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How Does Glow-in-the-Dark Ink Work?

Before you create a design with ink that glows in the dark, consider these tips from a fellow screen pro.

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Courtesy of Stoked on Printing
Courtesy of Stoked on Printing

This article originally appeared at Stoked on Printing.

FIRST, WE’LL START off with answering the main mystery: how do glow-in-the-dark inks work? Inks can glow in the dark because of substances called phosphors. These phosphors absorb light from the sun or high powered lights and then they emit the light. The glow is most visible in the absence of other light, hence why it really pops in a dark room.

If you’re thinking about creating a design with ink that glows in the dark, here are a few things to consider:‍

Glow-in-the-dark ink will add a slight green or blue tint to the areas of the design when the ink isn’t active. It will still look great on your design, but just know that a true white isn’t achievable with glow-in-the-dark ink.

Courtesy of Stoked on Printing

Courtesy of Stoked on Printing

We recommend using glow in the dark ink in specific areas of your design. This will create a unique look that will really stand out from the plastisol ink used throughout the rest of the design. Check out this awesome design below that our in-house art team created.

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You can place a glow-in-the-dark ink over another plastisol ink or on its own. If you place the glow-in-the-dark ink over another plastisol color, it will be a nice surprise for your customers when they enter a dark room or a nighttime event (i.e. the jack-o-lantern’s teeth below). If you use the glow in the dark gel on its own, it will appear as a slightly shinier area of the design in normal lighting conditions. Once your customers hit a darker area, those spots that received the glow in the dark ink will appear as a big surprise (i.e. the ghosts behind the text of the back print below).

Courtesy of Stoked on Printing

Courtesy of Stoked on Printing

Glow-in-the-dark is a unique way to capture your audience’s attention. Every brand can find a way to incorporate glow in the dark into a few of their designs. If you’re interested in getting a quote for a glow-in-the-dark design or would like more information, reach out to us [email protected].

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Jay Busselle, marketing director, Equipment Zone, interviews two experts in apparel decoration trends: Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief of Screen Printing magazine, and Jeremy Picker, creative director and CEO of AMB3R Creative and Screen Printing Editorial Advisory Board member. Both share their insights on decoration trends, apparel styles, and some powerful data for DTG printing. Plus, Picker gives an exclusive look at his 2021 trend report. This is a follow-up webinar to Equipment Zone’s DTG Training Academy virtual event.

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