Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Large Format Printing: White Ink Makes Movie Standees “Pop”

I’ve noticed a new trend in the standees I’ve been installing recently: the use of white ink as a background on clear plastic sheets. And, for that matter, I’m also seeing more use of the acetate sheets themselves as a design element in the standees.

Without speaking to any commercial printing vendors, my initial reaction upon seeing these standees in the movie theaters is that the printers either screen printed a white base onto the clear acetate sheet or inkjetted the white ink as a background.

A Description of the Standees

Two standees and a static cling immediately come to mind regarding the use of a white inkjet background.

The first was a promotion for The Lone Ranger. Two clear front panels facing away from each other at a 45 degree angle presented the two main characters: the Lone Ranger and Tonto. When I looked at the images up close, I could see a background of white covered by a process color image of each of the two characters.

The next standee was a huge lightbox for Ender’s Game. This standee included a series of three transparent graphic images along with two separate light sources and a rotating transparent plexiglass disk. Images had been printed on the revolving disk (run by an electric motor), but when I looked at the back of the revolving disk (visible only to the installer), I could see flat opaque white ink behind all images on the plexiglass disk.

The final standee (not a standee at all but a static cling device for the movie Ice Age) was made with flexible plastic sheeting covered (in the image areas) with opaque white ink and, on top of that, the promotional artwork rendered in 4-color process inks.

Why Would The Custom Printing Vendors Use White Ink As a “Ground”?

Opaque white ink has four qualities that are ideal for such an application:

    1. It has good light stopping power. That is, when you print a white background and then print an image on top of the white surface, any light or images behind the front-most image become less visible or invisible.


    1. It makes colors printed on it “pop.” The white brightens the image printed on the background, enlivening the front-most image. In addition, if the white shows through the front-most image in any portions (intentionally), it will appear to brighten the image due to the high intensity of the white ink. (As a side note, the extreme whiteness is due to titanium dioxide, one of the components of the white inkjet ink.)


    1. It evens out the background. If the background (or lack of a background) will create an uneven surface (in terms of color) on which to print the image, this can be corrected completely with a white background.


  1. It’s non-absorbent. Process inks that might otherwise seep into the substrate are kept on top of the white and are therefore not dulled down by absorption. In the case of the standee (large format printing on acetate), this would not be as relevant, since the substrate is already non-porous, but in other cases it would be very useful.

Comparing a White Inkjet Background to an Acrylic Painting on a Gesso Ground

Back when I was studying fine arts in the 70s and 80s, we used to prime all our canvasses with white acrylic gesso. Acrylic gesso (unlike traditional gesso) includes white acrylic paint and calcium carbonate along with other chemicals. It provides an even, textured base on which to paint in acrylics.

In short, we used gesso in fine arts work for the same reasons that a marketing director might specify custom printing a white inkjet ground onto a clear acetate base before inkjetting the promotional image.

How Did I Know The Standee Images Had Been Inkjet Printed?

I didn’t, actually. Since there was no printer to ask when I was installing these standees with my fiancee, I had to use some deductive reasoning to determine the process used for custom printing the standees.

The two options that came to mind were custom screen printing and inkjet printing. Both would have worked beautifully on the transparent acetate material. Considering the length of the press run (numerous theaters in my city alone, multiplied by a huge number of cities in the US), I assumed the job had been a custom screen printing project. After all, for long runs, custom screen printing is usually cheaper.

That said, all of the screen printed 4-color images I’ve seen at large format print shops have had a dot pattern (rosettes, similar to those of offset printing, just slightly larger in most cases). When I looked at the Lone Ranger standee and the Ender’s Game standee, however, I saw the dithered patterns of (what I assumed was) inkjet printing. (If you look closely at an inkjet print you will see minuscule specs of ink in a random scatter pattern rather than a pronounced and regular grid of halftone dots.)

So that was my assessment: that the standees had been produced on large format inkjet printing equipment using a white ground and then 4-color (or a larger inkset) inkjet printing for the promotional images.

Comments are closed.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved