We are used to creating graphic design, to see it, to evaluate it. We are used to touching the paper and assess its characteristics, its weight, it’s color. We are used to thinking about formats and products, content, photographs, and packaging. We are used to observing and evaluating print quality, but we never stop to think about the inks that allow the design to come alive on paper. What gives life to the impression and makes it visible is the ink. And yet, we know it little.
The first distinction to be made when talking about inks used in a printing factory (โรงพิมพ์, which is the term in Thai) is between small format, which is carried out by offset or digital printing on paper, and large format, which becomes an actuality through digital printing with other inks.
Small Format Printing
The offset printing procedure does not use pantone or other types of flat inks but is based on the four-color composition. For final finishes, UV pigments of sensitive pigment could be used. When using the digital printing procedure, HP’s EPM (Enhanced Productivity Mode) system is used, capable of using only three inks (CMY) and generating black (K).
Large Format Printing
Here, the thing is complicated, because part of the large format materials must be able to be used in outdoor spaces and, therefore, UV inks resistant to light will be used. Also, exclusive finishes are offered, thanks to the incorporation of specific polymers in the printing inks to obtain a 3D effect and laminates in gold and silver. Only for a printing on methacrylate, which is a see-through material, white ink is used.
Finally, here are a couple of useful tips for preparing print files so that you can take full advantage of the quality of the inks.
- It is advisable to create texts in pure black; Black control is often underestimated when modeled with programs such as Word, which do not have a color control panel.
- It is advised not to reduce the percentage of ink to less than 5%, that is, not to make colors, especially gray, since you risk not being well perceived on the paper.