped like the design of the print is heated up. And then pressed onto the transfer sheet, on top of the paper. The heat will allow the foil to release from the transfer sheet and be applied to the papier. This creates a metallic, reflective and visually appealing decorative appearance. The foil is commonly done in gold or silver, but can also be holographic, copper or a wide range of metallic looking materials. It again is normally used to highlight logo’s, titles or give a finishing touch to small details in the design. The minimum size for hot foil stamping is between 0.25 and 0.5mm, depending on the shape of the design.

The finishing touch

Both hot foil stamping and spot UV are great ways to add a finishing touch to your board game. They are relatively easy steps during the board game manufacturing process. That can add a lot to the look and feel of your game. It’s also a great stretch goal for a Kickstarter campaign, as backers love to see the components get extra finishes applied to them. Thinking about using either one of these effects for your game? Get in touch with us and we’ll gladly work with you to make you game look even better.

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