We will get a bit technical in this article, but for the easy answer – it just looks rich! White ink is not easy to actually print, even on a digital press, it takes talent. Pieces that use white ink are not always obvious to the recipient, but subconsciously there is a very different feel and appeal to a piece printed with white ink. In fact, there are some pieces that you simply cannot print without white ink; thanks to today’s digital presses, white ink has become a brilliant reality.
Let’s start with a basic statement; ink is technically translucent. Think of painting a wall, if you paint overa black wall with white paint, the black wall will show through. No one will like that look. This is the same basic principle with white ink. Thus, if you have a really rich paper color with a deep dye pigment, although very attractive, this colored stock will be very difficult to print on.
Using specialty stocks is very popular for invitations, annual reports, corporate collateral, and many other projects. Now, you have the option of placing full color images on these stocks, as well as printing white ink. You also can use the white ink behind a corporate color to preserve the corporate color even when printed on a colored stock.
The color you print will be highly influenced by the paper color. If you try to print a four-color image on that stock, it will not produce outstanding results.
White ink can be used like a primer. It can be printed on colored stock prior to a full color image being printed. This allows marketers and designers to get the vibrancy of the full color image while also getting the deep and rich dye colored stocks. In our example, we printed white ink on a black dye stock. The stock is rich and beautiful. We wanted to have a full color image with an astronaut and earth printed inside. In order to create a vibrant blue earth, we dropped the white in fully behind it, as many as 4-5 times in specific areas to ensure the white was cleanand well contrasted. It sounds complicated, but it’s actually very beautiful and simple.
Special effects can also be achieved. Imagine the white caps of the ocean being highlighted with white ink. Imagine the white lights of a stage or downtown scene getting highlighted with white ink. And, think of the stars in a night sky getting a highlight hit of white. It is processes like white ink, that allow digital presses to demonstrate their true creative capabilities, providing opportunities for businesses to display truly diverse and incredible pieces. TAG utilizes these capabilities to turn imagination into reality.