Advanced printing technologies have provided new, exciting capabilities to create and produce a whole array of special effects that has changed the way print designers approach their projects. Traditionally, designs that involved vibrant colours and spot embellishments would have to be produced using foiling and varnishing techniques and would, therefore, be labour intensive, time consuming and, often, cost restrictive.

Now, metallic digital printing has provided the opportunity to create these effects more easily, quickly and cost effectively.   

Metallic inks

Metallic ink printing allows the use of colour combinations that are impossible with normal colour print specifications. They can add exceptional flair and allow designers to be more creative and artistic than ever before by producing stunning effects in new and unorthodox designs.

What items can be produced with these finishes?


Metallic inks allow you to easily cover large areas and can be done in just one, single pass in conjunction with other colours, unlike previous techniques like foil stamping. The fact that they are digitally printed gives you the opportunity to include very fine and complex detail into your metallic poster print design.


Using metallic image overlays, photographs can be dramatically ‘rejuvenated’, updated and embellished.

Other printed items

Other printed items like invitations, flyers, business cards, folded cards and company logos can all now be produced with these embellished appearances.

Advantages of metallic print finishes

Create stunning effects

Metallic finish printing allows you to create stunning metallic and foil stamp-like effects without the associated costs of the more traditional print processes.

Quick turnaround times

Printed items that previously would have had to be outsourced for offset gold and silver printing and foil stamping, can now can be produced in-house digitally, which allows for much quicker turnaround speeds and, therefore, reduced costs.

Enhance to overall appearance

Effects not possible before can now be created by combining different processes – by printing your poster in metallic ink, then following it with a CMYK layer, in the same pass, it will add a deeper richness and quality to the metallic colour effect. With this process you can create different metallic gradations that will enhance the overall effect and appearance of the design.  

Add a real wow factor

You can create single spot effects with the application of a speciality dry ink (silver, gold or clear) – the metallic pigments deliver a dramatic sparkle and create a real ‘Wow’ factor to any aspect of your design.

Create multiple effects in a single run

Multiple spot effects are now just as easy to create in a single run. Your design can be enhanced with the same process, using any combination of the speciality dry ink options placed alongside each other, or even overlapping.

Metallic printing at Instaprint

Instaprint has completed the installation of Iridesse production press which introduces new capabilities to produce an array of special UV printing effects.

Our expanding print services now includes a high level of design flexibility using amazing colours and metallic print that can be applied to specific areas or an entire sheet. Gold and silver dry inks can be layered with CMYK colours to create vibrant effects, metallic gradients, photographic enhancements and more.

Read our metallic digital printing guide for information on the capabilities and artwork set up.