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How metallic printing is transforming print special effects

15 August 2019

In every job there are inevitably aspects that you love doing, whilst other elements may appear ‘mundane’ for you!

We’d all love more of the functions that generate the natural enthusiasm and pleasure for us – in print design, every designer loves the opportunity to work on projects that offer the chance to indulge in special effects. Often, however, these projects can be restricted by both time and costs, as the processes required for these effects are neither straightforward nor cheap!

The development of metallic digital printing offers new opportunity, at affordable prices, to achieve those extra-special looks and outcomes for your printing projects.

What metallic digital printing does

With metallic printing you can now easily combine stunning four-colour imagery with another one or two speciality dry inks in a single printing pass. This development allows these effects to be applied to even the shortest runs and personalised printing, without the time and cost overheads that would have been previously incurred on such an undertaking. 

Metallic digital printing uses CMYK, plus two types of special effects simultaneously:

  • Real metal effects provide high definition ‘sparkle’ in silver, or gold, metallic colours which can be used individually, or layered with CMYK to create brilliantly iridescent palettes
  • Clear spot, or flood effects, produce spectacular results by highlighting page content with high definition emulsion aggregate clear dry ink spot or flood embellishments.

The process can be achieved in a single pass, which means that the different inks register very tightly, unlike other print technologies, which are much more labour intensive.

The difference to other methods

Traditional methods, such as Foil Stamping, undoubtedly produce some stunning and beautiful outputs – it is, however, labour-intensive and time-consuming. It requires multiple runs to achieve any multi-colour design. It is also cost-prohibitive and only applicable to a somewhat narrow range of products, as it can only be applied to static elements.

Metallic printing can be applied to any job element, and provides a wide variety of metallic effects and enhancements. It is more versatile as it can be applied to either static or variable jobs, can be printed at the same rate as CMYK-only jobs (120 pages per minute) and requires no further effort, nor time, in set-up or drying!   

This process now provides a platform for a whole new approach to print design and a new level of design flexibility – digital print can now be treated as a ‘must have’ option for your project as opposed to, what may previously have been considered, a luxury!

Metallic printing at Instaprint

Instaprint has completed the installation of Iridesse production press which introduces new capabilities to produce an array of special UV printing effects.

Our expanding print services now includes a high level of design flexibility using amazing colours and metallic print that can be applied to specific areas or an entire sheet. Gold and silver dry inks can be layered with CMYK colours to create vibrant effects, metallic gradients, photographic enhancements and more.

Read our metallic digital printing guide for information on the capabilities and artwork set up.

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