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How to set up spot finish in my artwork files



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How to set up spot finish in my artwork files?

In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up spot finishes in InDesign to accentuate design elements.

Below we will provide a step-by-step explanation using the example of a silver finish. 

Please bear in mind that each of our finishing options has special requirements for the design elements to yield an optimum print result. Here you will find an overview of the requirements for the different finishing types.

How to create artwork files for silver finish?

  • Step 1: Create and name layers
  • Step 2: Create the background and insert logo and tex
  • Step 3: Create and name a colour swatch
Screen 1 – spot finish

Step 1: Create and name layer

First you have to create all required layers for this sample postcard with a silver finish. To do so, go to the Layers window and rename the existing layer to “background”. Use the New layer icon to create two more layers which you name “logo and text” and “silver”, respectively.

Screen 2 – spot finish
Please note that the logo is in white for illustrative purposes only. 

Step 2: Create the background and insert logo and text

In the next step, create the background of your printing and add a logo and text to your layout. Copy the ribbon image and the text “A gift for you” from Adobe Illustrator using the shortcut STRG + C and paste it in InDesign at the “logo and text" layer using STRG + V. These are the elements to be silver finished during printing. Therefore, you have to highlight these elements for the print shop.

Screen 3 – spot finish

Step 3: Create and name a colour swatch

Select the "silver" layer first. Now copy all elements you want to apply the finish to (here the ribbon image and text) and paste them again via Edit > Paste in place. Now reopen the colour theme tool and create a new colour using the New colour swatch button. Double-click this colour to open the colour swatch options. 

Now enter the settings specified by the printing company. In the case of the silver finish, these are:

  • Swatch name: “silver”
  • Colour type: spot colour
  • Colour mode: 100 % Cyan
Screen 4 – spot finish

Confirm with OK. Your pasted elements should now be displayed in 100 % cyan. The cyan spot colour will not be visible after printing, because it will be overprinted with the silver finish.


Please note that some other finishing options like relief varnish or uv coating require to set your design elements to "Overprint" before exporting. To do so, choose Window > Output > Attributes. Once you have selected the first element with the spot colour, the Overprint Fill and Overprint Stroke checkboxes in the Attributes window are enabled. The check mark indicates that the setting is active.

By media designer Christoph Ullrich.