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Looking for a special printing technique for a poster in low batch

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  • Looking for a special printing technique for a poster in low batch

    Hi everyone, new to the forum. I am looking for a certain print result in a poster, but yet don´t know how to get there, so here´s my concern:

    This is the graphic we talk about here: (just a photoshop mock-up!):

    Click image for larger version

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    I want the final poster to look somewhat like this:

    Click image for larger version

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    So I´m aiming for a black in black graphic, base color in black matt, the applied graphic in glossy black. So now I really don´t know how to get there. Do I offset-print a poster all black matt? Do I then apply a clear coating via silk-screening to make it glossy where I need it? Or do I even use glossy black color?
    I wouldn´t even mind if the glossy part had a noticeable/ sensible offset to the matt part

    I think my mock-up is even a bit too contrasty, I guess I want the result to be a bit more „mysterious“, living by the reflections of the glossy part.

    Does anybody out there have a clue of what I am talking about? If so, I am veryvery curious for your answers!

    Thanks alot

  • #2
    How many of these do you plan on printing? Is the size roughly what you've shown (big)?

    There are a number of ways to do what you're wanting to do, but it depends on how much you want to spend and how many you want to print.

    If you're talking about several hundred or thousands, you could have them printed at on offset printing company, but depending on the final size, you'd be looking at using a large, expensive press. It would be prohibitively expensive just to print a few of them. This could be printed with black ink on a matte-finished paper, but to get an even, solid density, the black would need to be double printed (two layers of black ink). Then you'd want to protect all that black from scuffing, plus enhance the matte quality of it by printing a matte aqueous flood coating over the whole thing or, even, a matte varnish. To get the glossy imagery, gloss varnish or UV spot printing would be needed. You might even be able to find black paper stock that would eliminate the black ink step. This is the kind of out-of-the-ordinary printing job that you'd need to shop around and talk to a few offset printers about, though. What I've described would give you something very nice, with a rich tactile quality, but it wouldn't be cheap.

    For lower quantities, screen printing it would be a good option. Again, if you could find a good black stock to print it on, it might work best than laying down an even layer of ink over white stock. As with the offset printing I mentioned above, you could get the gloss part by screen printing a clear gloss coat over the black stock. For that matter, if you couldn't find the right black stock, you could lay down a solid layer of matte black, then print over it with a gloss black or gloss clear coat. Once again, though, this sort of thing is just enough out of the ordinary to require that you'd really need to discuss it with a few screen printing companies to get suggestions and to make sure that they're on the same page with the end results as what you want. The tactile qualities of what you're after are going to be important, and screen printing will give you that, but it will need to be done by someone who specializes in more artsy kinds of jobs, which might not be your local sign or t-shirt printing company.

    Finally, digital printing has come a long ways, but the clear gloss on black isn't exactly something digital is set up to do without resorting to some secondary procedures. Then again, each time I turn around some new digital method ends up surprising me. Really though, the rich, artsy, dense, tactile look you're going for, I think, might be best achieved with screen printing clear gloss over a matte-finished black stock. It would also likely be the cheapest method.


    • #3
      Do you want it to be paper?
      Is it fine art? (ie archival?)

      If the answer is no to both questions, find a sign shop with a UV direct to substrate printer that has spot varnish capability. (can be hard to find.)
      You could either print just the spot varnish on something that is already black (like 3mm PVC or if you want thinner a .030 matte black polycarb sheet) or you can flood the black onto any white substrate then do the spot varnish after (more expensive.) The fun thing with direct printing is the ink usually has a thickness to it, though you might have to ask for a double strike to get that high a relief. Depends on the print machine model and age.
      You could do a quantity of one for far far less than doing a silk screen.

      If it is fine art, I'd go silkscreen.


      • #4
        I've had some decent results printing onto uncoated black card using a black photocopier.

        This might be the cheapest, low run option out there. Get a test and see if you like the black toner on black card look. I've done it for book covers and business cards and the result was surprisingly nice considering how basic it was.
        It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh


        • #5
          You could actually probably print UV direct onto a heavy black cardstock, as long as the machine uses UV LEDs to cure the inks and not the high intensity, very hot UV lamps of the earlier machines (paper has been known to catch fire under the hot ones.) You give up some ink thickness though as the new machines lay down less ink. Double strike is always an option.


          • #6
            Hi Foxy Brown and welcome to GDF.

            We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
            Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.


            • #7
              This something paper reps used to address with their paper sample books. I have many examples of how to achieve this look on press from them. Do you work in print and have vendors you ask for sample?

              This could easily be done with a manual hand pulled silk screen as well.


              • #8
                Alright, that´s a lot of useful information there!
                Yes, I imagine it to be on paper, about 400x600 mm and it´s for an exhibition. Depending on time and cost I thought about 20 to 50 pieces. So I think I might begin to search for offset & silk-screen printing workshops nearby and listen to what they have to say.

                Thanks a bunch, you really helped me out to get a feeling from where to start


                • #9
                  For 20 to 50, I wouldn't spend anytime looking for offset printers. Printing that few would be nearly as expensive as printing 2,000. If it were me, I'd look into local traditional screenprinters.


                  • #10
                    Or a sign shop...






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