New Material In NZ Catalog: Two-Color Acrylic Sheets
Beyond style designations, black and white is more than a study in contrast. It is contrast.
By definition, black is the absence of light. Black absorbs light without reflecting any of the rays composing it. And at the other end of the spectrum is white. It reflects all rays completely and diffusely. They’re perfect opposites. Maybe that’s why we’re so attracted to them.
Contrast: Premier Principle Of Design
In addition to alignment, balance, proximity and repetition, contrast is one of the key principles of design. It is important to any design for three reasons:
- Contrast Grabs Attention
- Contrast Organizes Information
- Contrast Creates Focus
American cinematographer Conrad Hall said, “Contrast is what makes photography interesting.” Agreed. But that interest isn’t limited to photos. Contrast is critical for successful designs in print, online and especially for laser cutting.
Get Inspired: What You Can Make With White On Black Acrylic
Using color is one of the easiest ways to create contrast. In the past, makers would have to painstakingly hand paint details onto jewelry and other small parts to get a striking contrast. But since the introduction of two-color acrylic sheets, you can now achieve a much sharper finish with waaaay less work.
Check out these laser cut acrylic rings we made. The intricate engraving really showcases the contrast in the double-layer acrylic.
Typography also works incredibly well on two-layer acrylic, especially when ambigram logos are present because they look really cool when laser engraved. Use this white on black acrylic for signage, name tags, event badges, jewelry, holiday decorations and front panels for electronics enclosures. And since it is less expensive and laser cuts quicker, two-color acrylic sheets are a great alternative to using metal sheets.
When designing for two-color acrylics, think beyond the contrast of the substrate. Also include contrast in typography (traditional vs. modern; serif vs. sans serif), lines (thick vs. thin; straight vs. curved) and shapes (big vs. small; geometric vs. organic) to create the most interest and impact.
Benefits Of Two-Color Acrylics
Because the top layer is engraved away, the bottom layer of the acrylic sheet is revealed. This results in excellent readability because the precision of the laser cutting gives the illusion that the graphic and lettering work is printed. Thus, this white on black acrylic is ideal for products that need text or graphics along with the unique shape achieved with laser cutting.
Compared to printed paper products that seem more disposable, two-color acrylics offer more permanence and longevity. Cardstock is 0.3mm where this white on black acrylic is 1.6mm thick—a massive difference compared to paper—so use two-color acrylic sheets as an upgrade to standard printing for a more robust product to make an impact.
Two-color acrylics are also manufactured with a UV-resistant additive. So while there will naturally be some fading with extended sun exposure, these acrylics hold up much better in UV light, making them quite durable for signage applications.
Finally, this material is Microsurfaced Impact Modified Acrylics. This means it contains a small amount of polymer that is similar to rubber to give the acrylic extra strength and flexibility. As a result, two-color acrylic sheets are slightly more flexible and melt a bit more during cutting than standard acrylic sheets. This ability to be bent makes two-color acrylics particularly suitable for trophy plates.
Now Available: White On Black Acrylic Sheets
With the addition of white on black acrylic, there are now four two-color acrylic sheets in the NZ Catalog.
Maker Tip: When designing for this material, make sure the small details for cutting are a bit bigger than they would normally be constructed on standard acrylics. Also keep in mind that the top layer is very thin so the underlying substrate is sometimes visible along the cut line as well. This is most noticeable in corners or angles of designs, so prepare files accordingly.
Get Talking: What Will You Laser Cut With White On Black Acrylic?
However you want to create contrast—with color, typography or graphics—two-color acrylics take your designs from ordinary to extraordinary. How will you use white on black acrylic? Share your ideas for an upcoming project in the comment box and let us know what you can’t wait to make!