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FLEXO Magazine : March 2014
image into a UV varnish are making foils less expensive to use and more repeatable. Proofing the effect of a metallic has always been difficult— nearly impossible—with modern inkjet printers. Today, we have more options. Solvent inkjet printers from the signage world often include a silver and a white ink. The silver can be overprinted with the other colors to match the metallic ink or foil being used, allowing for the close color match to many metallic inks and foils. However, many of these devices are CMYK plus white and silver only, meaning a perfect color match is sometimes difficult, especially for spot colors. Despite that, many proof providers find the “ wow ” factor of a proof that shimmers in the light to outweigh the lack of perfect color accuracy. If color accuracy is a must, there are some solvent printers with or- ange and green inks that expand the color space of the device, allowing it to match more colors. Another alternative is an aqueous inkjet device with CMYK, light cyan, light magenta, orange, green and white ink. The light inks of this device create smooth gradients and the orange and green ink expand the color space to help match the press more closely. While this device can’t print a metallic ink, it can print on a metallic film. Clever use of the white can be used to simulate the effect of a metallic on a white background. SPECIAL MATERIALS Holographic foils are increasingly popular in the packaging market for added shelf appeal and eye catching designs. Advancing technologies and new patterns are creating more opportunities for holographic foils to be used. Some of the biggest boom in the use of holographic foils comes from their ability to deter counterfeiting. With the rise in the global market and the growth of brands, counterfeiting is becoming an increasingly large business. Holography pro- vides brand protection in more ways than just being difficult to reproduce. New technology can embed product information, including a unique serial number, into the hologram used on each label or package. As brand protection becomes more important, more consumer product companies are going to require the use of holographic images. Similar to metallic ink, proofing these effects is nearly im- possible with traditional means. New UV LED inkjet printers offer a solution. These devices use UV curable inks to print on almost any substrate, including holographic material. These devices often have white and clear ink as well. The UV ink is cured immediately, allowing the printer to lay down multiple passes of the same or different ink on top of one another. The designer can choose to build up an area using clear and then print white or color over it to simulate an emboss or deboss on the material. The UV lamps on these printers are cool LEDs and there- fore produce very little heat. This allows films straight from the production line to be run through with little to no distor- tion. Now the proof or prototype can be printed directly onto the final material that will be used in the job. Some of the de- vices can be driven by high end color management software to simulate press color as well. Many UV LED inkjet printers are still limited to CMYK, which does limit color matching, especially in spot colors, but they are the only inkjet printers on the market that can print on stock from the press without an extra coating. TACTILE ELEMENTS Package design will continue to evolve and change to entice consumers. A study by Affinnova, its Vodka Packaging Design Audit, showed that newer vodka brands are gaining market share with innovative and exciting packaging alone. Golf ball box printer on a UV LED device using the clear ink to create texture. Photo courtesy of Anderson & Vreeland These beer labels were printed on a solvent printer using CMYK and metallic ink. Photo cour tesy of Roland DGA Corp. 46 FLEXO MARCH 2014 www.flexography.org