Do you want your business cards to stand out from the stacks of cards people collect? Using metallic inks is an innovative way to make that happen.
Metallic inks can add a lot of style, flair, and appeal when you are printing business cards. Something about the shine of the finished product and the way that the metal seems to come through the ink can mesmerize people. If you want a business card that is different, one that stands out from the rest, then these special inks can help you do it at a very affordable price.
Metallic and fluorescent inks are two very important secret weapons in the print designer’s arsenal, and they can be a lot of fun to work with.
Specialized inks may have special concerns or specific issues that regular inks do not. In addition to metallic options, there are also pearlized and fluorescent inks that are unusual enough to draw a second or even a third glance as well.
Tips for Using Metallic Inks on Business Cards
- Use a Varnish Coat over the Ink
Metallic inks include small particles of metal in a pigment that is close to the color of the metal being used. As the ink dries, these small particles will rise up to the surface of the ink. Over time, the particles may start to flake off, known as leafing. Putting a varnish coat over the ink can prevent this problem from occurring.
- Use an Experienced Printer
Before you start printing business cards make sure that you have the right printer for the job. Some print companies handle these orders on a regular basis, others may have little or no experience with these inks and techniques. You want a printer who knows these inks inside and out, and who has a lot of experience with them.
- Know your Metals and Price Differentials
The metals used in metallic inks are rarely gold and silver, even for these colors. Aluminum, copper, bronze, and zinc are the most common metals used. Some metallic options may be much more costly than others are, depending on the amount of research and technology that went into creating the ink product.
- Metal Particle Size
Process inks are different from metallic inks because of the particulates involved. Metallic options are opaque, with metal particles in the fluid. The size of the particles must be 25 microns or smaller for the ink to work on an offset press, and a smaller particle means less shine in the finished print.
- It’s a Balancing Act
Whether you are printing business cards or creating elegant invitations these inks do need a different balance of ink and water during the printing process than traditional inks. This means that a metal ink choice will be more difficult to use on press. Out of all the choices silver is the easiest metal to work with in ink because it is highly reflective.
- Metallic Inks take Longer to Dry
One important tip is that metallic inks benefit from a longer drying time. More time during the drying process means more of the metal particles have the opportunity to float to the surface of the ink, giving more shine and the desired metal appearance in the ink. This also contributes to flaking though, allowing the ink to rub off the surface of the paper.
- Use a Paper Stock that is Less Porous
When choosing metallic inks look for a stock that is the least porous possible. A general rule with this type of ink is that the softer and more porous a surface is the less the metal will shine through and create the desired effect. Soft porous stock will diminish the reflectivity of the metal particles in the ink.
- Coated Paper
When you are printing business cards that use this specialty ink, it is a good idea to use a coated paper for the best possible appearance and appeal. A gloss-coated stock is usually the best choice and will work better than matte coated or dull paper stock. A paper with a premium gloss coat combined with a high print gloss usually provides the best possible results.
- Consult with your Printer about Surfaces Used
If you are using metallic inks on a stock that is matte or that has no coating and you want to cover a large surface area then you may need to use more than one coat to get the desired effect. The printer that you have chosen can help you choose the right printing materials and discuss the specific processes that will be used on your order.
- Coatings may be more Problematic
Some special coatings, like lamination, may be more difficult or even impossible when metallic inks are used. The particles in the ink may prevent the coating from adhering to the surface of the item.
- Custom Inks
If you want a metal shine when you are printing business cards you can choose to have a custom ink created if you are willing to pay more for a unique look and custom product. Other inks and colors may be laid down on top of the metallic choice in some cases. Your printer can go over all your options with you.
Ready to go metallic? Las Vegas Color Graphics has got you covered. Call us today at 702.617.9000 to get started.