White Ink Printing: A Stunning Design Specialty

White Ink Printing: A Stunning Design Specialty

When creating a print project, the most challenging part is making your design stand out so customers, target audiences, even friends and family, don’t overlook it or toss it on a pile of similar-looking assets. Fortunately, we have a solution: White ink printing puts a superior spin on business essentials and passion projects alike. It’s a truly compelling specialty and gets your design noticed.

A stack of business cards with a black design and white ink printing next to another business card with Element Ring Co.

#100 Uncoated Black Stock with White Ink Flood on Front and White Ink Logo on Back.

Purely Unique

Particularly eye-catching when paired with black, Kraft and metallic stocks, white ink printing can be used as a solitary color to fill in your design elements or in combination with full-color printing, as a fifth color in the CMYK process.


When you collaborate with Smartpress, you can rest assured your projects will look truly stunning thanks to our specialized white ink – it was the first one developed specifically for digital printing presses!


And whatever project you’re printing, you won’t have to wait long. Our digital white ink dries almost immediately. Traditional white inks require multiple passes and extended drying times to get the desired results, but printing with Smartpress ensures that turnaround time takes no time at all.

Two hands holding drink tickets printed with custom white ink and yellow, black and green designs.

100# Uncoated Black Stock. White ink layer printed first, color layer printed on top. Ordered using Invitation product. Perforation and Laser Cutting added.

Custom drink tickets printed with perforation, white ink and a bright yellow, orange and blue design.

A Light in the Dark

So how does it really look when it’s all said and done? Depending on how you wield white ink, it can be semi-opaque or bright and bold.


If you’re adding white ink printing to your project as the only color, it prints with a light gray tint and shimmers just enough with a slight satin finish. (Keep this in mind if you’re doing a large flood of white ink without color printing on top.)


This type of white ink application creates design depth and an engaging contrast against colored stocks. It makes it easy to add your own watermarks, too.


For a bright and bold look, white ink can be applied to a colored stock and acts like a white canvas upon which full-color designs can be printed. That layer of white ink creates an essential barrier against full-color inks absorbing into your paper stock and appearing dull. Instead, you get commanding color that never falls flat.

Two hands holding a custom notebook printed with a spiral binding and an outdoor scene with white ink on the cover.

Custom Wire Coil Notebook. Small Cover Page: Kraft with White Ink. Third Cover Page: Black Stock with White Ink Layer First, Then Color Layer on Top.

Black paper stock printed with Create brilliant print. in white ink on the front and its bottom corner folded back.

Color Coordinated

Designers love using our online printing services for white ink and it’s easy to see why. Versatile and captivating, custom white ink printing makes an impression on marketing materials, event collateral and networking essentials. Get inspired with the product ideas below and then set up your print-ready file for your order.


Booklet Covers, Invitations & Business Cards
Pair white ink with a premium colored or textured stock for these products. Underlying Kraft stock creates an intriguing, high-end design effect when it contrasts with white ink and thus the paper becomes another design element.


Greeting Cards & Announcements
Use black or Kraft stock and print a flood of white ink on one side with white ink text on the other. The stock itself brings out the white ink and its subtle satin finish. Expert Tip: To create fun event essentials like drink tickets, we recommend designing them with our Invitations product. Don’t forget to add perforation!


Bookmarks & Rack Cards
Design quality product tags and hang tags with a white ink logo or graphic to make your wares stand out on brick-and-mortar retail shelves. For online orders, including package inserts with upscale white ink will surprise and delight your customers and make your business memorable.

Stickers & Decals
Print these with white ink on a clear stock to create an eye-catching look on packaging, laptops or windows. Did You Know? We use an underlayer of white ink when printing full-color graphics on clear signage and window clings. It’s the first pass under full-color on clear signs to ensure the color is vibrant and bold.


Hit the trifecta by printing these with a full-color image on top of white ink on a specialty stock. Three design elements to create one spectacular result. Hint: Remember to choke (also referred to as shrink or trap) the white ink layer so you don’t see any white peeking through the borders of your design. You can do this by contracting the art back .007″ from the outside edge of the artwork.


However you incorporate white ink into your designs, it’s a completely customizable and highly-specialized feature on any project. You want specialty print; Smartpress delivers.

Two hands holding the Smartpress Paper Sample Book open to the Kraft paper stock.

Order our FREE PAPER SAMPLE BOOK to see white ink on Kraft, black and metallic stocks.


Element Ring Co. Design by Rylan Hayes, co-founder of Element Ring Co.
Bauhaus Brewery Drink Ticket Design by Levi Lowell
Smartpress Capabilities Notebook Design by Melissa Mantzke Design
You Are Dope Design by Stefi Mar
Smilebar Design by Siamak Taghaddos
Fighting Hunger Design by Jin Ju Wilder
Adventure North Design by Kassandra James
Portland Oregon Design by Breia Mallett, The Brush and Mallett

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