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White Ink Printing

Smartpress’ online printing services include white ink printing on a variety of substrates, including colored stock, Kraft paper and clear vinyl decals. White ink can be printed as the solitary color in the design or in combination with full-color printing, as a fifth color in the CMYK process.

Whether you want white ink on black paper or a myriad of other design options, we use HP ElectroInk White with our HP Indigo press. HP ElectroInk is the first white ink developed specifically for digital printing presses, and the results are truly stunning. It can be used along with the full-color CMYK process to fill design elements either as the only color in a design or applied to color stock to form a white canvas other full-color designs can be printed on.

High-quality white ink printing hasn’t always been available. Traditional white inks require multiple passes and extended drying times to get the desired results. Smartpress’ digital white ink is semi-opaque. However, online printing results vary depending on the paper stock, so it may not always be completely opaque. It dries almost immediately, allowing for a quick turnaround time for printers that print white ink.

Below are file setup instructions for Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. If you are unable to set up your file for white ink printing, contact your customer service pre-press representative for help.

White Ink Printing File Setup in Adobe InDesign

  1. Create a new layer for the white portions of your design and name it White (Note: Be sure to capitalize White)
  2. Create a new color swatch by going to Window > Color > Swatches. The Swatch Palette will appear.
  3. Click in the upper right-hand corner of the Swatch Palette and select Add New Color. It defaults to black, but we suggest you make the color light blue (20% Cyan) so the white is more visible.
  4. Select Spot in the Color Type drop-down menu. Change the swatch name to White (capitalized) and click OK.
  5. On the White layer with the White color, fill in the objects you would like to have colored white. If you want white to be printed behind a design element, trace the shape you need.
  6. Go to Window > Output > Attributes and check the Overprint Fill and Overprint Stroke box (if applicable).
  7. When saving your file, the White layer should be at the top, with the rest of the artwork behind it.

Your file is now ready for submission!

White Ink Printing File Setup for Adobe Illustrator

  1. Create a new layer for the white portions of your design and name it White (Note: Be sure to capitalize White)
  2. Create a new color swatch by going to Window > Color > Swatches. The Swatch Palette will appear.
  3. Click in the upper right-hand corner of the Swatch Palette and select Add New Color. It defaults to black, but we suggest you make the color light blue (20% Cyan) so the white is more visible.
  4. Select Spot in the Color Type drop-down menu. Change the swatch name to White (capitalized) and click OK.
  5. On the White layer with the White color, fill in the objects you would like to have colored white. If you want white to be printed behind a design element, trace the shape you need.
  6. Go to Window > Attributes and check the Overprint Fill and Overprint Stroke box (if applicable).
  7. When saving your file, the White layer should be at the top, with the rest of the artwork behind it.

Your file is now ready for submission to your online printer!

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