UV varnish is a clear liquid applied to printed materials like business cards, postcards, and brochures to form an impenetrable protective shield that helps safeguard printed images against ultraviolet light, fingerprints, and environmental conditions. Once dry, it creates an additional high gloss surface or three-dimensional effect. UV varnish may be an aesthetic solution, such as creating raised three-dimensional effects with printed images.
Proper application of UV varnish can significantly extend the longevity of printed pieces, particularly those exposed to direct sunlight or harsh environmental conditions. Furthermore, UV varnish makes an excellent option for prints that will be handled frequently (business cards and postcards, for instance).
There are two techniques for applying UV varnish: offline and inline. Offline varnish application uses either a roller or brush application method before running through a UV curing unit, which sets it. Conversely, during printing processes, inline UV varnish application occurs as soon as prints come off of the press and cures as soon as printed sheets leave the press.
UV varnish can be applied to both offset and digital prints; however, due to being cured using ultraviolet light, it may not work with certain types of paper and inks. Before applying it on an entire print surface, conducting an on-print test in a small area is wise to ensure no adverse side effects.
When applied to printed surfaces, UV Varnish is a clear liquid that cures when exposed to ultraviolet light. Once in contact with ultraviolet rays, UV Varnish hardens into an extremely durable protective layer against scratching, fading, and other forms of damage, making this finishing step essential in many print projects.