The Pantone Color Institute just announced PANTONE® 18-3838 Ultra Violet as the Pantone Color of the Year 2018! This news is always exciting because it sets the stage for upcoming trends for everything from housewares to fashion to packaging design. In fact, we have already seen shades of Color of the Year used in packaging and graphic design by forward-looking brands in the CPG, luxury, and beauty worlds as well as by personalities and artists seeking to stand out. Part of butt...

Posted December 11, 2017 by Mark Gundlach

In a highly competitive marketplace, brands and packaging designers are looking for ways to differentiate their products on the shelf. This increasingly goes beyond color to include embellishment options such as foils, special varnishes, soft touch finishes and more. Designers are also using more intense solid colors, fluorescents and iridescents. And not just with conventional print – embellishment options and special colors and finishes are also available in digital solutions that allow ...

Posted December 08, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

You think you’re doing everything right, but your color isn’t consistent. Why? Through the years, designers have used many tools to help them specify color. Color swatches, style guides and product prototypes have been effective, but with the advent of the digital world, these physical tools are no longer enough. To be efficient, designers need to be SPECIFIC. X-Rite Pantone President Ron Voigt recently published an article in MediaPost that explains why. To be effective, designers n...

Posted November 17, 2017 by Cindy Cooperman

Flexible film does a lot more than protect goods on the store shelf. When done right, film packaging design can capture attention and increase product sales. But measuring color on film substrates can be challenging, even for the most sophisticated converter. Here’s why. When you measure flexible film with a traditional 0°/45° spectrophotometer, the way you position the instrument compared to the film’s extrusion direction can cause interference, leading to inaccurate reading...

Posted November 02, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

The World Series starts next week. While players and fans are gearing up for the big event, stadium groundskeepers are preparing, too. You’ve surely seen those meticulous patterns in the grass – crisscross, spiral, plaid – but do you know how the groundskeepers create them? Thanks to a phenomenon called geometric metamerism (aka gonio-appearance), the grass really is greener on the other side. Read on to learn more about this optical illusion that can trick your eyes and wreak havoc on y...

Posted October 17, 2017 by Mike Huda

Color is our perception of reflected light across the visible spectrum. When light hits an object, it absorbs some rays and reflect others. The color of light that reflects back into our eyes is the color we perceive. The more light an object absorbs, the darker it appears. With black, very little light is reflected. Pure black in the presence of light wasn’t achieved until 2014 when Surrey NanoSystems announced the invention of Vantablack. This high-tech artificial substance absorbs 99....

Posted October 13, 2017 by Mike Huda

We frequently get calls from customers who can’t figure out why their measurements vary, even when they’re using maintained devices. Why would a sample read one way one day, then slightly different another? Many times the culprit is thermochromaticity, and it becomes an even bigger problem as the seasons change. Every kind of material changes color with temperature. These changes cause the material to exhibit a shift in reflected wavelengths of light, which can alter our perception. Ofte...

Posted September 19, 2017 by Mike Huda

Have you ever sent out a job that passed your inspection, only to have the customer reject it for out-of-tolerance color? You recheck the data and the instrument says the color passed the agreed tolerance… why is the customer saying it doesn’t? We get a LOT of these conflicting measurement calls in technical support. The solution is simple – document a color control program that clearly defines how to assess color, then make sure everyone (including your customer) follow...

Posted September 08, 2017 by

Hitting offset lithographic color targets isn’t always fast or easy. The manual process of measuring color bars and making ink key adjustments takes time and opens the door to operator error. Meanwhile, the press is running (and wasting) paper and ink. To achieve accurate and repeatable color, printers need to convert their printing operation to an efficient manufacturing process and drive efficiencies in all phases of their operation. For many, a closed-loop automated solution is the answer. Cl...

Posted August 20, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

Color measurement devices are used to capture, communicate, and evaluate color. From cardboard packaging to food, laundry soap, carpeting and small plastic parts, color measurement devices help ensure the color being produced matches the color that was originally specified. They’re used behind the scenes in just about every industry where color is important, including plastics, textiles, paints, coatings, print and packaging. There are basically two types of color measurement instruments: color...

Posted August 06, 2017 by Tim Mouw

If you recently invested in a spectrophotometer or colorimeter, you know there’s a lot more to learn about color measurement than just how to use your new device. To help you begin exploring the exciting world of color, we’ve compiled seven blogs that explain how to set up your color measurement device, care for it, and use it to its maximum potential. 5 Tips for Setting Up Your Spectrophotometer Using a spectrophotometer (“spectro” for short) to measure color doesn’t mean you’ll automatically ...

Posted July 25, 2017 by Mike Huda

We’ve written a lot about “color workflows” and “color management” on our blog. Today we’re connecting the dots to show you how “color workflow management” can mean big savings in a busy pressroom. Without color workflow management, you can end up producing something you think is right, but is completely wrong in the end. Especially in the printing industry, checking color quality at multiple steps along the way is the key to ensuring you’re on the right track...

Posted June 19, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

Whether you’re producing textiles, automotive parts, or plastic pieces, color needs to remain consistent or the final product will be rejected. Unfortunately, there are many ways for color errors to creep in during manufacturing. Creating and using digital standards is one way to combat these errors. They can be used to accurately specify and communicate color, design layouts, and formulate colorants and raw materials. Digital standards give brand owners peace of mind that the color they communi...

Posted June 09, 2017 by Tim Mouw

When someone says “apple,” do you think red, green, or yellow? What do you do if a customer asks you to produce a color using descriptions that are not specific enough? Check out how something as seemingly simple as color communication can determine whether your color program succeeds or fails. A picture may paint a thousand words, but words alone do not paint a thousand colors. Circular conversations about color happen everyday. They generally start with someone asking for a sligh...

Posted May 26, 2017 by Cindy Cooperman

As brand owners compete to make packaging stand out, printers are charged with achieving accurate color – on unique substrates – with shorter print runs. Many spend a lot of time mixing ink, then end up throwing it away when the color isn’t right. If you’re stuck in this cycle, you’re essentially paying for ink twice – once when you buy it, and once again to dispose of it. What are the economics behind this waste? What’s the impact on our earth? Today w...

Posted May 22, 2017 by Mike Huda

Did you read our blog: Are You Using The Right Tolerancing Method? If not, check it out. Today we’re taking the topic one step further to investigate how tolerances are chosen in different industries. A pass-fail tolerance is the amount of color variation that is considered commercially acceptable. In part, tolerances are driven by customer expectations. While color tolerances are very tight in the automotive, plastics, and paint & coatings worlds, they can be much less strict in other...

Posted May 02, 2017 by Mike Huda

What happens when you have more than 2,000 brand colors to manage across a complex global packaging supply chain? Things get complicated! Although it may seem easier to create a new color than to dig through databases or binders of color drawdowns to find the closest match, the problem comes later when you’re faced with a huge, unmanageable library. One of our clients, a well-known fast-moving consumer packaged goods (FMCG) company, understands how easily things can get out of control. They wer...

Posted April 25, 2017 by Cindy Cooperman

In a perfect world, you should be able to put ink in the press and simply run a job. Unfortunately, every year flexo and gravure printing operations waste ink, substrate and press time trying to get color right. Although advancements in technology have made it easier to achieve color accuracy, the variables that affect color still exist. In this three-part series, we’re sharing over two dozen reasons your color might be wrong on press. We’ve already covered two important factors – Instrumentatio...

Posted April 19, 2017 by Scott Harig

With today’s complex cross-media campaigns, accurate profiling is even more important for managing customer expectations across the color supply chain. Our i1Pro 2 solutions help photographers, videographers, prepress and digital printers create profiles for the best color on monitors, scanners, projectors, printers, and online web-to-print submission tools. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which is the right tool for your color workflow? Whether you’re looking to add a new comp...

Posted April 11, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

It’s been said that everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten. Does this phrase ring true for print and packaging designers? In the spirit of spring, we attempted to use a simple childhood activity—dyeing eggs—to solve some of the most perplexing color issues facing the packaging designer/printer relationship.                                             &...

Posted April 06, 2017 by Shoshana Burgett
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