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FLEXO Magazine : July 2009
DESIGN 3.6 Ink Colors A designer should collaborate with the printer and consumer product company to determine how many colors are available for a product line. Many products are printed with additional colors other than CMYK. Transparent and/or opaque inks may be used and must be identified and listed in the color palette. The characteristics and print sequence of the inks used may require special considerations during the prepress phase. In an effort to improve color matching across the product line, twelve ink pigments have been identified by color index name and number and recommended by FIRST. These twelve pigments are combined to create custom line colors (e.g., PMS 186 or “Shelly’s Soda” Red). These pigments are recommended because they provide the largest color gamut with reasonable fade resistance required by most packaging applications. Standardizing ink pigments improves the consistency of the color match between press runs and between printers while minimizing metamerism. This results in a more cohesive product appearance on the store shelf. When these twelve pigments are plotted to create a color gamut, colors within the gamut can be reasonably matched. When a designer or consumer product company selects a color that falls outside of the gamut, the printer will not be able to achieve an accurate color match using FIRST pigments. In such cases, the printer may opt to include additional pigments that expand the color gamut in order to achieve the desired color. However, due to limitations in the pigments available for a given ink chemistry or application requirement, it is not always possible to match a color precisely. Any combination of ink pigments, proofing/ printing methods, and substrates result in color matching limitations. The designer must consider the potential color match limitations of the inks, printing method, and substrate specified for the project. In figure 3.6, the FIRST recommended pigments for line inks have been proofed on Leneta stock and plotted to create a color gamut (top illustration). The bottom graph depicts the printable gamut using FIRST recommended process inks. Printers should proof FIRST pigments on substrates typically printed and, using a spectrophotometer, plot the color gamut that will best predict their ability to match color on press. All colors are dependent on the substrate to be printed. The designer and consumer product company should see drawdowns of the specified color match on the intended substrate before any job is approved for prepress. Substrate substitution in this approval process is not recommended. BLUE 15 YELLOW 14 YELLOW 83 ORANGE 16 RED 22 GREEN 7 BLUE 15 RED 57 RED 81 VIOLET 23 VIOLET 3 YELLOW 14 RED O/P GREEN O/P RED 57:1 BLUE O/P 3.6: FIRST Ink Pigments .
Sustainable Spring 2009