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FLEXO Magazine : August 2009
TECHNOLOgIEs & TECHNIQuEs image—knowing that it will be printed with seven process colors. We have changed the rules. Which looks better to you? If you are like most people, you prefer the one on the right. We’ve done this before. When we progressed from hand-set to hot metal type, people thought hand-set was better, when compared under the old rules—until we changed the rules. The same thing occurred when we progressed to phototype and desktop type. Look at the old rules versus the new rules. The new rules say that while the type may not be formed and kerned like the experts used to craft, you can easily build type with tints, blends special effects, and other embellishments. packaging converter. There are many examples I could show you. Most of us think of extended gamut as a way to make reds redder, and greens greener—a benefi t it absolutely can deliver, along with creative tints, vignettes, fancy type, and other effects. But if that were all it gave you, why would anyone do that? What is the real need of the brand owner? With enhanced graphics we can catch the consumer’s eyes with creative packaging ideas. And, we have the added benefi t that we can ensure consistency throughout the world. Isn’t that what the brand owner really wants? So lets get back the comparison of Freeze ‘n Thaw Flow- ers, and think about the real needs of the brand owner. The brand owner clearly wants a better looking package, but also a package with greater color consistency. To look further into its needs, the brand owner wants a package where if two different versions—for example, two different sizes—wind up next to each other in the shelf, the consumer will not notice a difference in color. Research tells us that the design on the right can vary to a greater degree without being noticed than the design on the left. Hence, expanded gamut, coupled with a change in the de- sign rules, clearly meets the needs of the package buyer to a greater degree than CMYK plus spot. Couple these facts with the economic benefi ts of expanded gamut that have already been proven and we have the makings of a tipping point. n references Observer & Cultural Variability, Fernandez, Fairchild & figUre 10. treating the entire package as a process image because it will be printed seven colors. Braun (2005) Preferred Reproduction Of Flesh, Blue-Sky, and Green- Grass Skin, Bartleson & Bray (1962) Naturalness & Image Quality (Chroma & Hue Variations of Natural Scenes), Ritter, Blommaert, & Fedorovskaya (1996) Reproduction of Skin Colors, C.J. Bartleson, Eastman Let’s get back to our fl ower package. If we focus on the old rules, the extended gamut package is clearly further away from specifi ed colors than the spot color sample. Yet, if we set out to maximize the image quality—something we can only do with an extended gamut—there is quite a difference. hOW TO change The rULes To get back to the concept of the tipping point, one of the biggest tipping points in our lifetime and in our industry was the Apple Macintosh computer. It went far beyond computing. It was the cultural phenomenon of a “suit” versus “at home” dress code. It was an entirely new mindset: The greatest benefi ciaries in a technology are the artists. A good technology enables the artist to use it, without understanding the technology. So, while the motivation should be that the color match is important, perhaps it’s more important to maximize total graphic impact, so that artists can do as much as their imagination can take them. While we can and will improve spot color accuracy and proofi ng accuracy, the tipping point will arrive when we focus on the complete set of needs of the package buyer. Spot color as an alternative to grayscale was introduced in the 1930s, spot plus CMYK was introduced in the 1970s, and we’re about to create a new tipping point with extended color inks in the 2010s. Expanded gamut printing can address key needs for the primary stakeholders in packaging: the brand team and the Kodak (1959) Preferred Reproduction Of Green Grass, Blue Sky, and Caucasian Skin, Hunt & Pitt (1974) Cube-root Color Coordinate System, C. D. Reilly, DuPont Company (1958) Author’s Note: Every graphic is a simulation and we have tried to save the relative difference, understanding the limitations of printing on a CMYK press. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Samworth is consultant, color excellence at EskoArtwork. He began his career with DuPont where he held numerous positions in the areas of fl exographic plates and electronic imaging. Mark joined EskoArtwork in 1997 and is currently focused in the area of screening, calibration, and color management. He holds 10 patents in the area of digital imaging technology, including FlexoCal, Hybrid Screening, Plate Cell Patterning, Concentric Screening, Equinox 7c process color, and PressSync. He has authored several articles on color and related topics in numerous trade publications and has presented papers at many of the industry’s major trade forums. Samworth received his Bachelor’s in Printing Science from RIT and his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Delaware. He lives in Wilmington, DE with his wife, two teenage daughters, and Chesapeake Bay Retriever. www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g Augus t 20 0 9 F LEXO 29