ThinkDon is our periodic Question and answer forum with expertise in the world of large format package printing by our VP of Manufacturing, Don Ellis.

ThinkDon - From Huston Patterson Printers

ThinkDon is our periodic Question and answer forum with expertise in the world of large format package printing by our VP of Manufacturing, Don Ellis.

In your experience, what areas of concern do we need to consider when using metallic inks?

There are several things to keep in mind regarding this type of ink. Metallic ink contains metallic particles that rise to the surface of the ink during the drying process. These metallic particles reflect light and create the metallic appearance. Common metals used to manufacture metallic ink include aluminum, copper, bronze or zinc.
  1. To achieve the full effect of a metallic appearance, designers should avoid using metallic ink in small type, thin lines or areas with less than 50% screening. A small amount of coverage simply does not allow enough of the metal to rise to the surface and reflect enough light to appear metallic.
  2. Metallic ink is opaque and generally is not printed over other inks.
  3. Metallic ink should be printed on coated stock. Uncoated stock allows the ink to absorb into the stock and less of the metal to rise to the surface.
  4. Metallic ink is more expensive than conventional ink, and requires slightly longer make ready and wash-up time on press.
  5. Metallic inks are available in numerous colors as well as the traditional silver and gold metallic colors.
  6. It is also possible to print Metallic Silver or Metallic Gold as a base and then print process ink, which is transparent, over the metallic ink to achieve a wider range of metallic appearing colors.(commonly referred to as MetalFX Ink Technology)