Printing and Purchasing

Posts tagged ‘proofs’

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.

Advertisements

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.

Why Information Stickers are Important

On a recent Linked In poll, 23.8% of participants voted they did not receive or place information stickers on proofs. In an age of ISO and process improvement, printers providing proofs without information stickers 1 out of 4 times is unsettling. Information stickers assist the production process by minimizing rework caused by incorrect job specifications.

Information stickers, called proof stickers, contain important job information to the client/customer and printing plant. Information stickers are attached to physical proof. The stickers contain the printers name, job number, quantity, substrate [brand name, weight, finish, paper, styrene, etc], ink [PMS, Process, etc.], banding, wrapping, packing and delivery information. Information stickers also provide an area for the client/customer’s signature, confirming the proofs and information are correct or need to be changed.

With physical proofs, finishing is represented by actually performing the function on the proof. For example, if the job is 3-hole punched, the proof is 3-hole punched. This allows the customer to verify no copy will be compromised from the finishing.  The size of the punch should be noted too.  The same should be done with folding, [key folds], stitching, spiral wire, wire-o, GBC comb, etc.

When proofs are digital, such as PDF, finishing descriptions are needed.

Printers create a job bag, physical or electronic, for each new job which includes all pertinent information. A proof, either electronic or physical, is sent to the client/customer for copy/content approval. The information sticker provides job identification for the proof and a means for the printer to confirm the job specifications are correct.

During the press make-ready, the press operator should have the job bag and the proof/information sticker. When the press operator observes the job bag and proof information don’t match, the job is stopped until the conflict of information is rectified.

Many jobs during the production process have specifications which change. These changes can be quantity, substrate [weight, name, finish, etc], delivery, packing, etc. When press operator reviews the job bag along with proofs, insures the printed job will match the clients specifications.

Please e-mail your questions, PDF’s of printing issues or comments to printer1@charter.net.

Thank you for your time.

%d bloggers like this: