1

I have designed a set of recipe cards for my client in the foods biz, which were printed by a commercial digital printer. As part of the series they wanted to have some blank cards printed... "blank" as in they didn't have a recipe on them - just the background pattern and border. Anyway, along with these, I created them a MS Word template for the recipe portion close to that which was printed on the other set of non-blank cards (that was laid out in INDD) so that they could print a new/special recipe on their ink jet printer, in low runs, on the fly whenever they needed to stray from the handful of recipes they had printed by the commercial printer.

As I suspected may happened, the ink from the ink desktop jet didn't seem to take to the card. they looked ok right after pulling them off the printer but after a little while, everything got really washed out... almost as if there was nowhere for the ink to grab on to. I'm positive that this is due to either the ink from the commercial printer or some sort of coating they used (even though I didn't order anything glossy or anything like that).

Does anyone know of any technique (specific printing specs or particular type of stock) that could be used to allow for printing a blank "shell" commercially and then over printing the text later on a mid-level desktop inkjet? Or do the 2 just not mix well?

A shell is just the outer elements (background, borders, etc) with a blank area where the recipe goes. The client needs the ability to produce a small quantity (in the 5-10 range) of recipe cards for any recipe in their pool of thousands, on-demand, so sending the entire card (shell and recipe text) to the commercial printer is not a viable option.

  • 1
    What paper? What finish? What commercial digital print? If it is digital why don't you just send to print the new recipes when they are ready? What is a shell? – Rafael Jul 24 '18 at 1:10
  • apparently there was a matte finish applied - makes sense that the inkjet ink wouldn't adhere or absorb. A shell is just the outer elements (background, borders, etc) with a blank area where the recipe goes. The client needs the ability to produce a small quantity (in the 5-10 range) of recipe cards for any recipe in their pool of thousands, on-demand, so sending the entire card (shell and recipe text) to the commercial printer is not a viable option. – Daveh0 Jul 24 '18 at 14:49
  • Oh. Ok. I'll add this part to your post. – Rafael Jul 24 '18 at 17:35
0

Do the cards have a coating such as a glossy, or satin finish?

Your blank cards need to be printed on uncoated stock if you want to overprint them with an inkjet printer. When I say "uncoated" I mean like the surface of ordinary printer paper. These inks generally dry by absorption, so if it can't be absorbed into the surface of the card it will not really dry properly, and it probably won't even adhere to the surface.

Test the card before you get the job printed, just to make sure it will work.

Also it's not a good idea to have ink on areas you will overprint. Lithographic printing inks are often oil based, and water based inkjet inks probably won't adhere to the surface properly. If possible, ensure the areas that will be overprinted are just blank card.

Another potential problem to be aware of is that not all card will go through a home/office inkjet printer feeder. The card thickness limit is often around 160gsm, but you should really check your printer user manual for an actual recommended thickness. Some can handle thicker card.

  • great info! The cards did run through the inkjet printer ok, but it sounds like they're on the wrong type of paper so I'll have to be sure the new, uncoated paper is of the same thickness. And just to be clear the original shell cards were printed digitally as well (not offset)... just through a commercial printer rather than a desktop inkjet. – Daveh0 Jul 24 '18 at 4:33
  • You probably need to have a discussion with your printer as to the kind of stock you can use. Digital printing is different from offset, and there may be only a limited range of stock which works with their machines. Let your printer know what you intend to do, and test the stock in your inkjet printer before you proceed. – Billy Kerr Jul 24 '18 at 7:49
  • Gotcha - printer is dropping off some samples today, both printed on and pristine. We'll run them through the desktop inkjet and see what sticks (literally). I'll post back with the final specs chosen. – Daveh0 Jul 24 '18 at 14:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.