SIEGBURG, Germany – In close cooperation with its long-standing partner Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Siegwerk has implemented a newly developed printing method using additive color mixing with pearlescent pigments. The first printed results were exhibited at the European Coatings Show 2015 in Nuremberg.

Everyone is familiar with the deep black of a TV screen that displays a full RGB color spectrum at the flip of a switch. Merck KGaA has now taken this idea to patent a new printing method. Instead of reproducing pictures with the four process colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) on a white background (subtractive color mixing) the process uses the pearlescent colors red, green and blue (RGB) on a black surface (additive color mixing). Siegwerk produced the respective pearlescent inks with pigments from Merck KGaA. The RGB process called for a totally new reproduction technology in the pre-press phase.

“Basically, picture reproduction using additive color mixing is independent of the printing process used,” explained Wolfram Gieseke, Head of R&D BU Tobacco, who helped facilitate the cooperation effort with Merck KGaA. “However, gravure printing is predestined for it because it offers the best conditions for the transmission of the pearlescent pigments. The new method can be deployed across business units – with creative opportunities and implementation scenarios for very diverse applications.”