A common question we get asked is if we can print neon colors.
The short answer is true fluorescent neons cannot be achieved with a basic CMYK printer. Read on to learn more about the topic of the wonderful world of neon and what options you have when it comes to printing.
Often the word “neon” is used interchangeably with “fluorescent”. When speaking in terms of printing, either word will suffice. Fluorescent (neon) colors are super bright because they contain pigments that absorb ultraviolet light that then reflects back out. The colors are UV reactive but in the world of digital print, this is harder to achieve. Rather, “neon” digitally printed colors print out as bright colors (as bright as you can get with CMYK).
Digital Printing with Neon Inks
Digital printers use CMYK to create colors within the printed artwork. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black ink cartridges work together to create colors. True neon colors are outside of the range that CMYK can print. To achieve a true neon color with a digital printer, these inks would have to be pre-mixed and have it’s own special ink cartridge within the printer. It can be done but is extremely un-common. Rather, a non-specialty digital printer will use CMYK colors to create something similar to neon colors.
If you’re looking for bright, non-neon colors within your artwork, our printing technology is great at converting a RGB document into CMYK without the use of a program like Adobe Illustrator to convert it for us. We recommend sending us a RGB to print from rather than a CMYK document. Often times, the colors that you are viewing on your screen in a RGB document will translate better!
Want a sticker that reacts to UV light? It’s possible to achieve by printing on neon colored vinyl material! The ink will still be a basic CMYK, but the material it’s being printed on will be a true neon and will react to a black light. We’ve compared this fluorescent vinyl with the Neon Pantone colors our printer is capable of!
Fluorescents are a bit tricky to capture with a camera, but here’s some shots to give you an idea of what they’ll look like under a blacklight!
We suggest using solid black artwork on top of this specialty vinyl- because the base color will greatly effect the colors being printed on top of it, it’s best to keep the color something simple like black. The more negative space your artworks contains, the more glow it will have! Curious as to how printing on specialty vinyls work? We have a blog post about it!
Still want to achieve a true neon/fluorescent sticker? Fluorescent inks pigments can be achieved via screen printed stickers! If you’re interested in screen printed stickers, our buddy RX Skulls is the best in the game! Visit his website here– tell ’em Sticker Ninja sent ya!
The wonderful world of neon!
We hope you are a little more knowledgable when it comes to how neons and fluorescents work! We look forward to turning your art into blacklight reactive stickers!! Got additional questions? We probably have answers! Ask away here.