Celloglas applies heat-reactive ink to Computer Arts cover

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, November 12, 2015

Heat-reactive ink, which reveals hidden images when warmed, has been used to enhance the latest issue of Future Publishing’s graphic design magazine Computer Arts.

Reading-headquartered print finisher Celloglas applied a range of special finishes and heat-reactive ink to the cover, which was printed CMYK with a special gold Pantone.

The cover was created by producing a solid black, white and gold image in the top area, bottom banner and the centre image, then printing a pattern of images to be revealed under a layer of black heat-reactive ink.

Celloglas finished 12,426 copies of the cover, which were initially printed by West Midlands-based William Gibbons using Precision Special Gloss 250gsm stock.

Celloglas then applied the heat-reactive ink on top of the printed sheets at its Leicester site using a screen press.

Heat-reactive, or thermochromic, ink can be used to reveal hidden information, such as marketing messages with added interaction or answers to quiz questions, at a range of temperatures.

The cover was also matt laminated to protect the thermochromic ink (as readers interact with it) and to provide a smooth matt-effect finish. Celloglas said the thermochromic ink had a large coverage, so the job was run carefully to ensure a smooth application.

Celloglas sales director Steve Middleton said: “It’s always a pleasure to use our decorative finishes in such an inventive way.

“This cover demonstrates how the use of interactive finishes can really increase reader engagement, prompting many readers to post their interactions on social media and blogs.”

Images posted by readers showed how they revealed hidden parts of the cover by using a hair dryer, a cup of hot coffee, warm hands or a hot water bottle.

Computer Arts editor Nick Carson said: “Our cover designers always get very excited to work with Celloglas decorative finishes and this cover is no exception, it could be our most innovative yet.”

Other Celloglas projects this year have included the ‘Love Print/Love Digital’ Computer Arts issue and tickets for the Professional Publishers Association’s annual awards ceremony.

The firm recently launched a gloss spot trade service after installing a Scodix Ultra digital press in the summer.


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