Custom Raised UV Artwork Part 2

This is the second post in our current series on designing print-ready Raised UV Files. For this tutorial, we will be going over a workflow to highlight fine details and very small shapes in an image. These details would take hours to draw by hand, so we will create custom vector shapes using Illustrator’s Image Trace tool.

Raised UV Design Tutorial Series, Part 2 Featuring Image Trace

This is the second post in our current series on designing print-ready Raised UV Files. In our first post, we broke down, step-by-step workflow for a simple, custom Raised UV design. The first post featured thick Raised UV shapes to highlight certain areas of an image using Adobe Illustrator’s pen tool to create custom vectors. For this tutorial, we will be going over a workflow to highlight fine details and very small shapes in an image. These details would take hours to draw by hand, so we will create custom vector shapes using Illustrator’s Image Trace tool. This tutorial is perfect for details like: bubbles, dots on a basketball, ocean foam, condensation, or any design that has complex shapes or a multitude of very small shapes that you may want to highlight with Raised UV.

Raised UV is an offline process that adds a layer of uv polymer to a printed marketing product like business cards, presentation folders, posters, and invitations. At Presentation Folder, we have the finest Raised UV technology available with the Scodix digital press. Raised UV is a stunning effect to add to any printed marketing tool because it adds a textural element and allows graphic elements to lift off the page. Because Raised UV is a transparent, colorless coating, it adds texture without crowding the image or overwhelming a design. With Presentation Folder’s premiere Scodix capabilities, short run printing and variable data become easy and affordable. For more information about Raised UV products, you can visit our website.

You can use this step-by-step tutorial to follow along our youtube video, as part of our Raised UV design tutorial series.

Visit the Presentation Folder website

1. Visit to download a template for your Raised UV file. In the tutorial, we are designing a Raised UV file for a presentation folder using Adobe Illustrator.

2. On the website’s main navigation bar, select the “Resources” tab on the right-hand side and click the arrow to drop down all the options. Choose “Templates” then “Raised UV Textures.”

3. Choose a texture template to start (The Parquet Texture is used in the tutorial) by clicking “Download Template” underneath the Parquet Texture option.

4. Your download will open in a new window, but be sure to save to your desktop or wherever you will be accessing your project files.

Open the Raised UV Template in Illustrator

5. Once you have saved the template, open the template in Adobe Illustrator.

6. Review your template by going through “Layers” tab. You will see one of the layers is a magenta folder titled “Raised UV.” The magenta layer helps keep all Raised UV elements organized, visually distinguishes between the Raised UV and CMYK portions of the print artwork. This distinction is extremely important for designing print-ready Raised UV files, as it allows our machines to distinguish between design elements.

7. You can remove the parquet texture from your template, start from scratch and add your own raised UV design elements. For this tutorial, we will delete the texture to create our design. The folder file should look like this before you start designing your CMYK artwork.

Add your CMYK Artwork

8. Import the CMYK (color) artwork elements to your template. In this tutorial, we use our “Soda Bubbles” folder artwork.

9. Once you finish your CMYK artwork it is time to start adding Raised UV artwork to highlight your unique design elements. you begin on marking the artwork, be sure to have the “Raised UV” Layer folder clicked on the right-hand side, while you work. You will be creating new layers under the “Raised UV” Layer folder as you design. For this tutorial, we will be highlighting the carbonation on the ice cubes and in the soda image.

Setting up Images for Custom Raised UV artwork

10. To use the image trace function we have to take the image from the CMYK folder and duplicate it. You can click directly on your image and copy (Ctrl+C) and paste in place (Shift+Ctrl+V). You want the duplicate image to be perfectly aligned with the original image so that when we convert the duplicate to a Raised UV file, the registration perfectly aligns with the original.

11. Lock the original image in the CMYK Layers Section. Staying in the Layers section, move the duplicate image from the CMYK Layers to the Raised UV Layers. You should now be able to see the original image in the CMYK section and its duplicate in the Raised UV section, as seen in the image below.

Using the Image Trace Function in Illustrator

12. Rasterize the duplicate image by going to Illustrator’s top navigation bar, clicking the “Object” dropdown menu, and “Rasterize.”

13. Create a vector trace of the image by selecting the “Object” dropdown menu and hovering over “Image Trace,” and clicking “Make and Expand.”

14. From here, click Illustrator’s direct selection tool to see the vector you have created. Then, switch the fill and stroke color options so that you can see the shapes you’ve made as filled in.

15. Toggle the CMYK artwork layer to be invisible so you can see what your shapes look like once you have swapped fill and stroke. It should look something like this.

Fine Tuning Details and adding Creative Nuance

16. Toggle the CMYK artwork back to being visible and make the Raised UV vector the color “Magenta,” so that you can see that it is the Raised UV color and to provide a visible contrast to the CMYK artwork.From here, you can fine tune the details and add some nuance to your Raised UV Design. The first thing I did is deleting the rectangular border around the vector, using the delete key on the keyboard.

17. Swap the Fill and Stroke on any large shapes that would look good filled in. The first place I noticed to do this was on the large ice cube shape on the right hand side.

18. The last fine details I want to add are highlighting the empty space between the ice cubes along the brown soda line. I do this with the pen tool. If you are unfamiliar with the pen tool, we cover it in a full video which you can view here. Another thing I do to add dimension to the Raised UV design is outline bubbles in the corners of the image that were missed when I did the image trace. I use the ellipse tool to do this. To follow along this tutorial with the accompanying video to this tutorial and to see more in-depth detail work, click this link.

Save your File


13. SAVE YOUR FILE. We accept many file forms, see here. We suggest either an Adobe Illustrator (.ai) or a print-ready PDF file. Visit our site to learn more!

And you are done!

Final Result

You can see the fine details we were able to achieve using the Image Trace function. These details add a unique, fully custom Raised UV texture over our branding image that leaves lasting effects.

Looking to learn more about Presentation Folder and Raised UV? Sign up for our mailing list!

Product Feature: Tax Folders

Because the last thing you need to worry about during tax season is the folder that holds them.

Tax Folder with Emboss
Gray Tax Folder with Window Slit

About the product:

We understand the chaos that comes with tax season, and how one “season” can end up lasting many months. The last thing you want to be worrying about during these busy months is the presentation folder that will hold your finished report, which  is why we have teamed up with accounting teams of all sizes to develop a simple product that works for any of your tax report needs. Printed in the classic presentation folder dimensions of 9 x 12 x 4, our tax folders make elegant report covers. Typically, we print tax folders on neutral dark gray, green, or blue thick 100# linen stock from Group B . This robust stock can accommodate anything from short tax returns to a large-scale annual report.

Tax Folder with Window Slit and Gold Foil Stamping
Red Tax Folder with Window Slit

Unique and Functional Form:

We start with a traditional presentation folder and implement design strategies to fit your unique tax folder needs. We make tax folders keeping practicality in mind without compromising an emphasis on brand consistency. Depending on the length of your report, we can incorporate an expanded spine with or without staple tabs for different sized tax returns.

 In addition, we die cut a small window on the cover of the folder in order to make the name and year on the report visible. If your tax folders require any additional functional demands, we have the equipment and expertise to implement multiple solutions.

Showcasing your Brand:

When it comes to designing tax folders, we like to keep it simple. We understand that you want your report covers to be straightforward while also leaving a lasting impression on clients. Using a durable frame that supports their sensitive information will allow your business to maintain a client-facing professional ethos, but adding an extra touch of design with leave them with that lasting impression. Because we prefer to use durable, dark-colored stock for tax report covers, we don’t recommend any actual printing done to these specific presentation folders. Instead, utilizing foil stamping and embossing will allow your showcase your brand. Embossing with a gold, silver, or bronze foil stamp finish is the best way print on tax folders. Showcase your tax reports with a functional, sleek presentation folder that will protect months of accounting.

Navy Blue Presentation Folder with Gold Foil Stamping
Emboss with Gold Foil Stamping