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Case Study: How Field Notes Uses Photochromic Ink to Boost Sales

Posted Sunday, May 21, 2017

Case Study: How Field Notes Uses Photochromic Ink to Boost Sales | H&H Graphics

Photochromic Ink Case Study: Field Notes

Inspired by the vanishing sub-genre of agricultural memo books, ornate pocket ledgers, and the simple, unassuming beauty of a well-crafted grocery list, Field Notes is a collection of smartly-designed, vintage-styled pocket notebooks, calendars, and various office accoutrements.

To satisfy their "subscribers" (who pay in advance for a years' worth of notebooks) and other customers, Field Notes produces a quarterly limited edition series of notebooks and they are always looking for new papers, colors, processes, and inks. When the production manager of Field Notes came across thermochromic ink in a YouTube video, it was right up their alley for a winter edition of Field Notes that came to be known as "Snowblind."

Their printers hadn't ever done it, so they knew who to call: H&H Graphics.

Photochromic Ink 

Photochromic Ink

H&H Graphics developed a customized, photochromic screen printed ink that for Snowblind that appears glistening white pearlescent indoors and then changes to a powder blue color when exposed to sunlight outside—the title "Field Notes" remains white at all times. The notebook cover changes back to white pearlescent when brought back inside and the process can be repeated infinitely.

The photochromic ink only works in direct, ultraviolet sunlight and not through a window, though some UV LEDs, backlights and heat lamps can mimic the effects. H&H Graphics can create customized photochromic designs via stencils, photo negatives or any object that casts a shadow.

Similarly, thermochromic screen printing appears as one color and then changes to another when it gets warmer or cooler. This has become very popular for business cards, consumer packaging, advertising, product labels, security, etc.

The Photochromic Marriage Proposal

According to the design and production lead for Field Notes, Bryan Bedell, the photochromic effect, "is astounding when the conditions are right, and we were impressed."

Bedell added: "One customer proposed to his fiancée at a ski resort by handing her a Snowblind Field Notes notebook he'd modified to reveal the proposal when it was exposed to the sunlight!"

Custom Chromic Printing

How could your retail packaging, POP displays, gift cards, book jackets, greeting cards, direct mail, and other printed materials benefit from photochromic or other chromic inks?

Contact us for ideas on how to extend your brand and increase sales with photochromic printing – after all, few inks and special effects printing techniques create as much engagement as chromic printing.


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