How to Setup Natural Kraft Business Card with Spot White Ink in Adobe Illustrator

Today we’re going to show you how to setup a business card file for our Natural Kraft Business Cards with Spot White Ink.

First, we want to get our document setup at the correct size with bleed and critical lines. I’ve got this file setup already, but if you need help getting that setup watch our other tutorial video, How To Setup A Business Card For Print in Illustrator.

Now you want to design the layout of your card. I’ve got some artwork created already, so I am going to drop that in. Remember to watch the bleed and critical areas, you can see on this file all the important text and objects are at least 1/8” from the trimline.

Because this is not a white stock, the colour of the paper affects how the inks appear. If you think about it, when printing on white paper anything that appears white on your design remains white because that is the colour of the paper. So in this case, the colour of the paper is a brownish colour, so anything that appears white in the design will appear the same colour of the paper stock.

You can see on this card that the blue colour is a little darker and you can also see the fibers and colour of the kraft stock coming through.

Now if you look at this card, you can see the blues are much more vibrant and rich. This is because we’ve printed white ink underneath the blue to make the colours pop more. This is called a White Backup.

If we compare these 2 photos side by side, you can see how the white backup affects the colours.

So our next step to setup this design is to indicate the areas that should print with white ink. In this design, we want Carl’s shape to be backed up with white, but we also want the CL of Clubcard to be white instead of the colour of the stock. So we need to indicate that in the file we send to press.

In order to indicate what should print white, we need to create a new custom spot white colour swatch. This will add it to our colour pallet and let us select it easily. To do that, we need to go to our colour swatches and click ‘Add New Swatch’.

In the popup we want to name the swatch Spot White and select Spot Colour and set the colour mode to CMYK. Because the background of our artboard is white, if we leave our spot colour represented as white, we won't be able to see it anywhere. Because of that, we want to add a slight colouring to our white spot colour colour value so we can see the difference in our layout. We will add a little Cyan, just so we can see the difference. Our new value is 10/0/0/0. This will not translate in print, this is just representing the colour on our screens.

Now we want to select the areas I want white and change the colour to our newly created spot colour. I have this shape already made, so i am going to select it and change the colour to our spot white colour. Because we gave it a blueish tinge, you can see that these elements are going to print in white ink.

The last step in setting up this file is to set our shape to overprint. To do that we want to select the shape and open our attributes panels. You can find the attributes panel by going to Window -> Attributes. From there you want to check the Overprint Fill box. If you also have strokes in the obect you want to print white, you will need to check the Overprint Stroke box as well.

Now we want to export the file for print. I am going to export a PDF file. To do othat go to File -> Save As, enter your filename and ensure you have selected the correct settings.

Now that we’ve saved it, we just want to check and make sure that the spot white colour is showing up in our file, so we go to print production -> output preview and it will show us a list of the colours.

Then by unchecking the Process Plates box, it will show you the areas set to Spot White only.

And there you go, we’ve got our files all setup and ready to send to the printer. We hope this video has been helpful to learn how to setup your files. If you are ready to place your order, you can view the Natural Kraft Business Cards with Spot White Ink on our Canadian site or Natural Kraft Business Cards with Spot White Ink on our USA site.

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