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Puff It Up! - Puff Ink

How using puff ink can add a pop to your designs!

Puff Ink is a great way to make unique screenprint designs!

Puff It Up! - Puff Ink

What is puff ink, you ask? Well, puff ink is actually a screen printing ink additive that is combined with plastisol ink to give a raised effect to the print. Once the ink is heated, the ink will rise just like you’re baking some fluffy chocolate chip cookies (mmm – can you tell I’m hungry writing this)!

A few things to consider when using puff ink:

-         You should not use puff ink for fine lines or details. It needs to occupy at least 2mm in any direction to be able to achieve a raised puff. It will not hold or not puff at all if the details are too fine.

-         When using puff ink, you will encounter some loss of color. If exact PMS color matching isn’t a concern for your client, then you should be okay. However, like we encounter on our Raiders Puff Print, we need a true solid black color for the finished print. Mixing the puff additive with the plastisol ink gave us a faded black; this was outside of the Raiders brand guide and wasn’t going to work for them. Hever, our genius Screen Print Supervisor, print the puff and ink mix down first, lightly flashed it, then printed a true solid black on top of the puff mix, then ran it through the dryer to achieve a solid black puff needed! The other way to achieve a more vibrant color would be to start with a bolder color to offset the color loss.

Sky-high puff ink in a bright color really stands out!

-         Some details will be lost once the ink heats and puffs up. Types of art that looks great with puff ink are letters, simple linework, and shapes without sharp points (as puff tends to have a less-refined look).

-         Combining regular plastisol with puff ink can create really cool dimension for your designs. Puff ink creates shadows and highlights naturally which takes an otherwise 2-D design and makes it unique!

-         One color puff ink shouldn’t sit adjacent to another puff ink. If the two puff ink colors are up against one another, the edges will get a little muddy.

A subtle addition of puff ink to a classic plastisol ink design really makes it pop!

Puff ink is something we love experimenting with and seeing designs come through with a puff element is always exciting. We can’t wait to see the new designs with puff ink come through! If you’re interested in getting a quote or talking more about this specialty ink, shoot us an email at!

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