How To Print White Text
We can all agree that white text printed on coloured card looks pretty cool but how exactly do you print white text?
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.
Without getting too technical, the colour white is an ink which most print houses 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.
Where do I go to get white ink?
As far as I am aware, white ink for personal use is not available for purchase. 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.
If you require white ink printing, it's best to find a print house 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 suppliers I've found that print white ink:
We've also got a range of white ink on coloured paper stationery available here.
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?
As white ink is considered a specialty technique that requires a considerable amount of time and labour to set up, the cost of white ink printing can be dramatically more than printing regular colours.
The upside of white ink printing is that you can print on virtually any dark coloured paper/card and it will always look crisp and amazing. There's also something luxe about printing with white ink.
The Hello Bureau is a Melbourne 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.