Tone-on-tone printing is a technique that uses clear varnish or the same color to contrast, create depth, or create visual interest without introducing additional colors. The term refers to printing the same color on a surface of the same or very similar color.

The print layer of ink makes the image visible, but only very subtly.

How to print tone on tone.

There are several industries that utilize this printing technique. These industries include inkjet printing, pad printing, and the screen-printing industry.

Screen printing and pad printing.

Tone-on-tone printing is popular in pad printing, screen printing on drinkware, and silicone printing. Clear SE silicone inks deliver incredible prints on silicone rubber material. For example, the SE Series clear silicone ink is perfect for both screen and pad printing tone-on-tone.

Printing clear on silicone material is very easy. Simply mix the ink with the catalyst, mix, and print on the substrate. The same process applies to pad printing.

Inkjet tone on tone printing

Inkjet printing is different from screen or pad printing. To print tone-on-tone, make an adjustment to the artwork and colors prior to printing. Additionally, you do not need to print white because you want the base (substrate) color to be visible. Note that these prints are much faster than full-color printing.

How to cure the product after printing.

UV inks cure during UV inkjet printing. With the Gyra® Digital Cylinder printer, there are no additional steps after printing. The UV/LED light in the machine cures the tone on tone print. All of our Natron UV inkjet ink, including the varnish, is cured by UV light.

Solvent pad printing inks and silicone screen printing inks, on the other hand, require heat to dry and cure. If you are printing on glass or silicone, cure the inks at 300F for 4-5 minutes.

Inks to achieve the look.

The printing technique determines the inks used for tone-on-tone printing. For UV printing, any of our UV inks can achieve this look. Simply adjust the artwork and inks accordingly prior to printing. Learn about Primer for UV printing on glass.

To screen or pad print on silicone rubber, use the SE 370 Clear silicone ink. To print on metal and glass, use the MG series inks. We also have the MG 383 Etch imitation color. This ink is perfect for both pad printing and screen printing.

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