Inks Used in Large Format Printing
The inks used in our large format printing projects come in a wide variety of types, including:
- Traditional CMYK
- Light Cyan
- Light Magenta
The different types of printers used by SpeedPro also utilize:
- Aqueous latex
Traditional inks are much like what you find in your home or office printer. These come in four colors and are known as CMYK. This represents cyan, magenta, yellow and black. A lot of our printers are CMYK, but many studios have six-color printers which also include light magenta and light cyan. With these colors in varying combinations, printers can produce nearly any color imaginable.
SpeedPro can offer colors beyond that, however. While white ink is beyond most home and office machines, as well as even many printing chains, SpeedPro can print white ink for any project that requires it.
SpeedPro also prints with metallic inks. These are special inks in which particles of reflective metals are suspended, including zinc, copper, bronze and aluminum. With metallic inks, you can impart an eye-catching luster and sparkle to graphics and text.
Depending on application need, SpeedPro generally uses Latex, UV-curable or SpeedPro proprietary eco-solvent ink for our print jobs. UV-curable inks allow us to print directly on nearly any surface or substrate, foam, glass the list goes on. These inks are also very fast-drawing and can be applied immediately. Both of these inks deliver a high-quality, long-lasting print with the most vibrant colors imaginable.
Our studios have eco-solvent ink and Latex ink. This Latex ink is perfect for vehicle wraps, outdoor graphics and vinyl indoor graphics. For vinyl prints, we use a solvent-based ink method that involves melting the surface of the vinyl just enough for the ink to penetrate into the material. This technique results in a graphic durable to outside elements year-round and a printed image will remain vivid and sharp for years to come. Aqueous latex ink is another option for vinyl as it bonds directly with the surface. The HP Latex ink we use creates an optimizer level before the ink is laid down, which serves as a primer level. This ensures the ink will stick to the surface of the material, which also adds the element of scratch resistance. These are all good options for indoor displays as it is less costly and an easier application than printing with solvent inks. Furthermore, Latex inks are used across our national studios and are Greenguard Gold Certified. Meaning they’re water-based and have much more eco-friendly chemicals.
UV-curable inks are considered “cured” at the point where they are exposed to wavelengths of UV light. UV-Curable ink consists of a photoinitiator that when exposed to UV light undergoes a chemical process that transforms it into a solid film causing it to tightly adhere onto the surface of the substrate material. UV-curable inks perfectly complement flatbed printing. Unlike traditional oil- water-based inks that require heat and time to dry, Curing-UV ink sets it immediately so it can be used on almost any surface. In effect, the curing process transforms the ink into a thin layer of plastic that serves as a top layer to the substrate. UV Inks are distinct from solvent inks because of their capability to print directly onto rigid substrates rather than bleeding into them, the resulting color and hardness are ideal for numerous applications, including outdoor signs, floor graphics and vehicle wraps.
Obviously, the printing process requires ink to take place. Some inks are toxic to the environment which contributes to pollution, climate change and global warming. To help eliminate this toxic threat while maintaining our high standard visual quality, we at SpeedPro use and recommend the use of eco-friendly inks. Latex inks are EcoLogo certified, meaning after being tested through strict health criteria, Latex ink is proven to be less impactful on the environment than other types of ink. Eco-Solvent inks are also known as mild solvent inks as they use a less toxic solvent-based carrier than the previous generation of inks. Eco-Solvent ink significantly reduces the amount of toxic solvent-based carriers in the environment and printers that use an eco-solvent emit less volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) in their waste. Eco-solvent ink seeps into and interacts with the fibers of the base substrate leaving the ink with different sheens and finishes depending on the substrate while providing a great bond and long-lasting coloration and image clarity. Eco-solvent ink requires heat to fully dry to remove the top-layer solvent and leave behind only the wanted imprinted ink pigment. Mild solvent ink combines the durability of solvent ink while retaining the environmental benefits of water-based ink. Furthermore, Eco-Solvent inks reduce the amount of damage done to various internal printer parts such as the print head, which means we can print for a longer period without needing to replace them which also cuts down on waste over time.
SpeedPro uses UV-resistant inks on all banners and flags to prevent water damage. Vinyl banners make a great canvas for custom messages and graphics. Companies trust vinyl as a material proven to display vivid colors. Print big, bold graphics onto magnetic vinyl with vivid inks and get eye-catching colorful signs. Going big is critical in our ad-filled world to make your advertisements stand out.
SpeedPro can print any image on nearly any surface. Our vivid colors and sharp graphics are the envy of the large format printing world. Our studios are ready, willing, and able to walk you through the entire design process to ensure that you get exactly the product you need for whatever design project you are working on.
SpeedPro’s nationwide network of wide-format printers wants to help your brand be seen and succeed. SpeedPro combines high-quality materials and inks with the best printing methods — your graphics will appear vivid and sharp for years to come.