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Digital Gold

What’s the difference between silver and gray? How about gold and tan? If you’ve ever tried to incorporate gold and silver into a design or print piece, you know that without the essential reflective, metallic element, you simply end up with gray or tan.
To print metallic colors, you need to print using metallic ink. Until very recently, this meant printing on an offset press, as opposed to digital. While digital and offset printing each have their own sets of pros and cons, there’s no doubt that digital is significantly less expensive for shorter runs. Offset printing, however, allows you to print spot inks – including gold and silver metallic – while digital printing limits you to the CMYK color space.
CMYK does a great job producing nearly every color in the spectrum, but the sparkle that makes colors feel truly metallic can’t be accomplished. For example here are two common CMYK interpretations of “gold” and “silver.”

Gold and silver look like flat tan and gray in the CMYK color space, without the reflective metallic look.

Gold and silver look like flat tan and gray in the CMYK color space, without the reflective metallic look.

Leaves a lot to be desired, no? So for decades, if you wanted true metallic colors, you printed on offset. And if you had a shorter run, this cost might have been prohibitively expensive.

In 2015, new advances in digital printing now make it possible to print digitally using true metallic inks, with all the glitter and sparkle that makes golds gold and silvers silver. What does this mean to you? It means even the smallest job can get that special touch of gold or silver that’s so essential. Take a look at how adding metallic to these digital prints makes them shine:

Digital printing with gold metallic ink.

Digital printing with gold metallic ink.

Digital printing with gold metallic ink.

Need ideas for creative ways to use metallic ink in your printing? Consider:

• Seals on official documents and certificates
• Highlight images, and text in marketing collateral
• Product packaging

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