During our conversation, Ray shared his views on the fluorescent pigment industry, what he thinks the next trends are, and some of his favorite projects throughout his years at Brilliant.
How did you get your start in fluorescent pigments?
I’m originally from Philippines and that’s where I completed my degree in Chemical Engineering. In 1981 I moved to the United States looking for more opportunities. Since I had dual citizenship, it was a logical transition.
My first job after moving to the U.S. was in the laboratory at Radiant Color, a major fluorescent pigment manufacturer.
What has been your favorite application of fluorescent products?
It’s hard for me to choose one but Offset Lithographic Inks (‘Litho’) is one of my favorites because I spent a great deal of my career working in fluorescent ink applications. More broadly speaking, putting fluorescents into any application will always make them visually better. It’s really striking to see the difference fluorescent pigments.
How has the market changed over your career? Where do you see it going?
There are many more fluorescent applications in fashion, athletic wear and shoes. When I started in the industry, fluorescents were used mostly on paper substrates, such as posters and magazines – so basically printing. The applications are much wider now.
In terms of where I see the market going, there is a trend towards more environmentally- friendly products like non-formaldehyde systems and water-based systems instead of solvent systems.
What has it been like to help innovate and bring new products to market with Brilliant? It has been personally very satisfying because I can see myself playing a role in the success of Brilliant. Since I started with Brilliant, I was personally involved in the launch over five key product lines.
Which series are you most proud of from a development standpoint?
Our extra strength, ink base BIB2 line holds a special place in my heart. This formulation has a broader range of applications than the original product, BIBX, which could only be used in conventional Litho. BIB2 can be used in Offset/Litho as well as Flexo in both UV and conventional systems.
Which is your favorite fluorescent color? For a true fluorescent, it has to be chartreuse. Otherwise, that bright fluorescent blue has always been appealing to me.
Favorite leisure time activity/hobby? I love playing tennis but now I’m in search of other leisure activities. I stopped playing the piano when I was teenager and I’ve recently started to play again. My goal is to play the classical piece ‘Canon in D Major’ from Pachelbel by heart and also a modern piece called ‘Kiss the Rain’ by Yiruma.