Specialty Vinyl Printing: How it works

Published September 18, 2019

Written By
Lourdes Hernandez

We offer a number of specialty vinyls to make your art come to life in a variety of different ways!

This post will explain how our printing process for these vinyls work, and how you can manipulate your artwork to best utilize the material.

Understanding how basic printing works 

Let’s first begin with how printing from the monitor to the printer works! Let’s take a look at some art and breakdown what is actually getting printed.

Take note on the white space within the artwork on this file. The red arrows indicate all the white space.


White space within artwork does not actually get printed. The computer/printer reads this space as negative space and no ink is being used in those spots when it’s being printed. When printed on regular white material, this negative space will be white. If you were to load up a different color material (for example a red paper), this space will be red instead of white.

 

Vinyl 

This leads us to our next topic- vinyl! We print on top of durable vinyl material, and most of the time this material is white for all our basic kiss/die cut stickers.

Vinyl also comes in many different colors and options. We load up our printer with big rolls of these special vinyls and print directly on top of these materials. The negative/white space in your artwork that we mentioned above, will now default to these colors. The negative space in your artwork will now translate to a holographic/glow-in-the-dark/chrome/clear depending on which option you want to print on!

Other colors in your artwork will be effected by the vinyl color as well. Your colors will take on the effect of the vinyl- a yellow color will become a holographic-y yellow, a red will be a chrome colored red, and so on.

 

Printing with white ink 

With these specialty vinyls we have the option of using white ink! White ink is another ink cartridge that some printers have. Printers will only print the white ink if it’s a spot color within the artwork prep.

White ink will block out the effects of the material it is printed on. We can pick and choose where we want the white ink to be placed on the artwork to create really neat effects with the artwork! How it works is the printer first prints out the layer of white ink for your artwork, followed by printing out the colors in your artwork directly on top of it. Let’s take a look at how the white ink layer was prepped for the artwork above using 3 different styles of white ink and how it translates to its final sticker form!

Example 1:


 
The white ink layer is represented with a gray color (so we can actually see it!). The white ink layer is around the artwork and not behind any of the colors. This will allow the colors to take on the holographic effect! Remember, any white space in your artwork will take on the holographic vinyl color!

 

Example 2:


 
In example 2, there is no white ink layer at all. The artwork is directly printed on top of the special material so you get a blend of the pure holographic color along with the printed colors reacting to the holographic.

 

Example 3:


For this example the white ink layer is completely behind the cat’s face which will block out the effects of the holographic material behind any of the artwork and cause the negative space in the image to be white.

 

File Prep

There isn’t anything special that needs to be done for these specialty stickers! Upload your artwork as normal. Providing the highest res image you have available is helpful for us when it comes to create the white ink layer but not necessary. We have a team of talented designers who are ready to prep your artwork for print! Let us know in the order notes what you are picturing for the specialty vinyl and we’ll make it happen!

If you are wishing to prep the white ink layer yourself you will need to provide a layered PDF file. Artwork on the first layer and the white ink layer on the second! The white ink layer will need to be in a vector format.


Proof 

Once you have placed your order, you will receive a proof showing you where the white ink layer will be placed! This will give you an idea of what your finished sticker will look like! You are welcome to decline the proof if you need any changes made 🙂


 

We hope you are now a little more educated when it comes to our specialty vinyl and are ready to turn your art into something extra special!!

 

White ink can be applied to any of the materials below:

Clear, Frosted, Holographic, Vapor Wave, Chrome, and Unicornicopia

Let’s get creative!

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