Sign & Digital Graphics

June '19

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SPECIALTY IMAGING DIGITAL GRAPHICS appearance and mechanically depending on where the product is being used and ultimately trying to meet the criteria of the consumer." The Non-Traditional Inks It's not surprising when a company, or even an individual for that matter, decides to step outside the box and try something that's considered "against the grain." After all, isn't that how peanut butter and jelly sandwiches came to exist? With signage, there are styles and tech- niques that tend to put a different spin on what was once considered mainstream. In screen printing, non-traditional inks are the catalyst to such a movement. "There are many specialty inks avail- able that can provide some very creative results in many markets," tells Landrowski. "Glitters, specialty clears (like dry erase or anti-graffiti), chalkboard inks, thermo- chromic, hydrochromic, scents, floures- cents, imitation mirror, scratch off, and signature line whites." That's a very lengthy list, and one that Landrowski admits is probably omitting even more options. Steward points to others such as phos- phorescent, pearlescent, metallic, trans- parent, photochromic, thermoformable, conductive, non-conductive and more, such as "opaque ink films (that) require course mesh to lay down more ink, especially white or light colors over a dark substrate." So now it's easy to see how a once standard set of inks have been transformed to add more pizzazz to a print. "Specialty pigments and inks play a huge role in sign and graphics printing because these inks cannot be printed in most digital printers," Steward suggests, "and they add impact or functionality to the final product." Some of these options are used in more applications than others. They are very noticeable and bring an added dimension to the sign. "The most popular non-traditional ink for signage that I have seen over the last year is reflective ink," Marcotte says. "These are in high demand for signage, apparel, and most everything safety and sport related. Offering high visibility, reflective signage is a great upsell to almost any customer trying to make sure their signs either stand out or are better seen for safety concerns." Again, when dealing with any of these inks, sign mak- ers will want to consider not only the look of the final Flatbed graphics press for high tolerance print- ing and precision. (Image courtesy of The M&R Companies) Choosing the right inks is as important as storing inks properly. Make sure they are in a cool environment, not to exceed 72 degrees F. (Image courtesy of Total Ink Solutions) Specialty pigments and inks play a huge role in sign and graphics printing. 64 • June 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S

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