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FLEXO Magazine : July 2012
lower the count. If going to a complete ECG set does not fit the brand’s communication objectives, or the process just is not capable, the colors used in the simplification set are typi- cally brand specific. Think of any famous “brand descriptive” color...”Coca-Cola Red,” “Pepsi Blue,” Pamper ’s Teal...” FLEXO: Is the tolerence for color variation of built spot colors different than for dedicated spots? FRIMMING: Many times, the answer is yes. A build color is the accumulation of tight process control in the areas of regis- tration, TVI, color accuracy at the solid and the undertone and superior ink trap. Build colors essentially have more variables that can affect the final resulting color. The traditional approach to brand color management is to control the key performance attributes of the color reproduc- tion. This can help to insure successful brand color reproduc- tion. You start with an ink that is “fit-for-use,” characterize the process and apply the learnings. For build colors, all of that remains, but you have the added complexity. To aid in the color control process, the value chain, including the CPC brand owner and design teams, need to agree on the colors that are achievable in the given process. When starting ECG projects, we typically find that the brand does not want to “lose” its original color pallet. This is understandable, but just not a reality 100 percent of the time. Brand colors are established from existing color communica- tion tools like TOYO, Pantone, or others, along with colors that custom to a CPC. A reasonable expectation for tolerencing against these palettes would be that 80 percent of the colors can be matched at 3.0 Delta E (CIE DE 2000). Palettes with more customization may have a lower percentage. To aid in managing the CPC expectation, colors should be selected from a palette that is produced using the base ECG color set, instead of using a “spot color” reference. The ECG build color reference should be worked so that the builds achieve the best DE match to the original reference, and also consider print feasibility as an over-riding input to make sure the number of colors is managed in any particular build, and the control of contaminating colors is eliminated, or greatly reduced. This will help with other separation at- tributes like angle selection to avoid interference patterns. Pastels, neutrals and vivid violets are the most difficult colors to achieve with a build. FLEXO: Are you setting minimums the same way as you did with CMYK? FRIMMING: With the newer plate technologies factoring in, we have seen that traditional minimum dot considerations can be lowered or even eliminated. Testing the process for this is highly recommended prior to establishing the workflow. Testing the new plate technologies is a process within itself, as is color simplification. The two can work together, but your process should be completely optimized prior to testing for simplification, ECG or harmonization. FLEXO: How often do you re-characterize the expanded gamut presses? How do you work with multiple presses run- ning the same design? FRIMMING: This is a hot topic in the industry. CPCs want converters to have the process under complete control. I have seen a trend where a CPC will have the converters perform characterizations every 6 to 12 months as part of the agree- 22 FLEXO july 2012 www.flexography.org