Printed Color Goes Bad! COLOR REPRODUCTION

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 can 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 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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