How To Print White Text
This article was last updated on 28/05/23.
We can all agree that white text printed on coloured card looks undeniably cool, adding a touch of elegance and uniqueness to any design. But have you ever wondered how exactly white text is printed?
In this article, we'll delve into the intriguing world of printing white ink, exploring the possibilities, alternatives, and cost considerations.
Whether you're a designer seeking to incorporate white ink into your projects or simply curious about the process, we've got you covered. Let's unravel the secrets behind achieving that striking white-on-colour effect and discover the answers to common questions about white ink printing.
Can home printers print white?
The short answer to this question is, no. But there is a special printer on the market that can (we'll dive into that in the next section). The first thing you should note is that a 'normal' printer can't print the colour white. When I say 'normal', I mean printers such as home desktop printers, regular office print and copy machines, and everyday commercial printers.
As far as I am aware, white ink for personal use is not available for purchase at the moment. Companies don't make white ink for general home printers, so it is very difficult to find. Epson has a range of white ink for their large format industrial printers but not for the small printers.
Without getting too technical, the colour white is an ink which most print shops don't use by default. There is a fair amount of time, cost and maintenance required to upkeep white ink printers. Most printers will use the CMYK inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) which mix to create all the other colours. As white is achromatic (having no hue) it can't be created or mixed by other inks. Therefore, to print white onto something, it will require a specially created white ink.
Ghost White Toner
After a considerable amount of research, I discovered a company that indeed manufactures white ink specifically designed for smaller printers. Ghost White Toner in the US makes white ink toners that are compatible with a number of small printers on the market.
Whilst I haven't personally tried out their white ink, they have a ton of information on their website about it that you can check out. When it comes to pricing, if you plan to use the printer commercially and require frequent white ink printing, the costs are reasonable. However, for a one-time job, opting for a professional print job proves to be the more cost-effective choice for white ink printing.
Where do I go to get white ink printed professionally?
If you require white ink printing, it's best to find a printing company who can print white. In Australia, specialty print places such as Peterkin in Perth and Papermarc in Melbourne provide the service of printing with white ink.
Here is a list of some other suppliers I've found that print white ink:
White ink alternative
Instead of printing with white ink, you can 'reverse' the format and print on white paper and use colour for the background. For example, if your design has a coloured background, then it will print everything that's coloured but ignore the white items. The white of the paper will then show through as 'white'. However, bear in mind this technique won't work on coloured paper as the colour that will show through will be whatever the colour of the paper is.
The invitations pictured below was in fact printed on white paper and no white ink was used. The background was designed with colour, so only the background was printed and the text and graphic elements stayed white.
How much does white ink printing cost?
In comparison to regular printing, white ink printing generally tends to be more expensive due to the additional ink and printing processes involved. The cost of white ink printing can be higher because it requires specialised equipment, different ink formulations, and often involves additional printing passes to achieve the desired opacity.
As a result, the overall price range for white ink printing is typically higher than traditional printing methods. However, specific pricing can vary significantly depending on factors such as the printing technique, the quantity of prints, the complexity of the design, and the printing service provider. It is advisable to consult with printing companies or request quotes to obtain a more precise estimate for your specific white ink printing requirements.
The Hello Bureau is a creative design studio specialising in wedding and event stationery. With over 10 years experience in the industry, we seek to share our knowledge to help you with your creative wedding and event stationery projects.