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The Great White Way

(January 2011) posted on Tue Jan 11, 2011

Opportunities abound for shops with white-ink capabilities.

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Should white ink be in your future? It’s a question more providers of wide-format digital services will need to entertain if they hope to remain competitive in years ahead. Early adopters of digital print systems with white-ink capabilities report growing interest in these services, whether or not their clients fully understand all that printing with white allows — particularly once they see examples.

Then they begin thinking in terms of the visual possibilities. Wide-format specialists routinely use terms like “...broadens our horizons....,” “... opens new doors...,” and “...allows new levels of creativity...” to describe the impact of printing with white ink on their business.

As evident in the range of brief project and company profiles that follow, these shops are employing white ink to deliver a range of digitally printed solutions that just weren’t possible before. Each job establishes new applications for the technology. After all, with white ink, any material, regardless of original hue — wood, stone, metal, film — can be transformed into a blank canvas for color digital printing.

Ultimate Image Printing: giant iPhones a home run
Visitors to Major League Baseballs’ 2010 All-Star Game Week FanFest festivities couldn’t miss the giant iPhones at the Anaheim Convention Center last summer. Impressive and lifelike as those giant smartphones were, they also served as a telling example of the advantages of printing with white ink.

“If we didn’t have white-ink capabilities, we wouldn’t have been able to make them look so real,” reports Hemal Ratanjee, owner of Ultimate Image Printing ( in Costa Mesa, California. “When the client saw the final results, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

Ultimate Image’s Mimaki JF-1631 sheetfed UV press features white-ink printing and can handle media up to two-inches thick and offers maximum print resolution of 1200 dpi. Ultimate Imaging employs that, along with a pair of Seiko digital printers, to produce graphics for vehicle wraps, trade shows, retail accounts and area ad agencies. “We’re not a huge company, but we’re known for the quality and reliability of our work,” he says.

Referrals from satisfied clients helped garner an invite from Major League Baseball to submit what proved to be the winning bid to provide the digital graphics for the five-day Fanfest celebration. It was a showcase for all Ultimate Imaging can do: banners, signs, displays, floor graphics, daily event announcements – more than 20,000 square feet of digital prints.