Digital print onto metallic substrates

On a few occasions we’ve had designers approach us with two conflicting requirements. They have a budget that will not move and a need for reflective, metallic effects on their packaging, particularly with carton packaging. This happened only last week here at MPH.

We quoted for a straight forward, process digital print with a backing white spot colour produced on our digital press, the cost effective option.

Halfway house was digital print with mixed post-processes such as traditionally printed varnishes and foiling, nearly as close as the real production packaging.

The money no object option was a traditionally printed mockup using our flatbed, wet-proofing printing press using HD digital photopolymer* letterpress printing plates and hot foil stamping creating the ultimate, wet-proof prototype that can be presented to clients and given to a printer as a target to reach.

*The same kit that produces the flexographic printing plates in a real production situation, the machine images both types.

Metalics

Back on point. The designer was so concerned about it; they had felt the need to send two Adobe illustrator artwork files to me, one the standard artwork that would be used for final repro and another where the reflective effect was mimicked with half-tone gradients. Their concern was well founded as indeed, digital print onto standard white carton board was not very effective and the gradient version not much better.

The solution

A technique we employed enabled the print to be standard, no trick gradients and produced in a cost effective digital process print. The difference was that the carton board had been coated and thus made reflective. Some tweaks to the client’s artwork by our skilled artwork operator and a very effective printed result was reached, within budget and looking very close to a high end production piece with metallic inks and foils.

Contact us if you think we can help you with your project.

Digital print = fast turnaround

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Packaging samples are very important at the beginning of a project but do I need printing press accurate samples? Not always. Digital printing has come a long way in recent years, particularly with the sophistication of the RIP’s on offer.

At the more cost effective end, we sometimes employ several digital printing devices for low volume, very fast turnaround packaging samples. These tend to be used when authenticity isn’t of as much importance to a client but rather rapid 24 hour turnaround packaging is. Pictured above is one of our devices that can accurately mimic spot colours if required and will be best used with self adhesive labels and small cartons. Other digital printers we use offer much larger web printing and this can digitally print special colours, whites plus varnishes onto a wide variety of substrates and materials.