If you want to know how to print white ink on clear roll labels, chrome roll labels, or kraft brown sheet labels to make your label design pop with vibrant colors and sharp, easy-to-read text, then white ink printing, sometimes called white ink 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 packaging and product label design.
Plan your use of white ink during the conceptual phase of your design. Our quick video walks you step-by-step through the process of adding white ink to a design for roll labels. The printing process 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.
White ink can be a great tool for brands and their designers. It is important to note that the most successful use of the white ink feature will take white ink into account during the conceptual phase of the label design.
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.
How to add white ink to Kraft Brown labels
Kraft Brown sheet labels offer a beautiful organic finish on their own and in some cases, you may not want white ink for your final product. In many instances, however, white ink can ensure a more vibrant result. It is also necessary when having white elements such as text, images, and barcodes.
Tip: Remember if you’re printing your labels yourself most printers don’t have white ink, so the label will show through in areas that are white
In our design tool, select how you want to add white ink
Choose Keep All White if you want the white ink to be printed
Select Remove All White if you want the label material to show through those areas
Choose Remove White Background if you want the label material to show through at the edges of your design
Dark Mode helps to show which white areas are remaining
Please note: The White Removal slider increases or decreases removal of similar colors
How to add white ink to roll label using Adobe Illustrator
This step-by-step guide shows you how to add white ink in Illustrator to your roll labels. You need to have your roll label artwork created in Illustrator and all elements are in vector format. White ink is automatically applied on our Kraft Brown sheet labels during the design process and is not currently accepted in uploaded artwork.
Watch our quick video that shows you the steps below so you can follow along.
Open your document. This example features a 2” square label printed on clear material.
Determine which elements you want to include white ink behind. In our example, we will be adding white behind the rosemary sprigs, the USDA Organic logo, and the pink banner section of the label.
Select and copy the elements from Step 2 to a new layer named “HPI-White”.
In the swatch panel, create a new color swatch 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.
Using the “Separations Preview Panel” you can toggle on and off the white separation to see where the white ink will print.
Your file is ready.
Again, please note that currently, white ink printing from existing artwork is only available on Avery WePrint roll labels. White ink is automatically applied to Kraft Brown sheet labels and is not currently accepted in personal artwork.
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.