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Can you print on black paper or other paper colors?

Yes, within certain limits.

Since Pantone inks are transparent, printing on off-white or colored stock will inevitably affect the color of the final impression.

You may specify opaque inks for printing on black or other colored stock, but we cannot provide guarantees of any kind.

With any relief printing process, the ink layer is very very thin (since otherwise, it squeezes out of the impression and looks horrible!) The brilliance of the color comes 99% (well, a lot, anyway) from reflection of light off the paper, returning back through the ink. So with any colored stock (not even black or very dark stock), the impression will always be subtle, with very little brilliance. This effect can be used with very beautiful results, subtle, rather mottled colors, overlaying each other in larger type and block matter. For small text and fine line, we don't find it very successful. Although the inks are "opaque,” there's simply not enough pigment in the ink layer!

You can also consider some other options:

  • “Blind” (inkless) impression on black or colored stock, preferably using double-thick or duplexed stock for best results.
  • Metallic inks can work for certain projects on dark stock. Metallic inks tend to be problematic, since they depend on the gloss of the surface behind them to become reflective. Since our fine paper stocks are made of soft 100% cotton or rag fiber, we generally avoid metallic inks. Having said that, we've recently been impressed by the quality of a new silver metallic ink on dark stocks. This ink is extremely opaque, and on dark stock has a brilliance impossible to achieve with standard opaque inks.
  • Hot-stamping foil and film. We are happy to quote foil stamping as part of your project. Currently, we outsource foil stamping to a trusted partner who offers multiple foil colors in both matte and shiny finishes. For metallics, foil stamping is the only option which provides a true 'specular reflection'. Film-stamping has the advantage of being perfectly opaque, but the disadvantage of looking high-tech (plastic) and rather impersonal, also the color choices are limited in small quantities.

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