Opaque White on Black Stock

A friend of mine recently ran a job on Epic Black Classic Crest Cover. He intent was to get the most dense and opaque white image that he could. He used VanSon Opaque White ink. The attached photo shows his results.
The top version was a single hit. The second was three consecutive hits without removing the sheet from the guides, (he was running a 12 x 18 C&P). The bottom sheet was done by printing the sheet again once it was dry, know as dry trapping, which clearly would give the best result. We know that opaque inks will never give the look of foil or silk screening but I believe this is the best you can ever get using letterpress.
Another technique is to print silver ink first and then over print the white when the silver is dry. This technique does require some serious registration ability.

image: BlackOpaque white.jpg

BlackOpaque white.jpg

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I don’t know all the details of this job and would not presume to suggest that it could have been done here, but…….don’t forget that one other option for some jobs would be to print the solid black, with the type dropped out, on white stock.

This approach would be much easier if you had a press with a really good inking system, and preferably a cylinder press. It would also work better, the smoother the stock was, and if the black area wasn’t too big. If you did this, you couldn’t get a deep impression for the type, of course.


I get the dry trapping thing. But how was the image of the earth printed, inkjet? silkscreen?


Thought someone might ask. I thought about cropping it out since it has nothng to do with the discussion.
He cheated on that part, it was done digitally and attached in a unique way that is not apparent in the picture.

I was once tasked with printing a light tan ink on dark brown cover. I think we did 3 or 4 passes of Van Son Opaque White to make a reflective base for the color, then finished up with 1 pass of the light tan.

To deal with the issue of registration, we used two plates. The white plate was exposed with a slight “spread” made by placing a sheet of clear mylar between the negative and the plate.

The tan plate was exposed using normal procedure. The white did give us a good reflective base for the tan, and the small amount of white that was trapped outside of the tan simply “disappeared” (to the eye) with the tan and dark brown so close to it.

The option - as referred to above - of doing a reverse by printing the background color simply was not practical. Besides, small type has a tendency to fill in when doing a reverse like this.

The best result for this small type would indeed be achieved through foil stamping, but this the best way to do it with ink.

Looks good. Congratulations