Taking a Shine to Metallics
Welcome to the clear-cut world of printing terminology! ;-))
Try as I might, I could not find a clear differentiation. The formulas for these pearlescent and iridescent sheets are often proprietary. In some cases, the mica crystals are very finely ground for a subtle, even sheen; but they can also be applied more overtly on the paper surface (think of the gilding on an ornate picture frame).
Sometimes it’s all about tone on tone for achieving a super-saturated color. At other times, the mill can opt for a shimmer that creates a contrasting hue. For example a brown-based paper with a golden mica coating ends up having an overall bronze look.
Without Much To-Do
Since many clients are on tighter budgets these days and feel they have to forgo some of the high-end finishing techniques, it’s good to keep metallic, iridescent and pearlescent papers in mind. No matter what these sparkling finishes are called, they add a unique look and an extra dimension without much extra to-do.
Yes, they might be a bit more expensive than your average white sheet, but they are perfect for short runs. Of the more than 250 metallic sheets we currently list in our PaperSpecs paper database, more than 100 are suitable for digital production presses. So that marketing piece can shine no matter which press platform its’s printed on.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.