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Not all inks behave the same. Why would some inks behave differently? Well, really, it boils down to chemistry. The source pigments that are the basis for inks can have unique behaviors. Some of them don't dry fast. Some of them don't stick well to previous ink or paper underneath. Some of them are prone to scuffing, and some of them don't give very heavy coverage. So here are some examples of common problem inks. Fluorescent inks, for example, use something called fugitive pigments. And what fugitive means is those pigments are subject to fading when they're exposed to sunlight or any UV light source.
And high heat can cause fading as well. So that might mean that if you're creating an outdoor piece, maybe it's not a good idea to fluorescent inks. And sometimes it can take two passes to get full coverage, to get the strength of color that you want. So if that means that you have to use two units on the press, it means you're using more ink. That could add to the cost of the job, but that could mean that you get the color that you have your heart set on. Some fluorescent inks actually have coarser pigments, so that might mean that very fine detail and half tones may not show up the way you want. So you might consider just using them more for flat areas. If you wanted to mail the piece, and you thought maybe you should varnish on top of it to prevent scuffing, some varnishes don't adhere well to fluorescent inks, and varnishes can dull that bright look that you're looking for in fluorescent inks too.
Although it's possible to add dryers to the ink, and that can speed up the drying and that may prevent some scuffing too. Reflex Blue is sort of famous for being a misbehaving ink and it's a dark blue. It's something we as human beings apparently really love. Think how many logos are navy blue. But its problems include very slow drying, it's prone to scuffing and after the printed piece has been around for awhile, you'll see some oxidation. There's a sort of bronze appearance. On top of the ink.
So, what do you do, not use it? As much as we want navy blue, there's gotta be a way. Well, now we're starting to see synthetic reflex blues. The color's a little bit different from old fashioned reflex blue, but you should check and see if that's close enough, it's acceptable to your client, it's probably the solution. But with any of these inks, if you have a conversation with your printer, before you get too far into the design. You can prevent these problems. You don't want to discover these issues when you're about to go to press. And then you have to compensate for them. So as with so many things plan ahead.
Talk to your printer, be aware of these issues and you can find ways to work around them.
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