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 firstname.lastname@example.org.