I am creating business cards, letterheads, and envelopes that have gold foil as well as embossing. What is the standard InDesign set-up for how to properly export the files (a step-by-step / ultra-comprehensive guide would be awesome)?

*On a side note, there are certain business cards which have embossing on both sides (they are usually printed on thicker stock). Would it be wiser to break it down to two files instead of one?

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


You should probably contact your printer to know their preferred ways of getting files as they can differ. I've personally encountered two methods in the past:

  • Supply separate files, 1 per effect, where your special effect is in black only.


  • On a different layer named with the special effect (1 per effect), have the shapes you need set in cyan, magenta or yellow spot color that you will rename according to the name of the effect. Pick a color that stands out from your design. Set everything on that layer in overprint to avoid knocking out the design that is under.

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