Spot White Ink on Fiberboard


Some Examples of its Use in CD and DVD Packaging

Printing inks are designed for printing to white stock, coated or uncoated. They're all somewhat transparent, so the strong fiberboard color will tend to show through. For some designs this is perfect. For others, at least in some areas, it's better to lighten up some areas. That's where spot UV white comes in. That's the leading role for white ink, but it doesn't stop there. Take a look!

  • Using Spot UV White as a Base for Regular Inks

    The traditional use of white ink has been to provide a base coat for colored inks.

    Intrinsic1 knumoon 4pp fiberboard hub jacket spot white
    knu moon—4pp fiberboard hub jacket, with spot white Under The Rainbow

    The process inks are fairly transparent to allow better blending of colors, and to allow the whiteness of the stock to provide brightness, so even 100% of a process ink will let the color of the stock through (cyan, magenta, and yellow especially—Black not so much). So, if you are printing process color art onto fiberboard, you can expect a pretty big color shift and a darkening of the final product. Two hits (2x) White ink goes a long way toward bringing the level closer to white coated stock.

    You're usually going to prefer the outcome if, instead of using a flood of white, you use it only behind the elements that need it, leaving the remainder the natural color.

  • Spot White as a Primary Design Element

    Lots of really successful designs on fiberboard use the white ink as a stand-alone color.

    geoffHarrington1 4pp foam hub jacket fiberboard 2xwhite
    geoff Harrington—4pp foam hub jacket fiberboard, 2x spot white
    2pp fiberboard cd minijacket LP style spot white ECOseeds3
    ECOseeds—2pp fiberboard cD minijacket LP style, 2x spot white
  • How "White" is White Ink?

    Here's a sample of white inks printed on scrap fiberboard stock.

    fiberboard 1x 2x white

    This photo shows the effect of no white, 1x white, and 2x white ink. Even with full-flood 2x white, there's still going to be darker than real white paper.

  • When NOT To Use Spot White

    Are you are in love with the look and feel or fiberboard, but find that you are spending more time trying to overcome the strong color than you are doing anything else? If you find that you are fighting the fiberboard, you might want to Just try changing to an uncoated white stock. Some folks even print a fiberboard scan to get the vibe, without losing the white whites.

    fiberboard pressproof

    This project ultimately was done on coated white stock. The piece at the left was a press proof on fiberboard.

  • What if I Don't Use Spot White? 

    You certainly don't have to use spot white, and many projects really come to life without it.

    shrink fiberboard tall hub jacket 2
    fiberboard tall hub jacket
    4pp fiberboard jacket puravida
    4pp fiberboard jacket
    sts9_2 4pp tall digipak fiberboard diagonal pocket
    4pp tall digipak fiberboard diagonal pocket
    4pp jacket fiberboard tina6
    4pp jacket fiberboard
  • Why Is White More—UV Curing Process

    On white paper, you get white "for free", but on brown paper, white is an additional color, and so does add cost. To do white on fiberboard stock, we use a special UV curing process. The drying time depends on how many coats of white are needed. Pricing is set for 1x and 2x coats of white.

  • I'm Printing Pantone Colors on Fiberboard. Can Spot White Help?

    Yes, although the Pantone inks are generally more opaque then the process inks, you might want to consider adding 2x spot white as a base—especially with the lighter colors. Even with 2x hits of white ink, though, you can expect some effect on color.

  • Setup of Special Effects in the Disc or Packaging Artwork

    TO create artwork using white ink, you have a couple of options. You can create a spot color (spot channel in Photoshop) and set it to display as white. This may work fine for simpler files, but with Photoshop, it can be a headache to deal with. If you do use a custom color, make sure the name is the same in all files you are using, and try test separations on the art as a sanity check.

    You can "theoretically" create a custom color, called "white Ink," and set its display color to white, and it will come out on its own plate in the separations.

    Our preferred, but arguably old fashioned, method is to use a separate layer for your white, and make all "white" items there, filled and stroked (vector art terms!) with the same single process color. We will place the art you provide, and bring out the white layer to a different page of the layout, so that the areas to take white ink can be clearly seen.

    Here are some pages that may help you with ideas:
    Special Printing Effects
    Hot Foil Stamping
    Embossing and Debossing
    Spot UV Gloss
    How to set up Spot Colors
    How to set up PIPS or reverse side printing
    Custom Die Cuts
    Unusual Folds and Shapes
    Metallic Ink printing
    Spot White Ink on Fiberboard Stock
    Special Disc Printing
    Uncoated Paper(Matte)
    Fiberboard Paper (brown, kraft)

    One of our favorite titles for show & tell is the Deva Film Reel as it actually has all of the effects; hot foil stamping, embossing and debossing, spot UV glass & lamination. Be sure to check our the full spec for the special printing effects on Deva's Featured TItle page.

    gold foil photo with spot gloss and matte lam, dvd film reel packagingDVD packaging with gold foil stamping, embossing, and spot UV gloss matte lamination contrastGold foil on DVD slipcase set,  disc, digipak, special printing effects