Customers buying our transparent or coloured labels often ask us about printing white text. The simplest answer is that you cannot print in white using a standard laser or inkjet printer.
Standard printers use a system of four colours known as CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). The first three roughly correspond to the traditional “primary colours” of blue, red, and yellow, and these four colours will be mixed together as needed to create the colours required for the design being printed. When a design includes white as one of its colours, the area set to white will be left blank, and it is the colour of the paper being printed upon that provides the colour for this area. As most people tend to print onto white paper, this creates white text with no trouble at all.
So what can I do?
1. Purchase a specialist printer and white ink.
It is possible to buy printers that are able to print white ink. However, these will be specialist printers and may cost much more than a standard printer. You will also have to source specialist opaque white ink. Standard inks are transluscent and white transluscent ink may not show up very clearly against a darker background. Opaque white ink will give a more solid colour, but it may need several coats to create a clear, legible white.
2. Get a printer to do the printing for you.
Local and specialist printers may have the equipment available to print with white ink. You will need to build in the cost of both buying the labels and having them printed.
3. Play around with the colours in your design.
You may want to test out a few very pale colours that your printer can print and see how they work against the surface the labels will be applied to. You could also try adding a coloured outline to your text along with a pale fill colour. Alternatively, you could re-design your label based on the colour of the surface you are sticking the labels onto and make a feature out of using a transparent label.
4. Create a white surface.
Try sticking a small white label onto the surface you are labelling and adding a transparent label on top. The area you have set to be white will be left blank and the white label will be visible through the transparent label, which effectively creates the appearance of white text.
Visit our website to find out more about our Transparent Labels and our Coloured Labels.