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Digital Printing

Special Digital Printing affects

Written by Jason Groom
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Originally published
March 6 2015,
updated
July 3 2020

Last year an article on Guardian Media about sensory marketing gave me nightmares. It outlined how some brands were using technology to deliver consumers what they called “an immersive experience”. So rather than just seeing a product and then tasting it (in this instance Jelly Babies) by wearing a headset that triggered different sounds as wearers closed their jaws, they could hear the poor little fellas screaming as you chewed them!

Appealing to the senses is one of the main reasons why print and its tactile nature has the edge over online and generates some of the best ROI for marketers. You might not be able to hear it, and we doubt you’ll want to be tasting it, but the addition of special digital printing effects can create even greater engagement as well as adding a layer of security to documents (without being anywhere near as gory).

Our design team has been sharing some of the most exciting ones with us. And created on-press, rather than using any complicated finishing process, makes them all possible for even short- to mid-length print runs:

  • Textured effect
    Similar to embossing, but simpler to achieve, this adds an imprinted “touchable” quality to a piece making it more creative and unique.
  • Raised print
    So a raised rather than stamped effect, and to varying heights, this is particularly effective for high-value marketing and promotional materials that entice the recipient to hold and feel them.
  • Light Black ElectroInk
    Light black is the new black apparently! It effectively sharpens the quality of black-and white photos enhancing the overall look and finish.
  • White ElectroInk
    White ink? Whatever next? This allows for a wide variety of new applications and on a diverse range of media – think transparencies, dark, coloured, and even metallic materials
  • Invisible print
    It may sound like “the Emperor’s new clothes” but is actually an invisible red ink used to produce print which can only be seen under UV light. Whether for text, images, and barcodes, etc. it lends itself to cards, tickets, coupons and numerous other security applications.
  • Photo inks
    Light cyan (that’s the blue in 4-colour process) and light magenta (the pink) inks bring out realistic skin and sky tones so making them perfect for printing professional photographs.
  • Digital watermarking
    Got something that needs protecting? Invisible to the naked eye, digital watermarking can be embedded into a document for basic security and to make it traceable.

It may not be technical wizardry to the same degree but we’re happy to confirm that no jelly babies (or other confectionery for that matter) were harmed during the writing of this piece.

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