Does the notion of “building” from ink seem improbable? Well, maybe. But the expression has come to describe the process of creating the illusion of a single, sold color by a juxtaposition of several very different colors. The four “process” colors -cyan, magenta, yellow, black – can be mixed by means of tiny halftone dots in “screens” to reproduce most colors reasonably well.
Why go to so much trouble? Basically, it’s the only efficient way devised to reproduce full-color photographic images. And since solid-color areas must be rendered on the same printing press-with the same inks-screen “building” is necessary.
When working with match-color inks (solids), you print a solid film of the color, just like painting a wall. At B&B, five-color printing lets you select an additional solid match color – or varnish – for your job. And absent color photos, you are free to run as many solid colors as the press (and your budget) permits.
To build or not to build…
- Standard body copy must nearly always be printed in solid, not built, inks. Small type and rules reverse well from a solid ink.
- Large areas of dark color, especially greens, print better with two coats or “hits.”
- Solid ink can be gloss or matte.
- Metallic shades cannot be built.
- Solid colors can produce interesting halftones or duotones.
- Black ink is cheaper than colors.
On solid building blocks
- Screen-built type must be larger and bolder to retain legibility.
- Large, page-covering builds are usually less smooth in appearance.
- Some dark or vivid colors cannot be matched closely with a build.
- Screen-builds containing at least 100% solid ink give better detail in type, rules or intricate elements.