What is white ink printing & when you should use it
If you want to know how to print white ink on clear labels or make your label design pop with vibrant colors and sharp, easy-to-read text, then white ink printing, sometimes called white underprinting is for you. Whether designing your labels yourself or using a graphic designer, understanding how to make labels with white ink printing is key to strong product label design.
Keep in mind that for the most successful use of white ink, it should be considered during the conceptual phase of design. We’ve included a quick video that walks you step-by-step through the process of adding white ink to a design. This is a process that can only be done by professional printers and not on your standard desktop printer.
What is white ink printing?
In white ink printing, the ink is added underneath all or parts of your label design. The white ink is used to reduce the transparency of your text and graphics by creating a layer of opacity. This opacity will ensure an accurate color match and improved legibility.
On metallic and kraft brown label materials, printed inks often appear differently than planned without white ink printing. By printing white ink on clear labels, you can make a huge difference in how your text and design are showcased. Without white ink, clear labels can appear transparent making the text hard to read and graphics bland.
Consider your product
If your product or container has color, the same idea as above is true. Adding white ink where you don’t want your container color or product to show through will prevent your colors from becoming muted.
Are you using a clear container with a white product inside? While it might work similarly to white ink at first, as the product is used up, the label will again become hard to read.
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that shows how to add white ink in Illustrator. This guide assumes that you have artwork that was created in Illustrator and all elements are in vector format. Watch our quick video that shows you the steps below so you can follow along.
Open your document
Determine the elements you want to include white ink behind. Using our example above, we added white behind the rosemary sprigs, the USDA Organic logo and the pink banner section of the label.
Select and copy the elements you defined in Step 2 to a new layer that gets named “HPI-White”.
Create a new color swatch in the Swatch Panel and name it “HPI-White”. Set the color type to Spot Color. Select the elements you copied to the “HPI-White” layer and apply this new spot color (HPI White) to these elements.
Please note: When selecting a color mix for the new spot color “HPI-White”, do not choose white, as this makes the elements difficult to view. We recommended selecting a mix that will not blend in with your existing design color pallet.
Set the white elements to Overprint in the attributes panel. Use the Separations Preview Panel to toggle the white separation on and off to see where the white ink will print.
Currently, white ink printing is available from Avery WePrint on custom printed roll labels only.
If you have any questions on using white ink for your specific job, please reach out to our amazing customer care team at (800) 942-8379. They’ll be happy to help you with creating the perfect label for your specific products.