Custom Metallic Opacity

I have a question of opacity on a custom metallic gold I’m having mixed off site (8642 C). Am I correct to assume that adding 48% Yellow 012 to the 52% Gold 874 will noticeably lower the opacity? If it lowers opacity, is it slight or is it quite noticeable? I’ll be printing 8642 c on black french paper.

I use rubber based inks and thought I’d have it custom mixed rather than order up oil based Yellow 012 that I won’t otherwise use.
Thank you for the input!

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Gold 874 only comes in oil based I believe.

I’m not sure about how the 48% yellow will effect opacity.
But be aware that the C after the pantone # indicates that to correctly match the mixed ink to the swatch it must be printed on a white coated stock.
Be sure you refer to a book that has 8642U to see how the ink should look-on white, uncoated paper.
You are right that a rubber based ink will have more opacity than a oil based ink.
The black base paper color will still darken the printed image because even rubber base ink has a certain amount of transparency.
Good Luck, Jon

Why are you thinking about lowering the opacity when you are printing on black paper? It seems you would want to have as much opacity as possible.

I have printed on black papers in offset and needed to double and triple pass the paper to get an acceptable image using opaque white. Metalic silver looks great on black paper. Gold not as much.

Thanks dickg,
Yes, Gold 874 is only oil based. I forgot to mention metallics are the exception to my rubber based lineup.

2001fred, thanks for the insight. Pantone doesn’t make an uncoated swatch book for metallics from what I can see, only one for coated stocks. I’m just using the coated metallics book for a mixing reference knowing it will be affected by the uncoated/black paper. The combination of those two variables means I’ll have to compensate by going up a step or two on the chart or experiment while mixing.

Hi, Colophon Press,
I’m not wanting the opacity to lower at all. I guess I didn’t make that clear on my original post. I’m just concerned that offering a custom metallic gold using the Pantone Metallic Formula will noticeably decrease opacity. I agree that silver on black prints much better. I’m trying to meet a clients request to print a gold that more closely matches his specs. Hitting this tone of gold requires custom mixing (from the Pantone Metallic Book) with an oil based Yellow 012 at a ratio that I’m thinking may cripple the gold’s effectiveness by lowering overall opacity.

I may end up offering only the basic metallics as an option when printing on dark paper unless I find good results with some experimentation.

I’m making a point which is germaine to this discussion, but first some background.

Ink companies often do not do color matching like we do with the Pantone base colors. All of the Pantone base colors are what ink companies call “finished inks,” meaning that they are complete inks ready for printing.

Ink companies commonly use “toners,” which are like inks except that they have a much greater amount of pigment, so their color strength is much stronger. Toners cannot be used as inks because they don’t contain enough vehicle, (or varnish, somewhat similar to transparent white). If toners were used for printing, there would not be enough vehicle to properly surround the pigment and protect it and bind it to the sheet.

The use of toners is an advantage because this allows the ink companies to make stronger colored inks than we can with the PMS base colors. For instance, if we are using 021 orange, or a PMS mix, or whatever, we can’t make a stronger ink than the base colors are already.

Ink company formulas specify the percentage by weight of each toner, plus the percentage of vehicle, plus the percentage of any additives to give the ink special properties if these aren’t in the vehicle already, like added rub resistance, faster drying, optical brighteners, anti-skinning agents, etc. Ink companies still must follow vehicle to pigment ratios, however, so they don’t get too much total pigment and too little vehicle in an ink.

So, to comment on your query, an ink company would add yellow toner but wouldn’t have to use 48% yellow because their yellow toner is much more concentrated. They also wouldn’t start with gold because gold is almost always silver which is toned to look like gold with yellow and orange. So they would start with silver, and then add yellow and/or orange toner and then to make it darker they might add black, for instance, but only a very small amount.

So, if you got a PMS mix of 8642 from an ink company, it probably would have significantly more silver in it (to make the gold), than you would get if you made the ink from PMS bases.

Remember too that if you are printing on uncoated paper, the metallic look will be greatly reduced as compared to printing on highly coated paper.

(PMS and Pantone are registered trademarks)

Just a thought.

I got pretty results putting a hit of silver down to opaque out the paper, then a PMS green. I forget the exact number.

If you can register multiple hits and the quantity is small enough the extra pass doesn’t kill you it might work.

image: IMG_1454.jpg


Thanks Geoffrey,
I’ll be mixing Pantone 874 gold and Yellow 012. No additives or toners.

Thanks Brer Bales,
Great results. Does the green have any of the metallic appearance of the silver below it (as much as you can expect from letterpress metallic on uncoated paper that is)?

The green did take on a bit of the metallic from the silver. I think it looks cool.

I did this on black and white duplex linen. It is technically uncoated but the ink does sit on top of the sheet more than it would on a standard uncoated sheet.

I do not recommend using linen paper for letterpress. Especially with rubber based ink…That is whole other thread though.