¡! need ink (other than metallic) for dark stock !¡

I desperately need help in regards to finding some ink or ink combination to be letterpressed on dark card stock, besides metallic ink!! If the world were a perfect place, taupe/tan/camel ink would appear when letterpressed on dark stock. For specifics, the card stock being used is Gilbert Oxford Smoked for a business card. Perhaps there is another process that would work alongside the letterpress that could be used as a base for a second ink run? I don’t even know what I’m talking about but I’m definitely feeling the pressure from my client! Any help or advise would be incredibly appreciated!! Thank you so much!

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Updated. Remember the paper or base is what reflects back what the eye sees. If you are using a press that will give good register, then a couple passes through the press with Opaque white perhaps. Then a final printing pass with (opaque white with a dab of tan to tint it, mixed well). I think that might give the look you are searching for. If not quite dark or subtle enough, a run of varnish over that. Of course the number of runs and the labor intensity may be prohibitive. Be sure to allow the ink to set before doing additional runs.

Running dark sheets through the press at the end of runs, when time allows, builds a library of effects to refer to. Be sure to make a few notes on the sheets.

thanks, calvinc! you’re the best! i’ll let you know how it goes!

Ink is just too transparent to print on darker paper most of the time if what you want is to get the actual color of the ink in the end.

You MIGHT try printing silver and then overprinting the color you want. You might try printing the color you want mixed with some silver or perhaps bronze or gold. You might try multiple printings to help get you to a tolerable level but you’ll waste a lot of prints with misregistrations.

I saw a beautiful poster done by a letterpress printer named Alan Kitching in London. It was for Hamlet and as I remember it was printed on black. The type was printed SEVEN times in white. You have to have serious registering ability to accomplish that.

Another way to possibly do something like this (unless you are in a real hurry) is print the background and reverse out the type. You could print the type in a color first with just a kiss impression so you don’t leave any line around the color (I’m thinking this is a reverse and fit kind of printing). Then print the ‘Smoked’ color as the background. If you get a fairly deep impression you’ll get raised letters. You could also just print on paper that was the ‘taupe/tan/camel’ color you want for the type.

As a designer myself it is important to say that as soon as you want dark paper you have to design to get something. Not want something and print to get it.

Honestly, if you were doing this offset you couldn’t do it either on the dark stock. You would have to print both the type and the background color.

Good luck with it.

Your advice is extremely helpful. Now I’m moving forward. Thank you!

Updated. Everything that has been said is great advice.

What type of press are you using? If it’s a flat bed press then you’ll be able to get more ink down on a paper then printing from a platen press. But you also may get some distressed looking areas if your trying to print a large area and if your knocking out type then the type may plug up.

The platen press won’t lay enough solid ink down for that large area of coverage, a flatbed press is better.

If it’s a flatbed press print on tan stock with knocked out type then come back and print the type registered with no ink so it will give you a debossed effect.

Trying to put allot of pressure on a large area will yield little effect of the type punching up. Too much pressure on a platen and to much force on a flatbed is not good for either press.

Thank you, lots to consider! I’m finding out there’s more to this than just a simple answer! I’m off to do more research on my end! Thanks again! I really appreciate your help!

It is not letterpress but screenprinting works fine on dark stock.

Satisfactory printing of light text on a dark background is difficult to impossible with almost any printing process except foil stamping and, as mentioned, screen printing. You always want to be extremely cautious about accepting any job where the client wants light type on dark stock, as it shows they have no understanding of printing.

One other possible technique, in addition to all the good ones mentioned above, is thermograving. Although thermo powder is normally clear, it’s also available in a huge range of colors. Therm-O-Boss is my favorite supplier. Good luck with the job!