Metallic printing – gold and silver are unlocking the full potential of CMYK+ for commercial printers

With customers demanding new innovation and excellence, commercial printers are responding by investing in innovative print technology. Research from Keypoint Intelligence identifies that sales of new devices with CMYK+ capabilities, especially those capable of metallic printing, are increasing. With respondents indicating that metallic Silver (72%) and Gold (66%) toners were key to their purchase decision.

What sets leading commercial printers above the rest? Is it an ability to capture new business: customers looking for higher value, more premium products? Is it unflinching quality control: blending technology with expertise for a consistently excellent finish? Or is it the constant self-evaluation of practice and process: ensuring their organisation is running as efficiently and effectively as possible?

It is, of course, all those things. Therefore, a big step towards achieving these ambitions in today’s market starts by moving beyond CMYK and embracing CMYK+. Including the use of metallic printing for Gold and Silver as part of a fleet of essential print enhancements.

metallic printing

What is CMYK+?

CMYK+ takes the traditional combination of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black and introduces a white base layer. Therefore this allows for the colours your printer produces to become more vivid and able to hit a wider colour gamut. It also enables digital print devices to offer other fifth colour options typically for valuable enhancement effects like clear or security coatings.

Newer print devices now use digital print techniques to add these fifth colour options, along with other toner-based spot colours and dimensional effects. As a result this enables metallic colour enhancements to be applied in line with standard CMYK.

Why is CMYK+ metallic printing important for your business?

CMYK+ and the use of Gold and Silver toner will continue to be growing trends in 2021 and beyond, as the demand for print enhancements continues to rise. By incorporating them into your business, you’ll see a range of benefits for both you and your customers, including:

  • Improved customer satisfaction as you provide an enhanced-quality finish
  • Higher margins as you produce higher value, premium products
  • Consistent colour control for quality assurance
  • Improved brand reputation – getting the colour right every time and hitting a wider gamut of colours
  • Greater opportunity for more efficient and effective practices
  • Responsive and rapid production of value-added print

So, what can we learn from leading commercial printers who have already begun to adopt CMYK+ and metallic printing?

How are leading commercial printers using CMYK+?

Research by Keypoint Intelligence explored what the most desired print enhancements are when purchasing devices with CMYK+ capabilities. Two questions highlighted particularly interesting insights for the future of print:

  1. ‘Which of the following colours or enhancements would you want to use in-line when producing digital print jobs?

There were two clear winners: the most popular choice, highlighted by 72% of entrants, was Metallic Silver, closely followed by Metallic Gold at 66%.

  1. Which digital applications are sold to customers that include some form of print enhancement or speciality colour?’

As part of the same survey, responders who were already using CMYK+ enabled devices revealed that business cards (70%), invitations (65%) and brochures (59%) are the top three most requested applications featuring metallic printing enhancements.

Gold and Silver metallic printing is popular

Gold and Silver have had a long association with jewellery. However their value is no longer confined to the actual metals they represent as these colours now feature across everything from premium clothing to desirable smartphones.

Therefore, metallic printing in gold and silver toner adds an elegant touch to digitally printed documents. Offering customers a beautiful product – think silver scripts on invitations or golden logos on letterheads – which attracts a premium price.

Introducing the Ricoh Pro C7200X Graphic Arts Range

Ricoh’s Ricoh Pro C7200X range has been specifically designed to print CMYK+ products through its 5th Colour Station. The new luxurious Gold and Silver toners can significantly expand their capability and function by being retrofitted to an existing Ricoh Pro C7200X device. Allowing commercial printers to produce unique metallic printing solutions that are consistent, compelling and which command premium prices.

Find out more.

Tim Carter

Ricoh UK Sales Director Commercial Print

Read all articles by Tim Carter