By Scott Causer  |  June 19, 2015

Metallic finishes deliver depth, extra visual interest and an eye-catching metallic appearance, which makes them an excellent choice for many applications including bottle labels, special editions and stickers for custom gift wrap. Available in a wide range of colours including silver, gold and copper, metallic finishes also come in reds, purples and blues to really open up the design possibilities.


But isn’t metallic finishing problematic?

Yes, like all good things, there’s a catch. Metallic finishing can be problematic.

Metallic inks are opaque and composed of metal particles in a clear base to emulate the shine and reflective quality of actual metal. Not only do they have a tendency to spread, increasing the need for appropriate trapping, but they’re also prone to flaking and chalking. Not ideal.

Flaking is often due to the lack of cohesion between the metal flakes and the surface of the print. The lack of resin required to bind them together can result in unsatisfactory scratch resistance of laminate or varnish and cause laminates to lift at the trimmed edge. Again, not ideal.

One solution to lessen flaking and chalking is to aqueous-coat to protect the surface, but this can compromise the desired effect by dulling the metallic sheen.

Another common problem is the effect caused by the lubricants used in the production of metal flakes for metallic inks. These lubricants often transfer to the surface of the print during the drying process, resulting in poor trapping or inconsistencies in the varnish.

If the print is sub-standard then the end result will be too, no matter how top notch the design is. So, how do you achieve a fantastic non-problematic metallic finish?


Introducing Color-Logic

The solution is Color-Logic. A system designed especially for metallic substrates and metallic inks, which means it focuses on the important aspects such as press curves, coatings, inks and the substrate. It also enables printers to create 250 new metallic colours and expand the design possibilities, which can’t be bad.
The Color-Logic system provides a powerful tool to enable printers and designers to work closely together to achieve colour consistency and the desired design effect and printed metallic finish.


Why is it better than the alternatives?

Well, firstly colour charts or swatch books can be created by printers through licensing to eradicate the problems associated with using generic colour charts to match metallic inks. This also addresses the problem of using inappropriate inks and substrates during the printing process. And with 250 metallic colours available, any number can be incorporated into a conventional CMYK print job.

The Color-Logic Design Suite features Dimensional-FX™, Watermark-FX™, Watermark-FX Plus™, Gradation-FX™ and Image-FX™ allowing all effects to be created at the design stage instead of postpress. Also, ‘Color-Logic metallics and special effects are produced with only five inks: CMYK plus silver ink or CMYK plus white ink when printing on metallic substrates. When designing for foil or reflective substrates, the Color-Logic process eliminates the need to create awkward and time-consuming white ink masks!’

And the good news just keeps on coming. Designers can benefit by using a replica of the printer’s colour chart in the form of a digital swatch library. This can be imported into their design software, such as InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator etc. A plug-in is also available for Photoshop to allow designers to calculate the preferred metallic effect for their designs, thus enabling them to utilise the same metallic colours as the printer for consistency. The relevant design files can be viewed by all parties using the FX-Viewer software.


Why it’s perfect for beer bottle labels

The Color-Logic system is ideal for producing high-end metallic effects that work incredibly well on labels. By using just five inks to deliver over 250 metallic colours, it’s a cost-effective solution for bottled beer and lager labels that require a reflective eye-catching design to stand out from the competition.

The system is also compatible with offset, digital, flexography, inkjet, screen and gravure printing processes and future-proofed to cope with developments in inks, coatings and decorative substrates.


More than just metallic labels

Recently, the Color-Logic system expanded its capabilities to include printing on conventional films with metallic inks and metallic films, as well as metallic finishes on labels.

According to Mark Geeves, Color-Logic sales and marketing director, “Designs for printing on metallised films, for example, require complex white ink masks, which can be generated with just a click of the mouse with Color-Logic software. Our user-friendly InDesign plug-in enables graphic designers to produce dramatic effects and achieve greater shelf impact by allowing the substrate to become part of the design. Color-Logic software also permits using metallic silver inks with CMYK inks to produce dramatic effects on conventional films and other substrates.”

So there you have it. Color-Logic provides the ideal solution for printers wanting to achieve highquality printed metallic finishes without the usual hurdles.