enter image description here

This file was created in photoshop & illustrator, and I'll be printing it digitally on a color laser copier at Kinkos. As you can see, there are a lot of very light tones and that when printed, a good portion of the underlying paper will show through. And if I were printing on white paper, it would be fine. However, I want to print on manilla or ivory colored paper, but still keep the light tones as white (or very light greys) rather than them appearing to be manilla/ivory like this:

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I'm pretty sure that without white ink (on a press) this cannot be done, but I'd love to be proven wrong. Any ideas/suggestions for getting close are welcomed.


  • 1
    Normal CMYK printing has no white ink component. So, yes you are correct. You would need some white ink/toner. Can't see how this would be possible otherwise. There are some digital printers which can print opaque white using a 5th white toner in addition to CMYK. One example is the Ricoh Pro C7100X.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 22, 2022 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


You probably won't be proven wrong.

Without the use of actual white ink (and a press, not a copier), there's nothing you can do to make white miraculously appear on a non-white stock.

The highest/brightest value possible is always that of the stock, unless a "lighter-than-the-stock" ink is used. It's not such a big hurdle for a commercial press. But it's impossible for a digital copier, unless the copier supports spot colors.

Some models of the Fiery copiers often employed at places like Kinko's can support spot colors: SEE HERE Whether your local Kinko's has one of these models is another matter.

The general practice for a press is that a base ink of the light color is laid down then other inks are overprinted on top of it. I don't know how that would work for a copier. But with spot color support you might be able to configure something which adds at least some highlights, even if something like a base ink isn't possible.

  • thanks for confirming
    – Daveh0
    Apr 22, 2022 at 3:43

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