You’re not alone if you are wondering how to get started with textured printing. Creating fine art prints with real physically textured surfaces is a relatively new technology and is still a fairly uncommon approach to creating prints. Below you will find some important information and basic principles to think about prior to starting this type of project.

Defining Goals & Scope of Work

Every textured printing project that we do is different from the last. Each one requires a custom approach, and cannot be quoted until we define the goals, expectations, and full scope of work. This generally requires a phone consultation, at minimum, and as much as you can define what you have in mind – in advance – the better it is for everyone.

The correct amount of texture?

It is important to understand that this type of project is always very custom, and each one is unique. The only way to get a tangible sense of what your file will look like after printing is to test. After your project consultation we will recommend a custom approach to testing based on your overall scope of work.

How long does this take?

With consideration of the initial consultation, file preparations, testing, and production – on average – these projects generally take a minimum or 3 – 4 weeks.

Basic principles regarding textured UV printing:

  • Darker colors print with more physical thickness / elevation.
  • High contrast height maps are most effective for building texture.
  • Black, for example, produces more texture than light gray.
  • White ink has the thickest viscosity of all colors.
  • Texture layers do not have any exact thickness that can be calculated.
  • Texture is generally printed first, followed by opaque white, then the final image.
  • UV inks are slightly translucent, so think with layering accordingly.
  • More layers = more print time = higher print cost.
  • A print with 1 – 1.5 mm of actual physical texture is much more visually significant than it sounds.

Additional Notes & Key Points

  • Textured prints generally work the best on flat, rigid materials or smooth hot press papers.
  • Printing texture on a material that is already textured can be problematic.
  • Creating texture from digital art, AI art, NFTs, is entirely possible, but requires a consultation.
  • Textured prints can be selectively spot varnished.
  • A vast array of widely available PBR textures can be utilized for creating textured prints.

These are some of the most common ways to approach the creation of files required to print texture using our textured UV flatbed printing services.