About Manko’s Digital Designs Glass
How Does Manko’s Digital Designs Compare?
Printing on Certain Types of Glass
- Due to the composition of the ink and the tempering process itself, Manko does not digitally print on any soft coat low-e coated glass. However, unlike water-based silicone spandrel, digital printing is acceptable to use in the same cavity of an IGU with a soft coat low-e.
- Digital printing is permissible on certain hard coat low-e’s and reflective hardcoats.
- Digital printing is not available on ShowerGuard®, Luxclear®, or any equivalent product. Digital printing is available for use with Manko’s Diamon-Fusion product, which is applied after tempering.
- Digital printing is permissible on either side of all temperable pattern glass types.
- Low-iron glass is recommended on color digital prints when the glass exceeds 1/4” thick to maintain the integrity of the color.
- Digital print inks may be laminated against the interlayer or coated with a water-based silicone spandrel. Standard Manko guidelines for laminated glass and spandrel glass still apply.
What is Digital Printing?
Supplied images shall be:
- Drawn to scale
- Show glass sizes or depict glass edges
- As viewed from exterior
All files must have a 12” x 12” mock up made and approved before an order may be released.
Generally speaking, the quality of the original image will determine the quality of the digital print. Most search engine sources, as well as most phones, compress the image (meaning the size of the image shrinks and the quality lessens) in order to save space. It is best to make sure the file is an original or is uncompressed from its source.
The chart below can help aid in determining if an image will be compatible with a proposed glazing size. Raster images that don’t meet the minimum requirements may result in an undesirable decrease in image quality, which will be manifested in the finished product.
For jobs where a design may not be provided, Manko offers design services to help make ideas come to fruition. This could be full design from initial conception, creating vector patterns from photographs or rasterized patterns, all the way down to touching up photographs for print. Design services can also include laying out whole designs over multiple panels or a Manko system, such as laying an image over an entire curtain wall opening.
Common Design Techniques
Digital printing by Manko’s Digital Designs comes in many shapes and sizes, from dots, lines, gradients, and spandrel, all the way to custom etch patterns and full photorealistic images. Below are many of the common techniques of incorporating digital printing, but is by no means meant to be prescriptive. The hope is that these techniques will inspire unique and innovative uses, whether it be for the functional, such as improving the performance of a building’s façade, or creating architectural features that blur the line between art and architecture.
Dots & Lines
While extremely simple in design, dots and lines can serve a highly functional purpose. Facades that incorporate dots or lines can reduce solar heat gain and control light and glare while still maintaining a transparent quality. Dots and lines can be printed at almost any sizes, starting at 1/32”, with a virtually limitless palette of colors. Smaller dots and lines allow the glass to take on a screen-like quality, adopting the color while allowing views through.
Dots and lines can be ‘stacked’ in order to create a different view from either side of the glass, also known as a ‘double print’. This can allow for one side to appear uniform while creating a dot or line design or a logo to appear on the opposite. For example, a brick building could incorporate black dots towards the inside, giving a gray tint illusion that controls excess light, while red dots towards the exterior allow the fenestration to give a uniquely blended aesthetic.
Like most other ceramic frit spandrel on the market, certain colors will have different visual characteristics. Light colors, particularly white, will be less opaque than dark colors. Manko highly recommends the approval of samples that are viewed under similar background conditions and Manko’s standard spandrel guidelines apply.
Digital Etch can be combined with any color to create color etch. Manko offers five standard color etches, though etch color combinations are virtually endless. Both Digital Etch and Imitation Etch-Like Ink can be incorporated into rasterized images to create more translucent or transparent appearances.
Gradients are available in many different forms, such as color gradients, object gradients (dots, lines, geometric shapes, etc.), and rasterized images. Because of the inherent opacity of the inks used, changes in printed opacity is achieved by reducing the coverage of the ink. This works in a similar fashion as printed dots, but at a drastically smaller scale. This is why digitally printed gradients have a dot-like appearance when viewed very close up.
All Interiori swatches are considered standard items, similar to patterns in the Digital Designs Pattern Catalog. These patterns are large format rasterized files that can be customized to add to any design.
Standard Patterns (M1-M35)
The Digital Designs collection of standard patterns were designed in-house to offer a wide array of vector patterns that can be sized and colored as desired. The collection includes numerous tileable or linear patterns with customizable color schemes that allow the designer to choose how the pattern gets incorporated.
Please consult a Manko Digital Designs specialist regarding additional customization possibilities or advanced recoloring of existing patterns.
The complete collection of standard patterns are shown below.
LPI / Halftone
Rasterized images are governed by a pixel count, which makes printing images across large openings or building facades very difficult without an extreme sacrifice in image quality. LPI converts pixels of a rasterized image into a matrix of dots (or a geometric figure, i.e. a company logo) that allows an image to be imposed on a large scale without sacrificing quality. This method also allows the print to take on a screen like quality, allowing views out and the integrity of the image to stay in tact at different vantage points.
In addition to the standard digital printing inks, Manko offers two specialty inks that go beyond the standard capabilities. These inks are Side 1 ink and Slip-Resistant Ink.
While the standard ceramic inks used have extreme durability and chemical resistance, they are not recommended for use on the exterior surface. Side 1 inks are extra durable and created to hold up to the elements on surface #1. Side 1 inks are available in white and black.
Slip-Resistant ink expands applications for glass and gives designers unique opportunities to incorporate digital printing into projects. Unlike most other slip-resistant inks used in screen printing which are rough and sandpaper-like, digitally printed Slip-Resistant ink is smooth and comfortable to the touch. The ink has an etch-like appearance and can be printed on top of a layer of standard ink, allowing a large range of colors to be incorporated into slip-resistant applications. Approved patterns must be used to comply with slip-resistant standards.
Contact Manko for Digital Designs quality and inspection guidelines.