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by Nathan Swinson-Bullough

As many of you know, we recently installed a brand new printer at Imageco headquarters that has been helping us to execute some exciting new projects. The new Vutek GS3250LX Pro UltraDrop printer has a wide range of capabilities and print techniques that allow us to produce some diverse and high quality print projects for our clients. One of the new techniques which we are particularly excited about is the colour configuration which includes two whites for the multi-layer white facility. This makes it possible to use white ink in a variety of useful and creative ways for high-quality spec print projects, particularly backlit graphics.

What is white ink multi layered printing?

The white multi layered printing technique allows us to print three independent layers of high quality graphics on a single print run, giving us the ability to apply a wide range of image effect options, including overprinting, underprinting, spot imaging, underspot imaging, white flood/fill effects and overspot imaging.

It works by printing an image onto clear substrate, then a second CMYK file with a spot white channel which adds to the black’s richness while the colour bump adds impact. A third CMYK file with a spot white channel adds another layer of density while the white ink diffuses the colour bump areas. The contrast on both black and white and full colour images becomes much more dramatic and sharper resulting in a High Definition Print that stands out with a 3D affect and that wow factor.

What can I expect and how will it look?

White over as a post‐coat when printing on clear material is ideal for backlit printing. The white ink acts as a diffuser, spreading the light evenly for brighter, more evenly illuminated back‐lit displays. The process gives colours extra pop while allowing metallic substrates to show through for striking 3D affect results. Shape white on a top, bottom or middle layer is a truly unique capability which enables us to utilize a greatly extended range of creative materials and designs.

The resulting 3‐layer enhanced day to night backlit has a much greater visual impact, compared to standard backlit. Take a look at some of the recent work that we have done using the white ink multi-layered printing technique with backlit graphics.