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Ink Density Pattern on a Pringles Potato Chip

Inside my can of Pringles Prints was a potato chip that had the words “Printed fun on every one” and a weird pattern. At first I just thought it was just a fun different chip, but then I realized that this was no normal chip, oh no.

When pringles is printing their fun facts on their potato chips, every now and then they will print this pattern on a chip to indicate how much ink is printing on their chip during that run on the printing press. Those press machines are very delicate and complicated machines that have to run very large quantities of chips in a small amount of time. Pair that with the variables in the air (humidity and temperature), and the varying qualities of the chips, and you need a system that will ensure the right amount of ink is being printed on the potato chips.

Too little ink and the lines on the top and bottom would not show up on the registration ink density chip. If there’s too much ink, then the lines in the middle would get all clogged up and you wouldn’t be able to see the space in the middle. It looks like the press at this time was running with a bit more ink than ususal, because the middle lines were appearing slightly clogged.

In the graphic design field these use similiar test patterns on paper to see how much ink the press is running so images don’t appear too dark or too light. It’s fun to see that it translates over to the field of potato printing. Certainly, it’s a work of art–a work of spud art, if you will.

12 Responses to Ink Density Pattern on a Pringles Potato Chip

  1. Anonymous May 14, 2006 at 1:00 pm #

    How much money would you pay for a tour of the Pringles factory? 🙂

  2. unlikelymoose May 15, 2006 at 7:42 am #

    you mentioned registration while printing on the pringles potato chip. I doubt they are running mulitple inks on these chips. It suredly must be just a one-color print job. Imagine printing cmyk onto these pringles chips? I wonder what made them decide to go with green as the color. Perhaps it’s because green is such a natural color. printing things onto food items is so unnatural, that perhaps the Pringles people figured the nature-friendly color of green would help offset some of those concerns.

  3. Matt Maldre May 15, 2006 at 8:22 am #

    Moose, thanks for the error of saying registration. I striked through it and replaced that with “ink density” instead. Let’s try all the color combinations of ROY G BIV Red: looks like blood Orange: would show up too light Yellow: wouldn’t show up at all Green: mold Blue: no relations Indigo, Violet: no relations Perhaps they should have gone with blue instead. Green is too much like mold. Maybe there were problems with the chemistry of the blue mixing with the chemistry of the chips. Abhay, I would LOVE to go on the Pringles factory tour. Does it actually exist? Or are you just speaking in theory?

  4. Freddie May 16, 2006 at 2:15 pm #

    I once toured the company that invented the edible print technology. During the tour we got to type a message into a computer and it would print onto an iced sugar cookie. I was about 9 years old and I was fascinated. FWIW the ink was red.

  5. Helena May 21, 2006 at 4:14 am #

    What the hell is Pringle Prints???!! Do they actually come printed? Why? With what? That’s just weird, man…

  6. Gerardo August 10, 2006 at 11:24 am #

    Who is the company that makes those printers?

  7. Ash October 24, 2006 at 6:39 am #

    Dudes that is totally crazy! Why would they print onto the crisps themselves? and what kinda ink is it?????

  8. scarabin October 9, 2007 at 4:22 pm #

    it’s not green ink, it’s blue. it shows up on the chip as green because the chip itself has a yellow hue. i would assume blue was chosen because blue is the opposite (complementary) of yellow, which makes it stand out and be highly visible. the ink is a harmless vegetable-based food coloring. (i’m a graphic designer working on a project involving pringles prints)

  9. water damage restoration February 12, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    According to the patent, Pringles were invented by Alexander Liepa of Montgomery, Ohio. Science Fiction and Fantasy author Gene Wolfe developed the machine that cooks them; the dough making and rolling portion was designed by Len Hooper.

  10. Anonymous April 9, 2008 at 7:55 am #

    I get your point and I agree, this is a work of art and technology… but what’s the use of it? Why so many efforts? We don’t lack creativity, we just have to work harder to fulfill they utility.

  11. nicht mehr sch chtern May 2, 2008 at 10:06 am #

    I wouldnt be glad to see such a inked chip in my pringles. I would get rid of my hunger immediately.

  12. munazza November 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm #

    plz u tell dat which ingredients uses in pringles.as monoglycerides,,from which source.is it from vegi or animal source.which of ur flavours muslim can eat,waiting ur reply

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