Custom Printing with Metallic Ink
Make Your Print Shine with Metallic Ink
If you are looking to make a big impression with your next print project, sometimes plain black or colored ink just won't cut it. When you venture beyond the familiar territory of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, a wide world of color possibilities opens up for you. Whether you're striving for vibrancy not attainable in process colors, or looking to add some pizzazz to your printed piece, it may be time to consider incorporating some custom printing finishes to add that little something extra—think spot colors, embossing, foil stamping, spot varnish, and of course, metallic inks.
What is a metallic ink?
Metallic ink has reflective metal particles such as copper, bronze, zinc or aluminum suspended within it. When the ink dries, the metal particles reflect light and create a metallic sheen. Metallic inks add color and shine beyond what regular inks can produce, but are less shiny and reflective than the more complicated and expensive foil stamping. They are available in a variety of both pure metallic colors such as gold, silver, bronze, blue and red, and combination tints.
Metal Madness - A Lustrous Add-on
Metallic inks are special inks that create a shine and luster you won't see in standard inks. Silver and gold metallics are the most common, but metallic inks also come in bright blues, vibrant purples, hot reds and burnished coppers. Metallic inks are perfect for presenting that high-end image because they add attention-grabbing shine to any printed piece without the higher cost of foil stamping. There are a variety of different ways you can incorporate metallic inks into your organization's print materials. Consider the following ideas:
- Highlight headlines or important points on postcards, brochures, and flyers
- Add some elegance to invitations or stationery with gold or silver metallic ink
- Add some pizzazz to your company name or logo
- Create an unforgettable business card with subtle metallic highlights
- Use several different metallic inks together to create a unique image or design
- Make special elements or lettering on your presentation folders pop
Get it Right: Things to Consider When Using Metallic Inks
If you are thinking of using metallic ink on your next offset printing project, there are a few things you should consider to ensure you get the best possible results.
- Do your homework - Not every printer has experience with metallic inks. Before you award a metallic job to a printer, ask to see samples of various metallic projects the shop has produced in the past.
- Be forward - Show your design to the printer early in the process. If either of you are concerned about how the metallic colors will read, it may be worth negotiating a small press proof—the gold standard insurance policy for getting the look you want.
- Coated is key - If you are aiming for maximum shine, print on a coated stock—the glossier the better. Coated stocks have more ink holdout, which means that less of the ink is absorbed into the paper fibers. It sits atop the paper instead, where it can work up some serious shine.
- Protect your piece - Since they're composed of metal flakes, metallics are somewhat prone to chalking and flaking, so a protective aqueous coating will help keep things in place.
Metallic inks not only look nice, they will also help take your marketing materials to the next level by defying the status quo. Oftentimes, the spotlight of attention is on the layout and colors of the piece and the use of ink sometimes gets neglected. If you incorporate metallic inks, you create a shiny and glossy effect that will make your full color postcard, business card, catalog or brochure stand out from the pack.
Metallic Ink Printing Samples
(Photos do not adequately capture the effect. Request printed samples to see the effect first hand.)
Need creative or technical advice on incorporating metallic inks into your next printing project?
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