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FLEXO Magazine : November 2009
10 FLEXO NOVEMBER 2009 www.flexography.org your limits and holding to them." The same goes for toler- ances. "Process control is a team effort," Straten said. "It enhances changeover times, promotes speed to market and reduces waste." SPOT ON... What will spot color management and color communica- tion look like in 2010? That question, uttered by Jay Sperry of Clemson University, set the tone for more than one full hour of dialogue focused on cutback curves, grayscale balance, profiles, etc.---the whole multitude of process color calibration techniques. "Spot colors are here and they are getting more and more complicated every year," Sperry observed. The mere men- tion of this class of packaging decoration tools speaks to both challenges and opportunities. With that, he handed the mike to Designer Anne Reid of Landor Associates, who offered her thoughts on spot color strategies and trends. "Executable" and "Realizable" represent the reckoning points in current spot color trends, Reid said. Listing common, current-day moves, she singled out: minimizing print colors, using expanded color gamut (ECG) printing to achieve larger color palettes, employing spot colors to maintain consis- tent brand and version equity, the pursuit of a consistent outcome with multiple print vendors---e.g. label, shrink, stand-up pouch; registra- tion of fine details, clear vignettes, vibrant colors, and a larger expanse of single background color. Chip Tonkin of Clemson Univer- sity, pressed the audience to work collaboratively toward creating a standard, true contract proof that would include spot color beyond a mere FPO (for position only) desig- nation. He described such a tool as necessary because it will provide a "recipe for production." "We're a manufacturing process, not a craft," Tonkin stated. "Prepress is the gateway between creative and subjective." He maintained that a spot color standard can address solids, viewing conditions, screens, characterization and overprint. "It can represent the next generation workflow where results are modeled, not measured." Clearly defined spectral angles, tint measurements and communication of color will prove critical to the effort. Sounding a similar message was Richard Black of All Printing Resources, who pointed to one notable difference between spot color and process color. "CMYK has standards and specifi- cations associated with it." One point of note: "Spectral information is the DNA of color. And every color has a unique spectral curve." According to Black, "The key in using spectral data in the graphic arts is to make sure to include all the variables. One method to utilize is CxF (color exchange format). It represents seamless, worldwide digital communication of all commercially significant aspects of color." Still, Black said, work needs to be done on developing numeric references. FROM CURVES TO CALIBRATION Mark Mazur, DuPont Packaging Graphics; Catherine Haynes, All Printing Resources; and Gary Russell, Phototype; dissected complex elements of color adjustment techniques into three critical tiers: cut-back curves, near neutral (G7) calibration and color profiles. "Basics are so incredibly important to what we do," Mazur observed, in opening his explanation of dot gain compensa- tion. At one point he noted, "What appears to be a 50 percent dot gain is actually closer to 67 percent. Reflective densitom- etry, necessitated by differences in substrate characteristics, as well as viewing conditions, requires reference curves. " Launching into a presentation that he deemed "Cutback Curves 101," Mazur listed four steps to the process and Jay Sperry, Clemson University. Designer Anne Reid, Landor Associates. Chip Tomkin, Clemson University. Richard Black, APR. FTA TODAY
Sustainable Fall 2009