The Sign Industry has been looking at the ability to use white and metallic inks for many years. Not until recently, has the equipment technology and ink chemistry started to catch up. Offset printing has used white ink for many years, but has not been the focus for the Sign Industry.
The Digital Sign Industry has used white medias or substrates to overcome the inability to print with white ink. White ink allows printing on a colored substrate, which normally will bleed through images and change the final colors. Not a good idea! The cost of white ink can be three times that of the other CMYK colors.
Then there are the Metallic Inks, just starting to surface in the Sign Industry. Metallic ink requires specialized printing equipment and again the cost is very high. Add to this, metallic ink slows the printing process by 85%, reducing output and adding cost.
White and Metallic Inks are now available for the Digital Printing Industry. Are they viable options at this point considering the added cost verses the benefit? The interest is there for some very specific application projects, but the additional costs are difficult to justify for many applications. That will change in the next couple years as technology and demand help reduce costs. Until then, be patient and create with proven alternatives.
Did you know that we can print to specialized metallic vinyl substrates? Faster turn around and more cost effective.