Tone-on-tone white and black inks

We have a lot of requests for blind (inkless) impression with letterpress plates. However, a tonal ink is often something we suggest rather than a truly blind impression. If the stock being printed does not lend itself to deep impression, the artwork needs some legibility or the art work is on both sides of the sheet, a blind hit can be ill advised. The amount of impression needed to clearly read a completely blind hit will create impression show through on the reverse side of the printed piece. One of the ways we get around this is to mix a tonal ink, shown here on both black and white business card samples. By printing a tone, we can lessen the impression and dial up the legibility a bit.

The black stock is 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black. It is letterpress printed with a black and silver ink mix.

The white stock is 220lb Crane Lettra Flo. White. It is letterpress printed with opaque white ink contaminated with 877 silver.

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    • That’s a great tip! Thanks!

    • Keep these coming, Beastpiecers. I’m getting edgumacadted. In all seriousness you guys are seriously impressive! Hey, that’s a good tagline for you! No charge.

    • Hey Ben – -

      Did you consider black on black? We’ve had some great success with it in our shop…

    • We print black on black quite a bit, and also use just plain trans white varnish on black too. However, when some additional legability is needed rather than just a print effect we like mixing in a little 877 silver.

    • Thank you so much for posting your processes and tips. Beastpieces has now become an invaluable resource in explaining and providing examples of how things could look to clients. One thought regarding this post would be to show an image of the blind impression as well. I think the request for it is often made because of its subtlety . thanks for the prolific postings.
      cheers

    • Looks fantastic, and thanks for sharing this tip!