Printing and Purchasing

Archive for August, 2013

How to Ensure all Printers Print your Color Consistently!

When multiple printers are required to produce your printing, are they all producing the same look or color? If your corporate color isn’t consistent, consider the following;

  • Content/Asset library: Maintain a single source library where all images are stored. These images have the latest corrections. This is critical since many times the client uses an image and during the proofing process requests corrections. The master content library should be updated with the corrected image, when approved.
  • Profile press: Confirm that each printer periodically is verifying/adjusting their proofs to represent what each press will reproduce.
  • Color Proofs: Review hard proofs in a viewing booth with original art. Only review soft proofs on a calibrated [daily] monitor. Before utilizing soft proofs, have each printer verify their profiled presses/hard proofs are verified on the customers soft proof monitor. When viewing soft proofs use original art when available. Concerns using soft proofs include; how will spot varnishes, coatings or other finishing operations be confirmed that they align and trap properly? How will intricate folds be verified and confirm that images align when there are no hard proofs?
  • Viewing Booth: If color is critical, confirm that the viewing booth is correct and lighting is calibrated and at the correct temperature. [It takes 10 to 20 minutes for 5000k lamps to achieve correct temperature]
  • Printers Bars: Request six [6] consecutive full press sheets from each press sign off. Confirm that the press is not slurring, doubling, and the ink density for each color is correct.
  • Original art: Available as a reference when reviewing proofs or press sheets.
  • PMS Books: Confirm age of PMS book. The older and the more a PMS book is utilized the less accurate it becomes because light will denigrate the ink/colors. The other problem with PMS books is they are manufactured and with any process there can be variation between books. If certain PMS colors are important it is best to provide ink drawdowns.
  • Ink Drawdowns: Corporate colors are associated to a PMS color, however many times when ink drawdowns are provided via the printer they need to be adjusted to match the clients color and labeled accordingly, e.g. PMS 123 ABC. To ensure all printers start with the same color, send ink drawdowns, along with wet ink samples, for the substrate being printed.
  • Stock: Have all printers printing on the same substrate. The color of the substrate can change the color being reproduced.
  • Process Builds of PMS: Consistently use the same process builds, since one project may be built using several software programs and each may build PMS colors out of process differently. Your company may also want to adjust the standard tint build to improve the color reproduction.
  • Wet Samples: When ink drawdowns are approved a small container of the ink used for the drawdown is filed for future use. Wet samples don’t deteriorate as quickly as ink drawdowns or PMS books.

If I can assist with any questions, an audit or consulting project, in regards to printing or purchasing, please contact me via e-mail at philip.vantassel@charter.net.

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Green is Good, but Bottom Line Still a Major Supply Chain Management Concern – Article from Supply Chain Management Review

“Overall, the global business-advisory firm’s survey found that while most executives recognize the importance of sustainability, cost is still a major factor and trumps environmental impact as a driver of behavior.”

Green is Good, but Bottom Line Still a Major Supply Chain Management Concern – Article from Supply Chain Management Review.

Do You Care About Color?

When you see or pick up printed items, do you review their quality? Do you notice when the color is not correct or there is color variation? Quality represents the items construction, color, and reproduction consistency. When I pick up a printed item, I review the print reproduction; is the type clean or filling in, are the images in register, the construction of the piece; do crossovers align and is the color consistent for example? In fact last week I picked up a newspaper with an image out of register, a coffee cup with printed type that wasn’t clean, a catalog with crossovers that didn’t align and a flyer whose logo was the wrong color!

When checking color there are several basic items that need to be reviewed.

  • Registration: Before reviewing color confirm that the images or tints are in registration.
  • Printer Bars: Confirm the press is not slurring, doubling, and the ink density is correct.
  • Lighting: If color is critical, confirm that the viewing booth and lighting are correct and calibrated. Lighting should be 5000K [kelvins].
  • Original art: If available use as a reference when reviewing proofs or press sheets.
  • Proofs: If available use as a reference when reviewing a press sheet.
  • Memory or identifier colors: Memory color are images that everyone knows what color they are. Examples of memory colors are; the sky is blue, grass is green, and stop signs are red.
  • Corporate logos: Logos are corporate identifiers and should be reproduced consistently, otherwise the inconsistency it will take a longer time for the logo to becoming a memory color. For example a logo like Gulf Oil LLC is orange; it should never look red.
  • Skin tones: Skin tones should always look natural. A Caucasian shouldn’t appear red, like they are sun burned [unless of course that is the subject matter], or lack color like they are jaundiced.

If I can assist with any questions, an audit or consulting project, in regards to printing or purchasing, please contact me via e-mail at philip.vantassel@charter.net.

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