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metallic on black

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  • michael babcock | interrobang
    been doing 14 hour days the past couple weeks. coming in late here. metallic on dark stock has been my signature aesthetic for 13 years. now everyone s doing
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 20, 2006
      been doing 14 hour days the past couple weeks. coming in late here.
      metallic on dark stock has been my signature aesthetic for 13 years.
      now everyone's doing it. but i picked it up from Bruce Licher, so
      hey, nothing new under the sun.

      no, you don't need to lay down anything under a metallic. they are
      all absolutely opaque.

      on the other hand, all other inks except maybe chrome yellow, are
      translucent. they rely on the base paper being a white white, just
      like watercolor paints. the notion that you can use opaque white in
      place of mixing white and get the same color is kinda not right.
      rather than getting a thinned yet still translucent color (as you see
      in a pantone mixing fan) you are creating a tint. and in general,
      those tints tend to be (ugly) pastel colors. think pouring water into
      coffee or milk. yes, the color is still brown, however the nature of
      that brown is altered in a way quite different than adding a clear

      what i've often done to make an opaque color tint is to mix a
      translucent pantone with 877 silver. true, you end up with a metallic
      color and that may not be appropriate for all jobs, but it is a way
      to avoid the milky pastel tint that mixing with opaque white creates.

      another issue with running on dark stock is the keeping contrasts.
      e.g. silver on black is very contrasty. copper on brown is less so.
      small type printed in a value too close to the paper base color will
      render it difficult to read. adding colors to 877 (and you'll find
      you need to add more color than you imagine in order to affect a
      meaningful effect) can end up creating a color of less contrast than
      when you started with that bright silver.

      basically, it's a crap shoot, and don't be afraid to experiment.
      you're going to waste ink. that's the price of progress.

      to refer back to Licher, since his signature stock was brown
      chipboard, he did a lot of opaque white first runs, then would lay
      down a color over top after the white dried. that way you avoid the
      pastel problem, but bump into potential registration issues. his work
      traded on a somewhat more rough hewn aesthetic, so it was successful,
      and especially at the time when he was the only player in the game of
      note. hats off to Bruce.

      n.b., as a general rule, attempting to run a large solid area in the
      same pass as small type will be problematic.

      p.s., black on black tends to work better than varnish unless you
      need the dry-back to be glossy.

      > Does that mean one should lay down opaque white before 877 silver
      > as well?
      > Kt

      > Any color that calls for transparent white in a pantone book can be
      > replaced with opaque white-- It looks great with large solid areas
      > on dark papers- the smaller your type gets the gloppier the harder
      > it is to get a crisp line.
      > A clear varnish also looks great on black.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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