Are Special Print Files for Dibond Needed?

A recent inquiry on our “Emergent – Direct to Dibond” blog raised an interesting question.  “Do I need Special Print Files for Dibond”?  Is it necessary to prepare a special print file to give an image the necessary level of transparency to let the Dibond metal grain show thru? The answer to that is relatively simple: NO.

Since we are not using any white ink in this UV Cured Direct Print process, the ink / color will allow the grain to show thru – especially the lighter color spaces. Rich blacks will make the grain seem less apparent, but it’s still there. One of the KEY features to remember when printing directly to brushed aluminum Dibond is this: ANY area in your image that is 100% white will now show as a silver / metallic highlight. This works great for many art / stylized or abstract pieces – but not so much where the white needs to be true, like in a portrait. For example, white teeth in a persons smile will now be silver. Not necessarily flattering!

What if there are Certain Areas that Simply HAVE to be White?

Can you can still print to brushed aluminum? Yes, you can! This will require a little more work on the front end.  But many of our talented clients have figured out that if they provide us a layered Photoshop file, with a dedicated “Alpha Channel“, we can an indeed control the amount of silver that shines thru.

Let’s say you have a classic car with lots of chrome, perfect for Dibond printing.  However, the white-wall tires and classy white rag-top need to remain white to make the car pop. Well, with a bit of advanced Photoshop knowledge, those areas can me masked off and turned into a “WHITE” alpha channel.  That will allow our talented team of pre-press professionals to instruct the printer to spray a layer of white ink in just those areas!

So, whether you want a cool, contemporary new “vibe” for an existing photo, OR you are working on creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece where YOU dictate the silver & white, we can help!

Learn More about Dibond Direct Digital Printing

Still have more questions?  Check out this informative Video! Created by the supplier of #Dibond  3A Composites USA &


Please visit our product page OR watch some of our videos. You can also check our other blog posts for in-depth tips & tricks!

Thank you!

Your ArtisanHD Team