As promised, I wanted to post today about using metallic inks in letterpress. Many people confuse letterpress with foil-stamping when it comes to shiny graphics and lettering. It’s an easy mistake since both processes have impression. But one of the limitations with printing metallic ink in letterpress is that the color loses its sheen when it is pressed into paper. Above are a few example photos (ie. notice the difference between the gold ink itself, and the gold printed areas).
This topic seems to come up on a regular basis these days, I guess because gold is a popular color right now. I still love the effect here, but if you are looking for something distinctly “shiny” you should consider going with foil stamping, which uses actual gold foil and not ink.
PS: This is just my take on the subject. There are letterpress printers out there who will go for that shiny look, either by double printing the image with a bright yellow ink below, or just use tons of gold ink on their rollers. Just my opinion, but I don’t really like the result there. It looks very over-inked, or “muddy” as we LP people say.