Over the past few weeks, we have had a chance to talk about foiling and letterpress as well as digital printing. Although these are by far the most common forms of printing methods, there are a few others that we employ in order to get orders completed!
Let’s talk about them!
This is a printing method used for signage and other large-format items as seen in the sign in the image above. Although it can easily be used on paper, it one of the few printing methods that work for non-paper media like acrylic, metal, wood and glass. Due to the fact that many non-paper media do not have an “absorption rate”, inks tend to dry differently on these substrates. If standard forms of digital printing are used, smearing will occur as the ink cannot dry properly.
UV printing uses the same CMYK printing methods that digital printing does, however it uses a specific ink (much like a gel) that dries almost instantly under ultraviolet light, much like the UV light used to set gel nail sets.
This method creates beautiful artwork that can be weather resistant (depending on the base material) and is perfect for outdoor and indoor signage!
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Did you know that ink, in general, is a coloured, but transparent liquid? It is almost identical in properties to food colouring. Because our base papers tend to be white, we see these colours most vibrantly. The changing of the base colour of the paper away from white will shift how our eyes will view that colour. Also, on white or light papers we are able to print around areas of text, creating the illusion of “white text”. (This also applies to laser printers, even though the “ink” is actually a powder.)
However, for printing on dark backgrounds, or clear substrates, the transparent properties of the ink will make any printing either less visible or not visible at all. Think of taking a water colour paint to a window. You would be able to see the colour, but you would also be able to see through the colour to the other side. If you used a dark watercolour paint on a dark paper, your visibility of the painted item would be reduced.
In these cases, a thick, whiteout-like ink is then required to act as a blocker/base to either create that white text look or allow the text on your clear acrylic to stand out. This white ink is also a UV light-cured substance, and, because it is a thicker substance, comes with a higher price tag.
Vinyl cut lettering
This method is not so much printing but cutting. It does get used for signage or other pieces of information that will be adhered directly to the wall or backing material.
A special machine is used to cut the design out of a flat, sticker-like material. The unwanted vinyl (what you don’t want to see) is then peeled away in a process called weeding, and then a thin layer of adhesive (matting or transfer tape) is added on top to keep the items together when you peel the backing off to stick it on the background.
This can give beautiful results, but you are limited to colours, some sizes and finishes. Depending on size, you may also require a professional installer to come in to mount it, and this should not be used on backgrounds like painted walls if they are easily chipped or damaged.
Love these styles? Contact us if you would like to use them in your wedding!