How to Reproduce This?

Hello & Happy New Year!

A customer came to me and asked if I would reproduce these number cards (see photo of a sample). They are white numbers on a black background, on thick paperboard.

The customer insists that it be printed white on black, I verified. This is difficult to achieve based on my limitations:

- Hot Foil - I don’t have the means
- Silver Ink - I’m not satisfied with the results

I’m considering getting plates made of the background, and then I would print the black background of each number on white paper.

Any other thoughts or ideas that I haven’t listed?


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Your photo didn’t come through, but there is always the option of saying “No”!
It’s taken me a long time to get comfortable turning down jobs that are not suited for my equipment, but it’s been great for my mental health :)

A few thoughts….

1) How picky would they be about the white? Maybe if you gave it a double hit, it would be good enough.

2) Assuming the numbers are pretty big, do you have wood type (or big metal type) you could use to print them? Otherwise it would be pretty expensive to get plates for the numbers, whether you printed them in white, or reverses of them in black.

3) How many of each number do they want, and how big a number series are they talking about (1 to 10? 1 to 100? or?)

4) Think about farming the job out to a screen printer. That would save you plate and production costs. Get a quote from the screen printer, and then add 20% (or more) to the quote and see if the customer bites. You could still order the paperboard, cut the board to size according to the number up that the screen printer wanted to print, and cut the numbers apart after they are printed.

Hello Little Drum,
a suggestion -
customer needs on Thick paper board.
what about having these printed digitally (oh the horror lol)
then duplexing (fancy word for gluing on a thicker stock)
voila a solution to a customer need.
Ted Lavin
Artificer Press

White on black is just plain hard…but it can be done. My best effort required 4 trips through the press. Two silver topped by 2 opaque white. Looked pretty good. I did lose more copies than usual due to registration difficulties (hand fed on an 8x12 C&P) but not a whole lot.

The best results of this technique I’ve seen took 7 trips through the press…2 lacquer/sealant/2 silver/3 opaque white (machine fed on a Kluge).

I don’t think I’d take this challenge on again; It’s too much work. The alternatives above all sound better.