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Printed Color Goes Bad! COLOR REPRODUCTION

Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Blog, Printing Tips | Write a Comment

Color Reproduction

Crashing surf, brilliant sun, blue sky, mega-ripper riding a curl in your client’s brilliant orange board shorts—totally bitchin’ and jumping off your screen. Now translate that into a printed catalog cover.

Monitors transmit light, achieving the broadest spectrum of color and intensely displaying every detail from shadow to highlight. Printed color, on the other hand, is only reflected light and white paper is the brightest it gets. RGB color is translated to CMYK, which is most limited in true clean pigments, some blues and especially oranges; you could have a disappointed customer if you don’t apply some tricks of the trade. Use high resolution on press like a 240 or 300 line screen to increase the color gamut. Both I believe can provide stronger color than stochastic, but that is another good option for some kinds of art. Use UV inks. These inks are cured as each color is printed, keeping the pigments right on the surface of the paper and making the color richer and more intense. Spot color may be a good solution, especially if this season’s colors are hard to achieve with a CMYK build. Look at coating and stock options. Try using a soft touch coating instead of a satin or gloss coating. Soft touch reduces the glare caused by gloss coatings, yet doesn’t dull color like a satin or dull aqueous coating or varnish. True soft touch coating has a suede feel to it, is highly scuff resistant, and actually enhances images. It has a light-diffusing quality that enhances color while negating glare.

We know all this stuff. We can make it happen.

 

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Printed Color Goes Bad! RESOLUTION

Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Blog, Printing Tips | Write a Comment

RESOLUTION

Isn’t this image great? I found it on the web. And yes, it looks great on screen, however, printed color requires a much higher resolution. Image resolution is measured by the number of dots/pixels per inch. To produce rich detailed color on a printing press, generally 300dpi is recommended. An image used on the web is likely to be only 72dpi. The smaller size of the web file allows pictures to load quickly. But if you try to print a low-res image, the screen dots become more visible, ragged edges appear, image detail is lost, and color may look weak and washed-out.

 

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Printed Color Goes Bad! CALIBRATION

Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Blog, Printing Tips | Write a Comment

Calibration

“Oh that, the monitor I bought 5 years ago came color calibrated.” Calibration should happen annually, at the very least, and monthly or bi-monthly if you handle critical color. This will help ensure the most accurate color match from screen to proof to press. Understand that individual printing companies have different press standards and types of ink, so your calibration settings may vary from company to company. Pick a company that produces color printing to your satisfaction. The highest level color standard in the printing industry is Gracol G7 certification. It is an international standard and printers must go through a rigorous color-match testing process to be certified. Color standards must be met annually in all steps of the process: prepress, proofing, and press. All equipment must pass the testing for a company to be certified. The goal is to ensure that print in Portland, New York, and Bangkok could meet a consistent printed color standard.

Accurate proofing is necessary for critical color. Color adjustments, enhancements and tweaks can easily be made at the color proofing stage, but not on press.

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