Whether your project is an extensive printed glass facade, a thought provoking public art project or a private commission, there are several important colour considerations to remain aware of before you begin creating a masterpiece to be printed on glass using ceramic inks.
Traditional printers use a combination of the four spot colours known as CMYK which are then mixed to achieve a full range of colour. In contrast, our ImagInk printed glass features six proprietary ceramic spot colours. While the Blue, Yellow and Black colours are very similar, where the CMYK profile has bright pink (Magenta, or M), the corresponding ceramic colour is a rich red (R). To manufacture magenta as a ceramic ink requires cadmium, a chemical element that releases highly toxic fumes during the glass toughening process. It also reduces the amazing UV stability offered by the ceramic colours. Thus we don not currently magenta available in a ceramic colour.
Because of this, bright pinks and surrounding colours such as bright purple are very hard to reproduce. Images that feature magenta will result in these hues shifting towards neighbouring hues, such as pastel pink. If your artwork features magenta, or other bright pinks, we can advise and demonstrate how these colours will change during.
Transluency & Transparency of Ceramic inks printed on glass
Black, white, red and yellow are all considered minimally translucent colours. There is no clear vision through these colours once printed on glass, however when there is a light source placed behind them they will illuminate very nicely. Green and Blue are considered significantly more translucent, with blue being the most and bordering on being a transparent colour.
It is important to note that these translucent/transparent qualities are referring to the spot colours in their base form, ie they are not mixed. For example, if a purple was required we would mix red and blue, and the transparency of the blue would be reduced as it is combined with the opaque quality of the red ink.
Pantone & RAL Colour matching on glass
When specifiying colours for printing on glass, colour libraries should be referred to as guidelines only as we cannot guarantee the same accuracy in colour matching as traditional offset or digital printing. Additionally the colour and thickness of the glass will affect the colours of the printed surface, as will any light sources.
We have the entire RAL and Pantone library printed in the showroom at our head office, and as is always the case with colour matching, we recommend viewing this prior to manufacturing if your project requires Pantone or RAL colours. Individual samples can also be provided upon request.
Further information for Architects, Artists and Designers
The ceramic ink colour information detailed on this page also can be found in our comprehensive Artist and Designer Guide, which can be downloaded here. This guide contains further information regarding sampling, minimum text sizes, and the sample and proofing process for our printed glass.
If you have any questions or require further information regarding colours and printing on glass, please don’t hesitate to get in touch below.