Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The Amber Project: A survey of methods and inks for the reproduction of the color of translucent objects

Trujillo-Vazquez, Abigail; Fuller, Harrie; Klein, Susanne; Parraman, Carinna


Abigail Trujillo-Vazquez

Harrie Fuller

Profile Image

Dr Susanne Klein
Associate Professor in EPSRC Manufacturing Fellow


Unlike regular pigments based on selective light absorption, the so-called “effect pigments” are based on the phenomena of structural color, or selective reflectance. Structural color has appealing aesthetic qualities, such as angle-dependent hue, and is able to produce lightfast colors. When used as a pigment, however, the gamut of the print is more limited, the color is difficult to measure, and therefore color management and preprint process become challenging. The aim of this paper is to compare the behavior of effect pigments in the processes of lithographic and screen printing with standard pigments used in so-called process inks, and to analyze their optical properties when used on their own or in combination with absorption pigments. An image of amber beads was printed as screen prints and lithographs. Three sets of inks were used: Set one: Standard process inks in the colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK); set two: RGB inks formulated with Merck Spectraval™ pearlescent pigments which allow additive red, green, blue printing on a black substrate; and set three: golden inks formulated with pigments from the Merck Iriodin™ and Pyrisma™ effect pigment range. The image was printed on white and black paper. The optical appearance was assessed visually, and spectra and color coordinates were measured.


Trujillo-Vazquez, A., Fuller, H., Klein, S., & Parraman, C. (2022). The Amber Project: A survey of methods and inks for the reproduction of the color of translucent objects. Applied Sciences, 12(2), Article 793.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 22, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 13, 2022
Publication Date Jan 13, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 9, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 14, 2022
Journal Applied Sciences
Electronic ISSN 2076-3417
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 2
Article Number 793
Keywords printing; color coordinates; spectral; effect pigments; structural color; 29 CMYK; rgb
Public URL
Additional Information The data used in this article is available on the UWE Bristol Research Data Repository:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations