How should I spec a tinted varnish?

Answered by the experts at EU Services

How should I spec a tinted varnish? Do I need to say how much tint to use? How can I predict what it will look like over heavy coverage? G.H.

To spec your tinted varnish, specify a tint range of approximately 1 to 5%, depending on the effect you're seeking. Opaque white and silver are the most popular inks to use for tinting, and they will produce a slightly muted effect on the printed piece. This reduces the usual sheen or shine of using a varnish alone. Opaque inks are used with tinted varnishes on heavy print areas or solids. You may also want to consider using different colors when the purpose of the tint is to actually tint the stock (coated stock) itself. In this case, the tinted varnish can be knocked-out so it doesn't appear on other subject matter or overprint the piece with a slight color change in the tinted varnish, keeping in mind how dark the tint itself is. This process is referred to as adding a transparent tint. The opaque tints are only used on solid ink areas.

The best way to predict how the tint will look over heavy coverage is to ask for a sample of a similar product that your printer has produced, or request an ink drawdown.
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