White Inks + Colored Papers = Bright Prospects

We all know everyone loves color, but did you know it has proven effects on behavior? Research consistently shows color’s pivotal role in marketing. Studies by Color Communications, Inc., reveal that people make a subconscious judgment on a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing — and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone. So how do you help your customers make a statement on colored papers? Introduce them to white ink.

Digital white vs. traditional white

What’s different about printing white inks digitally compared to litho-printing them? Traditional white inks are too translucent to get a true, bright, solid white without several passes through the press… and then you can wind up with registration problems. But when HP developed ElectroInk White — the first white ink developed specifically for digital sheet-fed presses — they created it to print as true white on colored paper. Printing digitally, multiple impressions can be made on press to increase the visual impact.

Endless creative options

The ability to print amazing whites with HP Indigo ElectroInk White expands the capabilities of your digital press, opens the door to new business opportunities, and presents a wider range of creative possibilities. Think about printing business cards with white type on rich colored papers. How about using the white ink as a background, placing four-color images on top? Finally, consider the ability to print vibrant images on colored stocks.

What else? How about:

Winning wedding invitations: Brides want their invitations to be remembered. Create a new demand for four-color images and white type on colored paper.

Striking labels: Create a rich, solid, color-matched label — no need to worry about making the type stand out. Mohawk Pressure Sensitive is the perfect fit.

Dynamic direct mail: White ink on colored stock makes variable data printing pop off the page.

Economical security applications: You can use ElectroInk White on white paper to create a subtle watermarked appearance.

Packaging:  Digitally printed packaging on transparent or colored substrates.

So who wants to print with white ink?

Every designer you’ve ever met, that’s who. But until recently, the limitations for printing on colored papers led designers to pursue specialty processes like foil stamping or blind embossing. The advent of HP Indigo ElectroInk White  has opened a path where designers once dared not tread… but one where they’re now ready to run.

Designer Kathrin Blatter, principal at Rabbit Factor, had her first digital white ink experience recently. “I had some concerns about how it would print, as I had previously printed white ink on kraft paper on an offset press: Even with two hits of white, it never got bright enough to really pop. For this digital project, we attempted to print white on an almost black sheet — it can’t get much trickier than that. But then I saw the test… wow, a whole world opened up!”

Blatter says while she was originally uncertain about the technology, she trusted her print rep, Heather Hitchcock from Watermark Press. “One handy thing is, it’s very easy to run a print test on a digital press,” says Blatter. “I’m convinced. The possibilities are endless with this process, and the effect from using beautiful paper with white ink is astonishing. Using colored stock always makes for a much richer experience.”

Papers made for white ink

Mohawk’s Studio Collection is an assortment of white-ink compatible i-Tone papers formulated for HP Indigo digital presses. The collection includes a wide range of colors and textures, from Rhodamine red to Deep Blue to Coco and Midnight Black, with matching envelopes.

TIPS for using white ink effectively
– White inks, colored papers and digital printing were made for each other. Traditional litho can’t produce bright, opaque whites on colored paper without multiple passes.
– Designers and other creative customers have been waiting for this combination; they love the idea of printing white on colored paper, and digital makes it practical.
– White ink on colored paper is perfect for business cards, wedding invitations, labels, direct mail… and countless other applications.
Mohawk’s Studio Collection and Pressure Sensitive substrates offer an infinite variety of effects.

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Comments (3)

  1. Posted by nancy k (Hidden Forest Studio) on 10.28.15 at 3:03 pm

    This sounds great – but how do I find a printer who can do this? (Detroit, MI area)

  2. Posted by Joe Schember on 10.30.15 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for asking. You can use our Find a Printer Tool online and search by “Digital Special Inks (white ink, dimensional, clear, etc.)”:

    If you want a personal recommendation you can email us at makeready (at) mohawkpaper.com and we’ll connect you with one of our local sales reps to make a connection.


  3. Posted by Colton Nelson on 5.7.16 at 10:59 pm

    I have a pdf document that I would like printed in white ink on astrobright colored paper. Would you be able to take the document which was printed with traditional black characters and reprint it on the astrobright paper in white ink?

    https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nyp.33433045488917;view=thumb;seq=117 This link goes to a list of pages I want printed, if you can do it or reccomend someone, I will select the pages to be printed.

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