Color Trend: Using Bright Paper Stocks and Inks

bright color trendsThe future is bright, and after Pantone’s release of its 21 “new, electric shades,” it’s about to get even brighter.  After years of neutral, earthy tones dominating color and design trends, vivid colors are back and they’re making a bright, bold statement. Vibrant, lively hues make an impact in the world of design while creating lasting impressions with an audience. Energizing colors not only inspire designers, but excite consumers.

Employing the use of intensely colorful paper stocks and vivid ink tones will command attention. Check out the following techniques for inspiration when creating your next colorful piece.

While many creatives think of producing a colorful printed piece by layering colored ink on a white substrate, we encourage you to push the envelope a bit further. What if the color came from the substrate, instead of the ink? Or, better yet, what if the color came from both the ink and the substrate?

Few design techniques lend as much drama and impact as printing on colored paper.  And, as an added bonus, most colored stocks are as versatile as, if not more than, white paper.  You can print almost any shade of ink on color, whether it’s traditional black, a crisp white, or another fun hue.

Printing an electric shade atop a bold colored paper is an excellent way to garner extra attention.  The color-on-color combination makes a perfectly unexpected statement. Try electric yellow on a bright blue stock or a lime green graphic on bold red paper. Similarly, you can print a deep ink tone on an eye-awakening hue. For high contrast, try a rich black or midnight blue ink on a fluorescent pink substrate.

Another great characteristic of fluorescent-colored paper is its ability to intensify an image, even if the shades are similar. For example, if your image has a strong purple base, printing it on a violet stock will enhance its tone, especially if you turn down the opacity of the graphic. This technique allows the color of the paper to shine through the ink, adding a layer of depth and interest.

Using metallic paper is another way to add intensity to a colorful piece, especially if you are looking for a more subdued option. This shimmery, coated paper adds visual texture and sophistication. A great design technique when working with this type of stock involves the creation of a high-contrast to emphasize the metallic specs within the substrate. For a simple approach, try printing your text or graphic with white ink atop a deep, sparkly blue. For a bolder design, think of using orange, purple and green ink tones over an off-white or soft-shaded stock.

Adventurous paper and ink colors simply yet powerfully help you create a standout piece.  With brilliant, new bright-colored paper and ink options on the market, the possibilities are endless. Be as daring as these shades, and discover for yourself the benefits of being a bright designer!

Do you have a project or technique to share? Comment below.


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