Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag, which is short for Argentum in Latin meaning “gray” or “shiny.” It is a white and lustrous precious metal with the highest reflectivity of any metal in the periodic table. Thus, the metallic brilliance of silver can only be reproduced by providing high light reflection and low light scattering above and beyond the tints and shades of gray colored flip-flop effects.
Thanks to the Hall-Héroult process for aluminum smelting, that metal has long represented silver brilliance as pigments within printing inks as well as paints, coatings, cosmetics and other effect applications. For mirror-like silver representation, ECKART manufactures aluminum pigments through the physical vapor deposition (PVD) process in a product branded METALURE®.
For premium and standard silver effects, we also produce silver dollar and cornflake pigments that comprise PANTONE® 10077 and 877, respectively. In this photo, our METALURE pigment is formulated into a paste ink branded TOPSTAR for conventional and UV offset, as well as the liquid ink ULTRASTAR for flexo, screen and gravure printing processes.
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu on the periodic table, which is short for cuprum; the late Latin word referencing the island of Cyprus where the Roman Empire mined copper ore. Pure copper has a red-orange color before oxidation and moisture shifts those colors brown then green, respectively. To counteract that natural verdigris Zinc is another chemical element blended with copper for color stability.
Post consumer copper wire has the insulation removed by metal recyclers who provide it to the ECKART foundry as finely chopped granules for re-melting at 1,984°F in our energy efficient electromagnetic induction furnace. The liquid copper is then transferred by crucibles to a spray furnace where the molten metal is atomized into solid granules. Those coarse copper granules are dry milled until becoming fine enough to pass through a series of cyclones and screens, in a continuous process, before polishing and blending for color consistency as an ink-ready effect pigment.
In this photo, our METALSTAR SuperGloss 07-4876 and 07-2006 paste inks are matched to PANTONE® 876 Copper and 877 Silver for offset printing. Unlike transparent process colors, their opaque nature provide for effective under-printing, over-printing and integrated printing results.*
Golden is an English color name recognized around 1300 for yellow-orange blends representative of the chemical element and transition metal gold. To accurately reproduce “golden” through the subtractive color process of offset lithography, metallic pigments must be included as either a silver ink printed under transparent yellow and orange inks or by blending them into one spot color.
The optical brilliance of metallic pigments for printing inks provides the dimension and movement a viewer perceives in otherwise flat and static images. Silver dollar shaped pigments are metal flakes with rounded surface and edge geometry that reflect light more directly to enhance brilliance.
In this photo, our paste ink METALSTAR 06 7500 comprises the non-leafing PANTONE® Silver 10077 C that is blended with PANTONE Yellow 012 C and PANTONE Orange 021C to make PANTONE 10123 C of the Premium Metallics series.*
Aluminum bars were exhibited with the French crown jewels at the Exposition Universelle of 1855, because the production cost was greater than gold at that time. That was until the invention of the Hall–Héroult process for aluminum smelting in 1886, then the manufacture of aluminum foil from 1910, whose by-products were granules for wet milling into pigment.
After WWII, the optical effects of silver and gold-bronze pigments provided value for the automotive, cosmetics, paint, printing and plastics industries. The metallic brilliance of these flake-shaped pigments is a balance of directional light reflection from the surface and scattered light at the edges.
In this photo, our “cornflake” shaped aluminum pigments comprise leafing printing inks matched to PANTONE® 877 C. ECKART has formulated our METALSTAR and ROTOSTAR inks for offset, flexo, gravure, and rotary screen printing.*
Gold was hammered into leafing for art and architecture from 2500 B.C. in Egypt. Gold dust was the byproduct of that handcraft and, consequently, it became a pigment for mixing into printing inks and varnishes. Both the brilliance and cost of gold were evident, so in 1760 a craftsman in Fürth, Germany named Albert Huber innovatively substituted gold for the brass alloy of copper-zinc.
This new pigment was termed gold-bronze and its metallic brilliance matched pure gold for flake size and surface finish; reflecting a comparable amount of light back to the human eye. Brilliance and color accuracy are enhanced when flakes are smooth, large, leafing and tightly distributed.
Here, our ROTOSTAR UV liquid ink is comprised of leafing bronze pigments matched to PANTONE® 875 C for flexographic printing. Which includes secondary food packaging on paper, board and film substrates for self adhesive labels and folding carton applications.*
This gravure printed pouch is an elegant example of “what’s possible” when using gold-bronze pigmented inks on film for premium product positioning in an otherwise staple food category.
Specifically, for the woodcut farm illustration and italic lettering as well as around the Idahoan logo, mashed potato photo and bottom gusset as a framing device. This generous application of true "rich gold" ink attracts current and new consumers with the effect and color of metallic brilliance.
Idahoan extends the retail impact of gold from their eleven piece line of stand-up pouch line of instant mashed potatoes to the paperboard box, folded carton and microwave cup packaging formats for maximum visual impact and competitive differentiation.
This gravure reverse printed stand-up-pouch is a brand brilliant example of “what’s possible” when leveraging the optical and functional benefits of metallic silver liquid ink for dishwasher detergent packaging.
Specifically, when the individually sealed Action Pacs™ of Cascade® Platinum with Dawn® can be displayed in a laminated pouch for the premium metallic silver positioning on shelf; with a cost-benefit over foil pouches.
Thin polypropylene is particularly metallic ink friendly with its smooth surface that encourages metallic pigments to orient flatly and evenly for optimal direct, rather than scattered, light reflection back to the viewer.*
The narrow web flexo printed pressure-sensitive labels on this Dove Men+Care® Extra Fresh deodorant are complex examples of “what’s possible” when designing for a soft metallic brilliance in personal care.
Specifically, how well the silver ink maintains its metallic effect within the dot pattern that diminishes to mere pin-points. That same silver ink also provides a subtle contrast to the white typography and strong contrast to the bright green graphic area. One metallic silver ink simultaneously serving three design intentions!
For surface printing on pressure-sensitive labels, here within laminated structures, ECKART formulated the ROTOSTAR UV Series non-leafing silver metallic inks for lustrous brilliance across a range of applications.*
This flexographic printed shrink sleeve label is a powerful example of “what’s possible” when designing for metallic brilliance on supplement and vitamin packaging like the MuscleTech® Platinum line.
Specifically, how well the full body sleeve with nearly full ink coverage maintained it’s silver metallic effect throughout the heat shrinking process. The brilliance of that silver ink is also nearly seamless between the two pieces at the neck of the canister, for appeal on retail and home shelves before and after the packaging is opened.
For reverse printed films in shrink sleeve applications ECKART has formulated ROTOSTAR UV FX non-leafing silver metallic ink with optical properties previously only achieved using solvent Gravure inks.*
This gravure printed pouch is a confident example of “what’s possible” when designing and printing for metallic ink brilliance on flexible food packaging.
Specifically, how metallic inks can be printed in high-bond heat sealed areas as well as vignetted from full coverage to zero; where the yellow ink begins behind the fruit illustration.
Overall, this pouch conveys a silver foil-like effect with metallic ink printing on both sides coupled with the silver/white contrast in the HALLS® lettering of this new Sugar Free Citrus Blend packaging.*
Color Innovations display their metallic ink expertise on every page of the RE:flex promotional collaboration with Louis Fishauf. Their commitment to reproducing his layouts in the best possible light led to “several round of simulated metallic digital proofs,” shared the President, Matthew Alexander.
That meticulous process stands in contrast to the creative “trial and error of seeing what works and what doesn’t” shared Louis Fishauf, who “put images together from archives” from his award winning design and illustrations career.
The electrical energy and manpower reproduced in this spread is Louis’s imagination brought to life with METALSTAR 06 7500 Silver and CMYK in stochastic screened (or FM Screened) halftone dots laid down by the offset press team at Colour Innovations.
Louis Fishauf, designer and illustrator, channeled Charles Darwin, naturalist and geologist, with the camouflage pattern printed with ECKART metallic inks by Colour Innovations. In fact, their stochastic screen pattern is a natural evolution of integrated printing with optically brilliant results.
Louis admits that these “personal collages are just play and mostly done in the wee hours.” The layouts in the square format of this RE:flex promotion “develop organically” such as the mirroring of the tree across the spread. “It’s subtle and I’m quite happy with the way it came out.”
His collaborator on the production side of the process, Matthew Alexander with Colour Innovations, “gave the artwork more room to breathe” with a scale that “does not easily fit on a shelf.” Matthew added that RE:flex “demands that it be handled” to appreciate the numerous metallic colors brought to life by the METALSTAR 06 7500 Silver ink.*
Colour Innovations is an integrated full-service print production company based in Toronto whose collaboration with fellow Canadian design and illustrator Louis Fishauf culminated in the RE:flex promotion that was a “year-long experiment in trying to take design to another level.”
Louis is an original AppleMaster whose digital workflow enabled him to “see how metallic effects would look on screen and in print” that was “borne out in this spread with the interesting Chinese elements and bright red flame.”
This five-color offset project was repeatedly proofed on their eleven-color 40" Heidelberg to optimize wet trapping vegetable based process inks over the conventional METALSTAR 06 7500 Silver ink.*
Louis Fishauf is a graphic designer and illustrator whose “stream of consciousness in designing a piece such as RE:flex” becomes a “work of art” when paper, ink and printing technologies are managed by Matthew Alexander and his team at Colour Innovations in Canada.
“The clown, from an old Ringling Brothers poster, looks like he is scowling so that led me to develop the metallic skull and crossbones image on the opposite page,” said Louis. “It is a combination of imagery that resonates, for one reason or another."
Colour Innovations then tested three different silver metallic inks and chose METALSTAR 06 7500 Silver, which is the key ingredient to the Pantone® Premium Metallics line. It is a non leafing silver-dollar pigment with “eye catching brilliance, whiteness and excellent rub resistance, so we did not overprint any of the images with a varnish” shared Matthew.*
The renowned Canadian graphic designer and illustrator Louis Fishauf and Matthew Alexander with Colour Innovations recently collaborated on a promotional print reproduction of his portfolio with the brilliance of ECKART metallic inks.
In fact, Mr. Fishauf created several new spreads of artwork to complement existing ones for this first issue of future RE:flex branded pieces promoting world-class designers, artists and photographers.
Colour Innovations’ process was to print METALSTAR 06 7500 Silver underneath the inherently transparent CMYK colors to unlock a broader palette of metallic colors. Only this level of customization could shine a worthy light on Louis Fishauf’s talent.*
Brilliant examples of ECKART metallic inks matched to PANTONE® Metallics and PANTONE Premium Metallics presented through inspiring contexts.*
Brilliant examples of ECKART metallic inks printed through flexographic or rotogravure processes onto graphic and structural packaging.
Brilliant examples of ECKART metallic inks printed through screen or offset lithography processes onto corporate collateral and consumer publications.