Featured Article Printing

Unique Business Cards: Soft Touch UV Coating

Looking for unique business cards?

You have to FEEL the soft touch UV coating that we are applying to our new business cards. People can’t keep their hands off these cards!

Let’s talk about how these are produced and how to prepare files for soft touch UV coating.

You will need to prepare two files for each side of the business card: one for the CMYK image and another file for the spot UV coating. The CMYK file will be the content of the image, while the spot UV coating file will be made with 100% black in CMYK file. There cannot be any other colors inside the spot UV coating file. Also, make sure there is no other data in the K (Black) channel, such as highlights or soft edges.

Here is an example of how this card was made with CMYK file and spot UV coating file:

CMYK plate for soft touch UV coated business cards
Original InDesign document saved as CMYK PDF
Spot UV plate for soft touch UV business cards
Spot UV coating plate made as 100% black. Saved as CMYK PDF









As you can see, the spot UV file is made with selections filled with 100% black. Be creative with these selections. The more clever use of spot UV makes the cards really dramatic. Be careful not to overuse the spot UV because that will take away the feel of the soft touch coating on the balance of the card. The best results occur when using spot UV coating sparingly for impact.

Note: Be careful to line-up files exactly. Drop me a note if you have a question on how to line-up these two files.

As far as how the soft touch UV cards are printed, they are printed on 20 point stock using high-pigmented CMYK inks. The images are screened with 20 micron stochastic imagery, resulting in continuous tone images. Just like a photographic print!

Here is the final printed business card:

Gucci/Audi image printed with soft touch UV coating
“Everybody loves them” – Lians Jadan


Want to print soft touch UV? Drop me a line HERE and I will take care of your printing.

How would you like to use this coating style? Please leave a comment below…

Fashion Photography by Lians



WOW! 5 Lenticular Printing Effects You’ve Never Seen Before

You’re just starting to realize the power of lenticular printing, but did you know all the options you have for printing creative lenticular prints?

Here are five lenticular printing effects:

Fall color change with lenticular printing
By flipping the card front-to-back, the leaves change color to further emphasize the marketing message.







Lenticular effects: Flip

The simplest of all animation effects, it involves an image change, or flip, from one image to the next. A lenticular flip allows up to three separate images to be combined and viewed independently when viewed at different angles while moving the lenticular lens. Flip images are the most basic, however they can produce the most dramatic effects.

Lenticular effects: 3D Depth

The illusion of depth and distance between elements from the foreground to background. 3D depth is created by following the theory of parallax. Our brain compares the different views from our right and left eyes creating a three-dimensional visual.

Lenticular effects: Morph

Lenticular morph effect gradually changes one image to another image. Although any two objects can be morphed, the technology works best when the two images are similar in shape and on a common background.

Lenticular effects: Zoom

Zooming is the effect of an image appearing to move closer or farther away in a series of animated positions. The effect works best when the background is common throughout all of the animated images, and has been designed with a looping of the image with no obvious start or finish.

Lenticular effects: Motion/Video/Animation

Motion/Video/Animation uses multiple frames of an action showing movement from its beginning to end. It is very much like watching a movie clip, but on a medium that requires no power. This effect is best optimized when the background remains constant throughout the sequence. Typically this requires the source to be animation, video or sequenced still images.

What kind of ideas has lenticular printing inspired with you? Please leave a comment below and share…


Blog Featured Article Printing

Lenticular Printing: Hue Got To See This!

Lenticular printing showing the changing fall colors
By flipping the card front-to-back, the leaves change color to further emphasize the marketing message.

Looking for a way to break through the clutter? Create an instant conversation?

Nothing engages readers more than lenticular printing. Often thought as an expensive marketing piece, lenticular printing is now very affordable.

Marketing pieces can now contain two or three different images which will flip when the card is rotated top-to-bottom. This technique is perfect for demonstrating before-and-after examples. Examples of lenticular printing effects are: flip, 3D, morph, zoom, motion and combination.

Lenticular printing is a process of printing interlaced images onto a lens that will magnify the different images when viewed at different angles. Lenticular is a CMYK printing process, however the image is printed backwards (wrong-reading) on the opposite side of the lens. When the lens is viewed from the front, the image is right-reading. Lenticular prints can be printed on both sides using a laminating process. The back-side of the card is only available with conventional CMYK printing and is not lenticular.

Not sure how to prepare your artwork for lenticular? HiDefColor can create the entire piece from creative to finished happy client. In fact, use our experience and create a worry-free marketing campaign that is sure to pay a HUGE ROI.

Want to see this dynamic marketing piece in your hands? Click here and provide me with your address and I will send you a sample for FREE! Sorry, available within United States only.

What are some ways you can your lenticular technology in your marketing? Please leave a comment below…


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VIDEO: 3D Printing May Solve Organ Donor Crisis


Where will printing take us next? The future of print is brighter than some may think.

3D Printing is a new and exciting development in the world of inkjet technology. It works on the premise of printing 3D models layer by layer; akin to layer cake.

In the case of creating human organs, the sequence of layers is derived from MRI scans ensuring the exact dimensions of the replacement organ. The human cells are harvested form the recipient and stored in an ‘oven’ that replicates the environment of the human body, from temperature to oxygen levels. The living cells are then ‘printed’ with the data from the MRI scan. Instead of printing with ink, the printer is printing with human cells. Truly fascinating!

So the question needs to be asked, can we grow organs instead of transplanting them?

Blog Featured Article Printing

Online G7 Master Printer Certification is proud to be part of G7 Master Printer network!

The G7 Master Printer Certification is a qualification program that identifies printing companies that have been trained to print to G7 Neutral Print Density Curves ensuring gray balance across the tonal range. The advantage to facilitating a G7 workflow guarantees print buyer expectations of the closest color match from proof to press and across other methods of printing from offset to digital to large format products. Although all methods of printing (offset, digital, large format) have their own color gamuts, the effect of printing to neutral density print curves results in a visual color match of each different product to the human eye.

The result is your branded identity will have a visual color match from different locations and different printing devices.

The G7 Master Printer Certification also means we use modern colorimetry technology and employ G7 process controls to guarantee color quality. is one of the few online printers who are G7 Master Printers. The G7 Master Printer status is audited and renewed on a yearly basis. prints to the GRACoL CMYK print specification on offset, digital and large format products.

Have you heard of G7 Master Printer Certification? Please leave your comments below…



How Crossovers/Gutter Jumps are Printed and Bound

I was asked the other day about producing a calendar for 2012. The unique challenge with this project was that it wasn’t a typical template calendar and that its design involves fashion photography that crosses over the spine onto the page beneath.

Large images that cross over the spine/gutter in the binding process are known as a ‘gutter jump’ or ‘crossover’.

This design is used frequently in the magazine and book publishing business, but it may be relatively unknown to most graphic designers or photographers as to how it’s produced. It may be one of the ultimate challenges for a high quality commercial printer to do successfully. It relies on every department (prepress, press, postpress) on doing there job exactly to specification to pull off a successful quality reproduction.


Staccato/FM Screens Produce Larger CMYK Color Gamut

Staccato/FM Screen Gray Ramp
Tonal range comparison of AM screening versus FM (Staccato) screening

Staccato/FM screens ability to produce a larger CMYK color gamut is one of the best secrets to producing quality color on press.

Conventional halftones, often referred to as AM screens (amplitude modulated), distribute ink over a grid of dots that increase in size for darker tones. Throughout the tone scale, the frequency of dots remains the same, but the size or amplitude increases. The ink and water requirements vary greatly throughout the tonal range, causing a basic lithographic instability for which there are no on press controls.

An alternative to traditional halftones is Staccato/FM/stochastic screening. The ink water requirements are more evenly distributed throughout the tonal range thereby overcoming the inherent instability of the AM screen. Staccato/stochastic halftones are often referred to as FM screens (frequency modulated), because the number and frequency of dots changes with tonality. Note that the average size of dot structures remains relatively constant through the tone scale. The dots are positioned in a pseudo random pattern to avoid moiré and patterning problems.

Many people are aware that FM screens brings certain quality benefits to print, but few have realized the true potential of stochastic to deliver more predictable and stable color to their presswork and a larger CMYK color gamut.

Let’s look at the comparison of primary colors (Red, Green, Blue) and how the screens compare in trapping/overprinting subtractive colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow).


Primary Red

Stochastic/FM tonal comparison red overprint showing larger CMYK color gamut
solid Yellow ink trapping/overprinting Magenta tonal range
Observe how much finer the FM/stochastic screen appears


Primary Green

Stochastic/FM tonal comparison green overprint showing larger CMYK color gamut
solid Yellow ink trapping/overprinting Cyan tonal range
Observe how much finer the FM/stochastic screen appears


Primary Blue

Stochastic/FM tonal comparison Blue overprint showing larger CMYK color gamut
Magenta tonal range trapping/overprinting solid Cyan ink
Observe how much finer the FM/stochastic screen appears


Notice the greater range of tones in all three primary colors with Staccato/FM/stochastic screens resulting in a larger CMYK color gamut.

This demonstration shows that Staccato/FM/stochastic screens print cleaner, with greater vibrancy and a midtone color gamut that is not achievable with AM screens.

In the example above, you can see the effect in a number of areas. If you look in the Magenta patches you will see a distinct difference between the AM and Staccato/FM/stochastic screens.

The tiny dots that make up a Staccato/FM/stochastic screen are actually more efficient at trapping and remitting light than AM screens. A small amount of light on the edge of every dot gets scattered through the paper and through the ink. This is what is called optical gain.

With Staccato/FM/stochastic screens, a larger percentage of the light that hits the printed sheet passes through the ink. This means that less ink is required for a given visual tone and the increased optical effect filters out a greater percentage of the complementary colors that are reflected from the paper surface. It is the complementary colors that contaminate the color we should be seeing and there is less of it getting through with Staccato/FM/stochastic screens.

True High Definition Color.

Which color would you prefer? Please leave your comments below…


Blog Printing Video

VIDEO: The End of Print?

Is this the trend of where printing is going or gone?



BTW, the iPad comes with the car. What do you think? Please leave your comments below…


Blog Printing

Expand your Creative Options with Digital Dimensional Printing

How many times have you sat in those marketing meetings trying to think of a clever, unique way of creating marketing pieces? A new innovative and inexpensive printing method is digital dimensional printing. Digital dimensional printing is a raised, high gloss, spot coating that creates an additional sensory feel to your marketing pieces. This raised or 3-D effect helps your communications stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Images and photographs that look like they have a textural feel are perfect images to start with since the reader will already have a mental thought of what the image will feel like. Images that are highly detailed are also a great selection to use digital dimensional printing

One particular case study is from a residential commercial roofing company. Their marketing challenge was two-fold: one, how to produce marketing samples that accurately reproduce the many different colors of their roofing shingles and two, create the sensory effect of a shingle.

The solution? Digital dimensional printing.

The individual colored shingles were scanned, not photographed, and brought into Adobe Photoshop for color correction. The colors were accurately matched using a spectrophotometer and cross-referenced with LAB values on screen and readings from the actual shingle. Once the LAB color corrected images were approved, the images were converted to our GRACoL CMYK color profile for printing on Nexpress.

The selection for the texture was made by cross-referencing the various color channels and manipulating curves to create a high contrast selection of individual pebbles in the shingle. The marketing campaign results were incredible and great ROI.

Digital dimensional printing is a great alternative to raised UV coating and less expensive. It is completely recyclable and does not require any special de-inking process and uses no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to the environment.

What are your thoughts on creative ways to use digital dimensional printing?


Blog Printing Video

VIDEO: Ink is a Printer’s Best Friend


This has to be one of the best videos I’ve ever seen. Please take a few minutes out of your day and watch this video. It’s great to see the passion people take with their jobs to produce the best color possible.

Our business truly is a craft run by passionate people who genuinely care about their work.

If you have an appreciation for Art, you will truly enjoy this video.

What could be more important to producing great color on press than ink?


Tip: View this at ‘1080’ full screen for best results. Press pause, let it spool up and enjoy…