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White-Hot

(March 2014) posted on Mon Mar 10, 2014

Six shops exploring the expanding universe of white-ink applications.


By Mike Antoniak

click an image below to view slideshow

In one recent project, the Arizona printer was used to transform the look of four clear panels. The client specializes in sales environments promoting area real estate development; the sales center required an interactive display to explain key features and allow buyers to customize their homes.

The design called for four Arkema p95 frosted acrylic panels, 96-inches high and in various widths, from 33 to 42 inches. Each had to be printed in a different color to convey its focus on a particular aspect of the development. The colors were printed on the reverse side, then backed with 100-percent white.

An adhesive promoter was applied around the edges on the back of each panel. “Ink adhesion with white can be a problem, especially when printing on a surface like glass,” Cook notes. “We get around that issue by applying the adhesion promoter – just around the edges; otherwise sometimes there are streaks.”

Text and logos were printed on the front of each panel, in white or, alternately, with a white base applied first, and color printed on top of it. Photos used were printed with the company’s LightJet, then mounted onto 3A Composites Sintra panels. Like the touch-screens, they were mounted to the panels with spacers for a 3D effect.

“If we didn’t have the white ink, the panels would be transparent and look like stained glass,” Cook says.
Artisan Colour continues to find other applications for white-ink capabilities as well, including some large projects on a small scale. “We do custom printings of as many as 500 poker chips for area casinos,” Cook reports. “We precut disks from blue, black, green Sintra, spray a keyline file on the table, and manually place and flip them. It’s not the most efficient process, he admits, “but it’s better registration for things with a thin white border.”

Helping brands express their technology
Originally a design firm that specialized in brand building, 54blue (www.54blue.com) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, initially expanded into print work to take control of its workflow.

“We had to eliminate the back-and-forth and proofing stages to meet the timelines of our clients,” says 54blue owner and founder Jamie Calon. “We’re a little company that does marquee work. We don’t print a lot but what we do print gets seen.”


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