Are Some PMS Colors Easier To Hit Than Others?

tsfx

Active member
Let me first preference by saying I don't have all the nomenclature and vocabulary for inks down. Also, I work in Flexo so some terminology might differ.

We currently have a customer that had designs printed. On each print, there was a color shift. The prints were all within a few days of each other.

The customer is considering moving from one PMS color to another in order to make it easier for our press to hit its mark.
I guess that would be more the ink tech. and not the press. But anyways.

I suggested that we don't change the color but change our process. Because if we can't be consistent with Pantone on one, how will the other be different? I was told one would be easier to hit since there is the absence of Yellow. Which, looking at the CMYK values of the PMS swatches in Adobe Illustrator (and that might be the most reliable source), both colors have Yellow.

So, I think I get what management is doing.
You see, when we printed this design, the colors came in on target. Except some were in the warm, some were in the cool. But both within 2∆E. So management wants to idiot-proof, I believe, the process by changing the color. So that it will be always in the cool. I'm guessing, with the assumption that Yellow will be absent from the print.

So, fine, management made a decision. But for my own peace of mind, I really do not understand how one color can be easier to hit than another. When the formula is provided by Pantone to alleviate second-guessing / create a consistent standard.

I would just like to understand this a bit more.

Thanks.
 

SteveSuffRIT

Well-known member
Need some clarification.
Are you are printing spot colors (Pantone) or CMYK process builds, simulations of them?
If spot, are they just solids or do they contain screen tint dots?
How much of a color shift was there between press runs (dE)?
Were jobs exact reprints or similar graphics (family, campaign)?
Were they printed on same: press, decks, plates, anilox, viscosity?
The easiest color to "hit" or match is spot!
Compare ink (side-side draw down) out of kitchen (fresh) versus out of sump pump, which might have possible contaminated from dirty wash up.
Can you be specific about PMS #?
 

phapp

Member
I had the same questions as Steve. Also, Adobe Illustrator may not be the best source for PANTONE Recipes. You may want to check out Dan Gillespie's blog on WhatTheyThink... Adobe and Pantone to Part Ways; What You Gonna Do?. But also for clarification Pantone isn't meant to be a formula, it's meant to be a solid mixed ink. The CMYK recipe is provided as a convenience (the most recent books based on G7), but that doesn't mean that you can "hit" all PMS colors using just CMYK.
 

Magnus59

Well-known member
If you are attempting to match Pantone colours with CMYK, I suggest you get yourself a Pantone Colour Bridge Guide
This will show you the solid Pantone colour alongside the "closest, industry-standard CMYK colour matches" ( their description) for the printing conditions used to print the guide
You will get a good idea from this which colours can be reasonably matched in CMYK and which are impossible to match.
Colour Bridge Guide Set - Coated & Uncoated
 

bteifeld

Active member
I'm just curious, coming from a primarily wide format inkjet-based orientation with some reading knowledge of flexo- is the flexographic press stable enough
as a process to enable the possibility of color management?
 

gordo

Well-known member
I'm just curious, coming from a primarily wide format inkjet-based orientation with some reading knowledge of flexo- is the flexographic press stable enough
as a process to enable the possibility of color management?
Yes.
 

tsfx

Active member
Need some clarification.
Are you are printing spot colors (Pantone) or CMYK process builds, simulations of them?
If spot, are they just solids or do they contain screen tint dots?
How much of a color shift was there between press runs (dE)?
Were jobs exact reprints or similar graphics (family, campaign)?
Were they printed on same: press, decks, plates, anilox, viscosity?
The easiest color to "hit" or match is spot!
Compare ink (side-side draw down) out of kitchen (fresh) versus out of sump pump, which might have possible contaminated from dirty wash up.
Can you be specific about PMS #?
Are you are printing spot colors (Pantone) or CMYK process builds, simulations of them?
Spot
If spot, are they just solids or do they contain screen tint dots?
Solids.
How much of a color shift was there between press runs (dE)?
Unsure on this.
Were jobs exact reprints or similar graphics (family, campaign)?
Exact reprints. Same family, sizes, colors, press, etc. Only difference is the operator and work shift.
Were they printed on same: press, decks, plates, anilox, viscosity?
Yes, though the viscosity might be different. I assume that would depend on whoever is checking the levels on this?
The easiest color to "hit" or match is spot!
Compare ink (side-side draw down) out of kitchen (fresh) versus out of sump pump, which might have possible contaminated from dirty wash up.
Can you be specific about PMS #?
Current color is 7535 and the switch would be to 400.

Thanks for the replies.
 

tsfx

Active member
Also, I am unsure of the color shift because I don't have exact numbers and documentation readily available.
From the visual review, it is not noticeable per print. Only when I saw each printout sample side-by-side and wondered why they didn't match.
That's when I found out each of the printouts was in spec. Just on opposite sides of the spectrum... gamut?
 

SteveSuffRIT

Well-known member
Pantone #7535 & 400 are near neutral (shades of gray). That is very meaningful information.
Visually the eye is very sensitive to any hue change in them.
Also, Delta E (dE, DE) is only magnitude, not direction. So a dE 2 can become 4 if it moves in opposite directions.
You mentioned the only difference was the press operator, that can certainly be the difference!
That's why training and SOP (Stnd Op Procedures) are important.
 

tsfx

Active member
Pantone #7535 & 400 are near neutral (shades of gray). That is very meaningful information.
Visually the eye is very sensitive to any hue change in them.
Also, Delta E (dE, DE) is only magnitude, not direction. So a dE 2 can become 4 if it moves in opposite directions.
You mentioned the only difference was the press operator, that can certainly be the difference!
That's why training and SOP (Stnd Op Procedures) are important.
Thanks for the feedback Steve,
What you mentioned in your reply makes sense. And even though I am not well-versed in this part of the process, I can grasp what you mean. And you have put my thoughts and guesses into words.

I just wanted to make sure that I understood what was happening a bit better because the decisions made threw me off and made me believe my guesses were far off.
I can now put this to rest and let management take over from here. Which they already did. I just have a better understanding as to why.
Especially since the CA was to save an approved sample of PMS400 for each job in question to match to in the future. And I thought, "Why can't we just do that with PMS7535?"

Thanks
 

SteveSuffRIT

Well-known member
Just for the record, the color difference between Pantone 400 and #7535 is NOT close!
dE'00 = 6.8
#7535 is much yellower and darker
 

tsfx

Active member
Just for the record, the color difference between Pantone 400 and #7535 is NOT close!
dE'00 = 6.8
#7535 is much yellower and darker
Would that make the switch to 400 an easier target to hit?

It is the customer that is choosing the colors.
It is us who are saying that the absence of yellow will make it easier.

1) I believe both have yellow within. Not sure.
2) I do not understand how one would be "easier" if there should be a process that takes out the guesswork.

Once again, the decision has already been made.
I just want to have a better understanding as to why that choice was made.
 

What About Profitability?

Canon
What about Profitability?
Offset yields new advantages

Read All About It

   
Top