Describing color shift tolerance in layman's terms

Not sure how that response contributes positively to this thread.
Not trying to solve the problem.
YOU pointed out that the printers you use:
1. Can't match the supplied proofs.
2. Can't match THEIR OWN proofs.
Does that NOT bear on the 'craftsmanship/smashmanship' of the printers?
And I am not the only person here bemoaning the lack of craftsmanship on the production floor and the focus on profitability over skillset.
 
Looking for advice on how to explain to designers that we (the customer) have to accept some variance in color which is within industry standard tolerance. What is the best way to do that.

If I was to show them this, it would do no good:
Coated Stock
C 1.45(+/-0.08)
M 1.40(+/-0.08)
Y 1.05(+/-0.08)
K 1.80(+/-0.08)

Is there a way of translating the Delta E to something the designer would better understand? For example, could you say the Magenta may move shift up to 3%. Something like that?

I realize there are so many variables, and don't want this thread to turn into super tech talk. Just wondering if anyone has a simple and easily understandable way of letting the customer know that they can expect some color shift throughout the run of their project.

Thanks in advance.
Go to System Brunner - he has examples of picture classification and process variation.
The PC Reference shows a 2-4-6% color shift to Grey. (standard deviation is +/- 2%).
That's why GCR is applied to decrease deviation of near neutral items.
Questions? Dan 412.889.7643
 

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The problem with trying to assign a densitometer number variation to a 4 color printed piece is that at times a delta of up to 10 densitometer points may have a negligible affect on the bulk of the printed piece, but you may encounter images where variations of less that 5 densitometer points would greatly change the appearance of an image. Some images are just much more sensitive than others. Then there becomes the issue of variations of small amounts ( 3 densitometer points) but you may have one color 3 points high and another color 3 points low so you wind up with a hot mess thats easily noticed by even the untrained eye. Your best quality control when it comes to color is to do a regular blueprinting of both pre press and press. I would say that an annual fingerprinting would not be too frequent if you're looking to deliver top notch color control. It's also important that once youve dialed in prepress to press that you not introduce any variables into the process. Such variables to include inks, fountain solutions, blankets, plates, and even personnel, have the potential to throw things out of wack!!! Should the need arise to introduce something new into the recipe it should be done with much caution and awareness. If the change is something really significant it just may require you to do the whole fingerprint process again. I would suggest that once you get it all dialed in that you not only save samples of the finished piece, but that you also record everything in the form of density readings, dot gain, progs, and all substrates and consumables.
 
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The problem . . . and even personnel, have the potential to throw things out of wack!!!
'#One' Pressman: Start density high, bring it down. Always looks 'full'.
'#Two' Pressman: Start density low, bring it up. Always looks 'light+more variation'.
We experienced this in a one month span.
Proofs never changed.
Showed the '#two' pressman same proof a month later.
Re-calibrated (fingerprinted) the press twice to convince them the machine had issues AFTER both pressman had issues meeting the proofs.
Grumbling by BOTH #one & #two stopped when units showed issues (resolved) and starting point densities were normalized.
Now stable and matches proofs again.
Sigh.
 
I think FM screening helps to reduce that due to its using only one small dot size. Smaller dots have consistently less gain and therefore less color variance overall.
Less physical gain for sure. Now optical part is always off the charts. Also one can find that those inks one using are not quite suite for FM as pigment needs to be grinded better
 
I would suggest that once you get it all dialed in that you not only save samples of the finished piece, but that you also record everything in the form of density readings, dot gain, progs, and all substrates and consumables.
This.
Have a data sheet for pressman to fill and attach to each approved sheet.
 
The simplest way to express this to the customer who is willing to accept that color can vary throughout a run and is often unmatchable from one process to another:

Come up with a "show and tell".

I used to use boxes (for identical hair coloring) purchased at 2 different stores to show the extremes that are possible in commercially acceptable color variance. Skin tones (and even the hair color!) would vary from store to store.

Printing is an art, a craft, something that is under the control of people who are using machines. We have tools to reduce variance, but variance will still exist.

First, see whether your customer can understand that variance occurs naturally in all processes.

If your customer cannot understand the concept of inevitable variance, you are better off without them. You will not satisfy them.

(Inability to understand variance is a mental block that is pretty much inexorable. People afflicted with this generally let this bleed into every other aspect of their lives... God help their spouses and workmates (and printers).)
 
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