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Can a Printer Print White?

There’s hardly a day that passes by without you needing to print a paper, and 99.9% of the time, it is a relatively effortless task to print your document. However, have you ever thought about what would happen if you try to print a document that’s written in a white font? 

Programs such as Microsoft Word, Notepad, and Google documents all give you the option of writing in all shades of colors, and all of them will appear on your paper, but what about white? This article will walk you through all the possible solutions to this dilemma.

How Printers Normally Work

Before going into the exception, we will talk about the general rule of printers and how they operate. You see, most printers follow the CMYK scheme, which gives you the colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. 

What happens is that each one of those colors is represented to the computer by a sequence of 0s and 1s that, in the end, equal a specific value. Hence, when you choose a color to print in, the computer automatically does the calculations for this color by subjecting the scheme elements from each other in order to reach the desired color.

White, on the other side, is represented by zero to the computer. Since there’s no addition here, all that the computer can do is subtraction, and you cannot subtract from zero as the computer does not work with negatives.

When you insert a white font, what the computer actually gets is nothing, and that’s precisely what it prints in the designated place.

Workarounds

Nevertheless, there are some Indirect ways to achieve a white print, and we will discuss them individually in details right now

Buying Speciality White Ink

The first way is done through diligent work on the part of huge companies such as Epson. They have managed to design a special ink that’s white. This ink is quite a rarity, and even when you get your hands on it, it will take you several coats to allow the print to appear.

You must also remember that with this kind of ink, you will have to swap your standard printing paper for colored paper as it’s quite logical that white print can’t possibly appear on white paper. 

Bordering

Another mechanism that is on the easier side is bordering. That means that using white paper; you will print everything around what you want to appear in white. Say you wish to print a picture of a rabbit, a white one, of course; you will print all the borders that you need; face, ears, and nose. All whilst leaving the white parts as they are on the paper. 

This, of course, doesn’t cost you anything more than what you already have, but it’s not always possible. If your intention from the very beginning was not to use white paper, then this option is not viable for you.

Buying Speciality White Printers

And just like the specialty white ink, there are specialty white printers in the market. We have mentioned before that ordinary printers use the scheme CMYK to print. However, this printer uses a slightly different scheme, which is CMYW, with the ‘’W’’ here standing for white.

Just like ink, the printer is quite rare and expensive. The reason for its rarity is that it’s not high in demand as people hardly ever print white. And if we do need white-print, it’s mostly done with invitations and stuff that are prepared in professional shops that can acquire other, more complicated methods of achieving white print. So, you can hardly need it for your own home.

White-Illusion

The last option is creating the illusion of printing in white. Now, how can you do that? Simply mix a fraction of another color into your white in a way that will not allow it to be detectable by the naked eye. A dot of yellow will do just fine.

Of course, your print will not be pure white; however, it will give the intended illusion. That, again, is a relatively cheap option; it will not cause you any hassle.

Disadvantages

Wanting Results

Of course, the most obvious one being that the result is not always what you want. Printing around or creating an illusion of wight you may very well not satisfy you eventually

Costly

Buying specialty ink and printers that are quite expensive and tedious to work with. You must be sure that you have the financial ability to purchase both. 

Effort

The process of cleaning out the nozzles of the printer just to make sure that they do not mix with any other ink is wearisome. It’s a precise job, and if not done with 100% perfection, then your prints will be polluted by other colors. As any drip of color will appear, vividly, in print.

Maintenance

White inks have a different formula, and they need extra care while dealing with them. They can easily separate, dry-out, or even precipitate, and there goes all your invested money.

Coats

You’ll mostly need several layers to create a white print. That can prove quite a tough task due to different formula of white ink and its tendency to, as mentioned before, to strip over other inks effectively ruining your project.

Final Thoughts

These are the simplest, most affordable ways of creating a white print. However, as stated in the disadvantages, it’s a lot of work, and sometimes the result is not what you would’ve been hoping for.

So far, as it is a significant investment of money, time, and effort, you’ll definitely want to take your sweet time thinking it over and over in your head. Do you really do need it? Because if it’s just one print that you can finish in the shop or that can be achieved using one of the easier ways such as bordering or white-illusion, then do just that and forget about making unnecessary purchases. Keep your money intact.

Adam William
 

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