ON-PRESS SUCCESS

Here are some additional production tips for using colored paper:

Batch color may vary slightly among the mill’s production runs. If it’s important for you to match paper colors exactly from one press run to the next, you might have to buy enough paper for your entire campaign and store it until you’re ready to use it all.

Readability may suffer on colored paper. Make sure your type contrasts against the background of the paper well enough to be legible.

The pigments in colored paper can fade with exposure to light. This is especially true for orange and fluorescent dyes. If your designs require a significant shelf life, ask your supplier about the stability of the paper dyes.

Flecks of color can interfere with detail in fine-screened halftones and in thin serifs of type, so it’s best not to use color-flecked paper for these designs. Also be aware that you can’t control where the flecks appear. Results can sometimes be embarrassing (as when a blotch shows up on a model’s nose), depending on the nature of the design.

If you hate the way transparent inks look on your colored paper, try using opaque inks. They’re thicker than transparent inks and may require a different printing process (flexography, screen printing or waterless printing, for example).

You can prime the colored paper ahead of time. This is done by laying down a coat of opaque white ink, letting it dry, then overprinting with transparent inks. This technique is expensive, because it involves two passes through the press. It also requires the printer to achieve pinpoint registration, but the effect can look spectacular.

Go for special effects. Embossing, thermography, foil-stamping and varnishing on colored paper can all work without conventional printing.

Many of these papers require strict humidity control. If your printer can’t maintain the proper relative humidity, then ask the mill to deliver the paper early so it can be acclimatized to the pressroom conditions before the job is scheduled to print. 1300

Availability of some colored papers can be a hassle, especially for certain sizes of cut sheets or web rolls. Either buy your paper well ahead of time, or write a clause into your purchase contract that guarantees delivery in time for printing. And then order ahead of time anyway. Even with the best intentions in the world, mills cannot keep up with demand for some of these papers. In addition, many mills make these special stocks only at certain times of the year. When they run out, they’re out. And you’re out of luck.

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