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The Pantone Color of the Year announcement is always exciting. Not only does it set the stage for upcoming trends, it also provides brand owners and designers critical guidance for marketing and product development. However, those who are charged with manufacturing products and packaging with trending colors (like 2021's Ultimate Gray and Illuminating) know it doesn’t “just happen.” It takes time and effort to incorporate new colors. Whether you work in paints, plasti...

December 14, 2020

Black Friday. Not only is it the much anticipated start to holiday shopping, it’s also a day manufacturers have been preparing for all year long. Whether mass-producing holiday cards, candy canes, plastic toys, or festive clothing, accurate color is a must. Manufacturers can’t ship two of the same toy if they won’t match on the showroom floor, and holiday sweaters that are a shade off will end up at a discount store instead of a fashion boutique. Perfection is especially import...

November 25, 2020

The best way to visualize how color will react in real world lighting conditions is to use a light booth. Traditional light booths contain common illuminants like daylight, incandescent, and fluorescent to replicate how color will look in the retail store and post-purchase in outdoor and home lighting. Today, the increased use of LED lamps in home, commercial, and retail environments is impacting decades of standardized lighting procedures.   How LED is Changing the Game LED lights hav...

October 12, 2020

As the industrial plastics market grows increasingly competitive and demands more sustainable practices, manufacturers need new ways to formulate and produce accurate color faster, with less waste. Digital color standards are one of the most effective tools to bridge this gap. They also enable color work and communication from remote locations.   With digital color standards, brands and designers can set clear expectations with supply chains. In turn, suppliers can achieve color goals wit...

July 31, 2020

Whether you work with plastics, coatings or textiles, you must consistently achieve in-tolerance color or your product could be rejected before it even makes it to the shelf or showroom.     This is especially true for brands that rely on off-site suppliers and manufacturers for raw materials and parts that come together at assembly, such as the plastic dashboard, fabric seats, and coated interior panels of a car. Even if each site produces in-tolerance color, it must be monitored an...

June 12, 2020

No matter the industry, our customers are all working toward the same goal: Achieve accurate color and keep production moving. Even in the best conditions, color data can be a challenge to capture and share. COVID-19-related travel bans and social distancing guidelines are making it harder than ever.    Today we’ll share three easy ways to remotely share color data so you can achieve your color goals without shipping physical samples or making onsite visits. The Benefits of Digit...

April 30, 2020

Appearance is more than just color. It’s an all-inclusive look at everything inherent to an object, including texture, gloss, transparency, translucency, and special effects like sparkle and shimmer. When viewed from different angles or under different lighting conditions, appearance effects can change our perception of color. That's why it’s important to control both color and appearance throughout design and development.  Durable goods brands use appearance effects to captur...

February 20, 2020

Managing color throughout production is always a challenge, but advances in color technology, like the metallic, shimmer, and pearlescence effects designed to capture consumer attention, are taking the frustration to a whole new level for quality control managers. This is especially true when producing parts that must match at assembly, such as the metal panels for a home appliance or the painted side mirrors for a vehicle.  Special effects are tricky to control because our perception can c...

January 14, 2020

When choosing a food product, consumers demand consistency in both taste and appearance. While a lighter batch of oranges may still produce a delicious juice blend, a pale color can jeopardize USDA approval and leave consumers questioning the quality. Unfortunately for food and beverage manufacturers, the color of food – especially drinks like fruit juice and blended cocktails – is one of the most difficult things to control during production. Here’s why. 1. Liquid is hard to...

August 15, 2019

There’s been a lot of research around the role color plays in how we expect food to taste. The fact is, we judge flavor by the color of the food or drink, even before the first taste. We expect red foods to taste sweet like strawberries or cherries. White should taste like vanilla, and green is probably limey and tart or minty. Color cues can even determine whether we take that first bite. Most of us won’t even consider trying a food like mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie if it is ...

August 12, 2019

Controlling color on cylindrical-shaped items like cups, cans, and tubes is a challenge because it’s hard to properly align the measurement device with the sample. Many printers and manufacturers cut a piece from the finished product and lay it flat to take a measurement. While this method works, each sample takes time to cut, wastes product, and risks the safety of the employees who are cutting the samples.  A Faster, Safer Solution X-Rite’s Cup and Cylinder Fixture works ...

July 17, 2019

Are you wasting too much time and money on incorrect color? Even if you use the best color measurement tools available, your color will still fail without quality control.    Quality control (QC) means verifying the color you specify is the same color you manufacture, throughout production. Setting up a QC program can help you accurately communicate color with clients and suppliers, inspect raw materials before you begin working, and verify your color is correct before you ship.  ...

June 27, 2019

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...

October 17, 2017

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....

October 13, 2017

K 2016 begins today in Düsseldorf and runs through October 26th. As the #1 trade fair for the plastics and rubber industries, it’s a huge event featuring industry news, product demos, and networking. We’ll be in Hall 8b / Stand H65 showcasing our end-to-end X-Rite Pantone workflow solutions to help rubber manufacturers, compounders, masterbatchers, and converters get consistent color in a plastics workflow. Don’t miss your chance to speak with our color experts! (Here’s the best way to request a...

October 18, 2016

Detroit recently hosted The North American International Auto Show. It’s an exciting event for consumers who want a sneak peek at what’s on the horizon in the automotive industry. Energy efficiency, new gadgets, enhanced comfort, and of course, the latest paint colors and special effect finishes. For years, white has been the most popular car color, but more varied colors are starting to emerge. USA Today’s Chris Woodyard wrote that blue is a new color trend at this year’s auto show. It’s also r...

January 27, 2016

Pantone®, an X-Rite company, recently announced a pair of complementary shades as its 2016 Color of the Year:  PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity and PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz. The PANTONE Color of the Year announcement is always exciting because it sets the stage for upcoming trends. The Color of the Year selection process is very thoughtful and a lot of consideration is given to the color choices. To arrive at the selection each year, Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institut...

December 11, 2015

Would you choose a beverage off the store shelf if the same brand sitting next to it was a different color? The Bacardi Bottling Corporation knows the answer is probably no, which is why the company incorporates strict color standards into its Bacardi Mojito production process. Bacardi Mojito is a mix of premium rum, flavorings and special natural ingredients. Since the color of these ingredients can vary, Bacardi bottlers need to continually adjust their recipe to maintain consistent flavor an...

August 10, 2015

Many companies spend a lot of time and money on color measurement instruments and software but forget about the importance of lighting when approving products for shipment. When used properly, spectrophotometers and color management software can tell you if your colors are within tolerance, and they can also manage gloss and metamerism (see explanation of metamerism below). However, you could still be sending out unsatisfactory parts if they don’t look right after they’re assembled, once they hi...

July 21, 2015

From laundry soap to paper to socks, it seems that manufacturers everywhere are trying to achieve the brightest whites, and consumers are certainly buying in. These companies use chemical dyes called OBAs to make their whites “whiter” and stay ahead of the competition. OBA stands for optical brightening agent. You may also have heard it called FWA (Fluorescent Whitening Agent), optical brightener, fluorescent dye, or even just whitener. An optical brightening agent is a special type of dye that ...

July 20, 2015
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