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Have you ever asked the question, “What is spot UV?” Even in our digital people, people are still handing out business cards. Business cards help keep you at the top of mind when people need certain products and services. It’s also a common way to introduce yourself during meetings or networking events. 

In fact, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 72 percent of people judge the quality of a brand based on their business card. A large 39 percent of people won’t do business with people who have flimsy business cards. 

It’s time to invest in quality business cards that match the quality of your business. Read on to learn how spot UV can elevate your brand and create a lasting impression. 

What is Spot UV? 

When you’re browsing websites online or walk into an old-fashioned print shop, you may have seen the words “spot UV.” This refers to the finishing technique of applying a clear liquid coating over the ink of your business card.

It’s instantly dried by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Once it’s dry, your business card is glossy where the clear liquid was applied.

The word “spot” refers to the fact that this technique is usually only applied to certain elements of the card and not the whole card. For instance, ink is usually applied to matte cardstock and then the liquid is applied to certain images and text.

This textural and visual contrast creates a more impactful statement and makes words or images on your business card stand out. 

Spot UV vs Raised UV

People often hold the misconception that spot UV cards always have raised lettering along with the glossy finish, but this is a separate technique called “raised spot UV.” 

This technique builds up the clear UV coating on the card. When it’s dried, certain elements of the card will be higher than the card stock itself. Raised spot UV business cards have even more of a differentiation between elements.

They also have a pleasing tactile feel that makes it less likely that people will throw away your business cards or misplace them since they seem more precious. 

Benefits of Spot UV Business Cards

Now that you know what spot UV business cards are and their difference between raised UV, you may still be wondering if it’s worth the extra investment. Along with looking and feeling more expensive, these cards have a variety of benefits that you may not have considered: 

Decorative Affect

Light catches UV coated areas of a card differently than matte paper. Instead of absorbing all the light, it will have a slight sheen that reflects light.

This means that any images or text beneath the UV coating draws the viewer’s eye, as we’re naturally drawn to brighter elements. Photos or graphics will also have a more detailed and richer appearance under a UV coating. 

Abrasion Resistance

UV coatings also help protect your cards, especially if they’ll be in your wallet or pocket for long amounts of time. The images and text beneath the coating will be more resistant to getting smudged, scratched, or marked, even if they’re handled roughly. 


Even though your business cards have a UV coating, they’re still environmentally friendly and can be recycled. Unlike varnishes and laminates, UV coatings don’t put pollutants into the atmosphere. They don’t need as much energy to cure, and they’re not as flammable compared to solvents. 

Fast Shipping Times

Last but not least, you’ll enjoy faster shipping times by purchasing business cards with UV coating. This is because the UV coating dries almost instantaneously under a UV light, meaning you won’t have to wait an extra day or two for your cards to dry after they’re printed. 

Designing Your Business Cards

Now that you know all the benefits of a spot UV finish, you have a variety of choices when it comes to designing your ultimate business card. We recommend you check out sites such as to get an idea of business card designs.

Notice how the designers use negative space to create a visual impact–they don’t have to fill up the card with text and images to make it look unique and expensive.


Business cards are often the most effective when you choose a maximum of three colors. If you use any more, your card may appear chaotic and confusing. If you already have an established color palette for your brand, this choice will be easy. 

If not, focus on using colors that match the personality of your brand. Use neutral colors and accent colors that compliment each other. 

Paper Type 

Spot UV cards often look best on matte or textural paper so that the juxtaposition between the glossy text or images and the paper they’re on is more profound. Remember that there is stock made from other materials besides paper, such as cloth and synthetic fibers. 

Paper Thickness

Paper thickness is measured in points, where one point is one-thousandth of an inch. Business cards are often on 12 to 14pt cover stock but can get as thick as 24pt stock.

If you’re mailing the majority of your cards, then it’s recommended to go with a thinner stock to cut down on costs. However, thicker cards that are more sturdy are great for handing out at events.

Paper Weight

The weight is based on how much a ream, or 500 sheets, of a paper stock weighs. For instance, if 500 sheets of paper weigh 50 pounds, then that stock will be denoted as 50# text.

The weight of your cards typically depends on the thickness and size. If you want a durable card that isn’t going out in the mail, then it’s important to pay attention to the weight as well as the thickness. 

What is Spot UV: Your Method for a Quality Business Card

Now that we’ve answered the question, “what is spot UV,” you know that this technique creates an attractive and unique business card that people are less likely to flow away. By creating a glossy sheen on specific images and text, details pop and your card stands out from the rest. 

Ready to get started on creating one-of-a-kind business cards for your brand? Send us a quote request today!