Designing for kraft paper

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by jsm4182, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. jsm4182 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2006
    Beacon, NY
    I'm currently working on a new business card design as part of rebranding my web development business. My new branding uses a brown/green/orange color scheme(you can see this on my website), so I have been considering printing the new business cards on kraft paper.

    I've never designed for kraft paper before and have been wondering about specific design considerations, specifically what shades of green and orange can print well on it.

    I'm looking at get them printed by
  2. zarathustra macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    You are opening a can of worms by printing on a non white surface, but the results could be very cool.

    What is your reason for printing on kraft paper? It projects a more earthy, eco friendly image rather than being high tech. If you are doing it because the brown is similar to your site, I would just opt for a white card with spot colors for brown, orange and green.

    If you like the look of kraft paper, you will not get anywhere close to the brightness and clarity of the orange or the green.

    see enclosed image of what it might look like.

    * to clarify - top shows RGB preview as you see it. Bottom shows overprint preview with two spot colors. This is just to illustrate how unpredictable it can get.

    Attached Files:

  3. Zoreke macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Greenerprinter are good! :D

    OK if you want to have your spot colors to look exactly the same as on the PMS book you need to put a backing white ink on all your elements, then the spot color on top (overprinting). If you don't do this the ink will overprint the paper and the colors will change a lot (do a test, over a kraft color or image, select your elements and apply multiply on trasparency, that's how they are going to look on kraft)...

    So that's a special order and it will cost you more, you can always scan a nice piece of kraft paper and make a fake texture... or print with opaque inks (like silkscreen) to get nice results without a backing white.

    Good luck

  4. jsm4182 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2006
    Beacon, NY
    I'm looking into kraft paper for both reasons you mentioned: One area I'm starting to focus on is using web technologies to help business reduce paper use and waste to go green and I've never really been happy in the past with printing a background color on a business card, they always seem to get scratched up.

    I know the colors are not going to be as bright as they are on my website. How did you do that image to show how it would print on the kraft paper?
  5. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Overprinting the fill. Notice the checkbox next to the artwork.

    Printers, especially those who often print on non-white stock, will know how to get your colors to stand out on the darker substrate.

    You can often add white to the ink on press in order to lighten the color (the color would then be considerably lighter on white stock but when ran on the darker stock would more closely match the PMS reference). Also useful for solid objects is running white on the unit before the lighter color and trapping the white back slightly.

    Or if time allows - you can run the white base, let dry, then run the colored art on top of the now dry white.

    Your CSR at the printer would be able to help you with how they prefer you to set up your files for best results.
  6. Intel Inside macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2008
    Hi there, I'm red/green colour blind, and i find your website, with the brown/green/orange colour scheme very hard to read; The colours make the text blend into the background and make it unreadable in some places. I hope you considered your whole audience when you were designing you site. Colour blind people use the internet too!
  7. drorpheus macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2010
    just like in the example that zarathustra attached your never going to get neon colors to pop off of dark paper stock without putting a layer of white down before printing the light colors, dark colors will work though as you see, green and red come out quite festive as will blues blacks greys to an certain degree. the best thing you would get with kraft paper would be like how your logo is on a chocolate colored block. make the outline and name solid white then when printing on kraft the white will be kraft colored and the chocolate will be relatively chocolate, but yeah in order to get almost any bright color on a dark surface will require the design printed in solid white first then the color over the white so it has something to pop off of. Or the only other way would be to scan a slab of kraft paper and use it as a fake background, print it your design on white paper stock then you'd get your neon orange and green on kraft but with no actual kraft paper.

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