How White Ink is Changing the Way we Print

White is one of the most basic colors when it comes design, seeing as it pairs with literally every color of the rainbow. Signs have always been made with white on them, so white ink isn’t that crazy… Right?

Wrong.

White ink has been revolutionized the sign industry, but not without difficulties. Creating a white ink formula has proven to be a challenge considering that the best pigment material to create white is titanium dioxide, which is much heavier than the pigments used in other colored inks and prevents it from staying in liquid form. This means that most white ink printers have to go through special processes to circulate the ink when it’s not in use so as to keep the solution mixed. On top of that, the titanium dioxide used in white ink requires a greater mass/volume proportion than other inks to achieve optical density.

UV curable white inks offer an alternative that doesn’t require such a complicated process to use. However, the ink does still need to be heated by the print head and requires more time to set than most colored inks.

With the revolution of white inks, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the new opportunities that it offers when it comes to designing your sign.

  1. Create a reflective surface for other colors to be printed on.

 

  1. Print on to a clear background.

If you’ve ever seen stickers on the back of someone’s car proudly displaying their schools name or their child’s sport, or depicting a little stick figure representation of their family, you can usually credit it to the development of white ink.

 

Aside from jazzing up the back of your car, one very useful form of this development is to create clear pages with information printed on it in white. This can be used to create a layering effect that can simply add an extra dimension to your presentations appearance or it can be used to show the different levels of information; separately on each page, then coming together as a whole.

 

  1. Print on top of dark colors.

This is particularly prevalent when dealing with textiles; white ink allows t-shirt companies to print on top of a black t-shirt. However, when it comes to textiles there’s much more to consider than simply what the color is going to look like after printing. It also has to withstand a great deal of wear and washes and be able to hold its color.

 

Much more prevalent to the sign industry, white ink allows lettering to be printed on virtually any color you can think of. Instead of only being able to use white as a background color, you are now able to design a sign that uses a dark background and white ink.

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