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FLEXO Magazine : May 2013
only one combination will produce the most stable tint build for printing on a press (as well as the least amount of metamorism). The combination whose ink com- ponents are closest to the color being reproduced is the most stable combina- tion. In the gray example cited above, a 50 percent K tint will print with far greater stability than a C=50, M=0, Y=40 combination. The same logic exists for all other colors. Ideally, ECG test targets are de- signed such that they capture the maxi- mum amount of “relevant” data. No test target sample patch ever contains more than four colors and the combination is always the logical combination of one extra color (Orange, Green, or Violet). Breaking this down even further, all but the very darkest colors can be repro- duced with only three colors and these three colors are always the closest com- ponents to the color being reproduced. This is the most stable combination. Dependent Standard Concept: As described above, improvements in 7-color press characterization technology, as well as tint build logic, have led to true increases in color accuracy. A third trend that has emerged to enable CPCs and designers to work with expanded gamut is the concept of “dependent standards.” To state a fact, a press printing ECG – that is mixing 7-color halftone dots on the printed sheet – will be able to achieve a smaller gamut of colors than a press printing with inks that have been mixed in the inkroom using 12 base inks. It’s true that the 7-color gamut is much bigger than the 4-color gamut, but it’s not as big as the gamut of the spot color ink books from which CPCs and designers select their colors. The solution: give CPCs and design- ers different ink books. Specifically, give them an ink book created by printing colors on a 7-color ECG press. Of course, the concept of actu- ally printing ink books suffers from many flaws. The most obvious issue is economic. Such books, or even sheets, cost money to print. An even greater issue is accuracy. The color printed in production will only match the ink book if your press prints exactly the same at all points in the future. This is closely related to the concept of synchroniza- tion described earlier. However, a digital ink book, produced from a smoothed and synchronized profile, will provide a reference that can be matched at any point in the future — when you print to your curve speci- fication. Of course, you will never print exactly to your curve specification. Still, a synchronized profile and a digital ink book will put you in the center of your variation window. PROOFING FOR ECG Between 2009 and 2013, proofing systems have emerged which are ca- pable of achieving an accurate match to expanded gamut printing. This alone is largely responsible for ECG reaching the tipping point. www.flexography.org may 2013 FLEXO 35 BETTER TOGETHER CyberXtendTM Makes It Easy to Combine Multiple Jobs onto the Same Press Run Vibrant Process Reproductions Inventory Reduction Reduced Ink Waste Faster Turnover