How ‘5th Color’ is Making Metallic Effects Accessible

Spotlight: RICOH Graphic Communications

For couples planning weddings, the last two years have been beset by cancellations, rescheduling, and rushed changes. The ongoing uncertainty has complicated tasks that would typically be done months ahead of the big day, like the ordering of stationery.

“Right now, with invitations, there’s a big sense of not wanting to pull the trigger until the last minute,” says Jodi Solotoff, owner of PIP Marketing Signs Print in Livingston, N.J.


Pressed for Time With Expensive Taste

Ms. Solotoff, who handles a high number of orders for invitations as well as for matching items like place settings and thank you cards, has seen a shift in expectations regarding timeframes and costs. “It used to be three weeks minimum for embossing or foil work. Now people want a much faster turnaround, sometimes the next day,” she says.

Despite the new time constraints, bridal couples still want the best for their wedding day, including embellished invitations. According to Ms. Solotoff, many “are looking for a high-end piece. They don’t want plain CMYK.”

Typically, upscale invitations involve processes like foil stamping to create a metallic effect and are printed on an offset press. An order can take weeks to complete. But Ms. Solotoff has a modern innovation in her toolkit that lets her create those high-end metallic effects to satisfy even limited schedules and budgets: metallic toners, printed digitally.


Game-Changing Metallic Toners

Affordable, glitzy, and available on demand, these 5th Color toners are opening the way for new flexibility in the realm of wedding stationery. Simply put, the digital presses that feature this technology add a 5th Color station to the traditional four we’re all used to: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK). And that 5th Color can completely transform your design work by adding metallic effects and more.

 “I just had a bride come in who wanted to make sure she could afford to order invitations twice in case the wedding has to be rescheduled,” Ms. Solotoff explains. “Originally, she wanted foil stamping, but it wasn’t in her budget. She wanted Gold and I was able to turn it around very quickly for her. It looked amazing.”


5th Color: The New Frontier in Wedding Stationery

To create a foil-like effect under a short deadline, PIP Marketing Signs Print uses 5th Color White toner to mask out portions of metallic media, a great option for customers set on the haptic aspect of the metallic design. Ms. Solotoff blends CMYK on the metallic base to create a variety of hues, ranging from Gold and Silver to Rose Gold, Bronze, and other shades. This method offers around 250 metallic colors in all.

For designs that showcase the media, she turns to Gold and Silver toner, a more recent entry into the world of digital embellishments. Now also part of the Ricoh 5th Color station, Gold and Silver can be applied on their own to a wide range of substrates for a touch of pure color, or mixed with CMYK to create unique, eye-catching blends.

Since the days when a town crier would go around announcing upcoming nuptials, wedding invitations have undergone various trends and transformations. A preference for a luxurious touch has persisted throughout history.

In the 1600s, engraving became a fashionable high-end option that is still around — and still pricey — today. As technology progressed, fancy printed invitations became available to a wider population. In mid-century, thermography came along as a less expensive alternative to engraving. Around that time, foil stamping, at first used only for book covers, also took off for stationery.

With advances in digital printing, we arrive at today, when specialty 5th Color toners are leading the way into a new frontier for impressive invitations.


‘What’s Your Flavor?’

“5th Color opens up a whole world. It’s ‘I can’ vs. ‘I’m limited.’ People don’t have to compromise. They get a fine product to fit their timeframe. The Amazons of the world have changed people’s expectations, and this makes it a reality. We’re not waiting for ink to dry, not making offset plates,” says Ms. Solotoff.

PIP Marketing Signs Print also creates invitations for non-profit and religious organizations that host galas and other events. 5th Color metallics, Ms. Solotoff says, “open the door for me and the customer to do something unique. It’s a game changer.”

With the variety of metallic hues and methods available, which one does Ms. Solotoff find herself reaching for most?

“It depends on what the customer wants. It’s like Baskin-Robbins now — what’s your flavor? We have a lot of options.”

Ready to see for yourself just how much of a game changer that 5th Color can be? Enter to win 1 of 50 Ricoh Sample Packs right now! Hurry, contest ends March 17th! (North American entries only, please.) THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED


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