Pantone Coated vs Uncoated Corporate style guide issue

akmaleja

Member
I have been asked by a large non-profit foundation to assist in creating a “style guide” that will reduce the significant inconsistencies they have been dealing with from print providers. The printing world is completely foreign to them and have explained the basic challenges, and limitations and causes to why their main identity color PMS 1505 could not be reproduced visually across all print production methods. After giving in to a less then desired PMS 1645C that when printed in methods other then formulated mixed ink was acceptable.

My questions are. First- is it common when creating corporate identities to have multiple PMS colors dependent on paper coating to maintain a consistent visual match? Second- Any advice on how to relay this to both the foundation and print providers that if they want to visually match PMS 1645 on uncoated stock to use PMS 021?
 
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gordo

Well-known member
My questions are. First- is it common when creating corporate identities to have multiple PMS colors dependent on paper coating to maintain a consistent visual match?

In my experience no. That is not done.

Second- Any advice on how to relay this to both the foundation and print providers that if they want to visually match PMS 1645 on uncoated stock to use PMS 021?

In my experience that is not done.

Also, for both questions, a "visual" match is a problematic criteria. Whose color vision would be considered the technical standard? Under what lighting/environmental conditions would this person evaluate the "match"? What is their visual tolerance?

The materials you work with have certain performance characteristics. Ask yourself/your customer what hue of matte black paint would you use to make it visually match a glossy black paint? Not going to happen.

I think you are going down a path that will lead to frustration and problems.
 
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pippip

Well-known member
I would put money on their inconsistencies on past jobs being the direct result of jobs that have to be digitally printed rather than litho. 1645 and 021 being impossible to get with CYMK, or even in my opinion remotely close to achieving. I've battled this many a time with clients and tweaked for hours.
 

keith1

Well-known member
You'll be chasing that colour around forever and will never match it from one paper to the next. Especially true for coloured stock.
You may stand 1/2 a chance digitally if able to lay a couple hits of white down first. Still not a thought I'd entertain. Even if the ink match was 'technically' correct, the optics of different papers/materials will fool the eyes.
 

akmaleja

Member
Also, for both questions, a "visual" match is a problematic criteria. Whose color vision would be considered the technical standard? Under what lighting/environmental conditions would this person evaluate the "match"? What is their visual tolerance?

The targeted color (Orange) originated from the foundations namesake who died of brain cancer, it was his favorite :(. To answer above- “whose color vision” I was trusted with that responsibility and requested the help from a number of seasoned print buyers. “Under what lighting” we used D65, D50, CWF, TL84, and incandescent A, all with and without ultraviolet mixed for evaluation. “materials”- (This was a challenge due to the fact we would not be doing the print buying) My thought was to choose papers that offered both production offset and a digital version, and settle on Opus, Maccoy and Sterling.

Where I dropped the ball on this was assuming that when printing with spot color inks the best case scenario would be to use the same selected and agreed to PMS color across all papers. We used Pantone Plus Solid Coated and Uncoated swatch book during this process. Books are 2 years old and kept closed and in drawer to extend life.

If you (or any other readers) have the time compare Pantone 1645C to Pantone 1645U and Pantone 021U solid. If your opinion is the same as mine and agree that 021U is closer to 1645C then 1645U, I feel emotionally and professionally obligated to move forward along this path.

Thank you for taking the time and feedback
 
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alibryan

Well-known member
I have been asked by a large non-profit foundation to assist in creating a “style guide” that will reduce the significant inconsistencies they have been dealing with from print providers.

There’s a member of this forum named SMS who was promoting an ink matching system that prioritizes consistent color across various mediums. You might want to look him up as he may be able to help you with this. Good Luck.
 

akmaleja

Member
I would put money on their inconsistencies on past jobs being the direct result of jobs that have to be digitally printed rather than litho. 1645 and 021 being impossible to get with CYMK, or even in my opinion remotely close to achieving. I've battled this many a time with clients and tweaked for hours.

Absolutely correct and was even worse with previous targeted color. Our task was to find a Orange that was ok with the foundation that had a reduced gap in visual appearance when printed offset CMYK, Digital, and extended mutable ink CMYK (inkjet), compared to solid spot Pantone mixed ink.
 

Craig

Well-known member
Buy a Pantone Bridge book to see how PMS colors translate into CMYK. You'll have better luck finding Bigfoot than hitting that PMS 1645C running CMYK both inks and toner.
 

akmaleja

Member
Buy a Pantone Bridge book to see how PMS colors translate into CMYK. You'll have better luck finding Bigfoot than hitting that PMS 1645C running CMYK both inks and toner.

That was part of the process when we created the CMYK version of art and mandated the formula for page layout apps.
 

akmaleja

Member
For more fun :

I have been following that thread thank you.

I do understand why the same ink looks different on coated vs uncoated. Now knowing I have a solution to give my client a better product by using 2 different PMS colors dependent on coated vs uncoated, i am more interested in how to strategically document, create logos and art versions in a manner that is clear and direct with minimum risk of misuse. Do to the personal nature of this it far exceeds “the same pms ink will look different on different substrates” approach.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
I have been following that thread thank you.

I do understand why the same ink looks different on coated vs uncoated. Now knowing I have a solution to give my client a better product by using 2 different PMS colors dependent on coated vs uncoated, i am more interested in how to strategically document, create logos and art versions in a manner that is clear and direct with minimum risk of misuse. Do to the personal nature of this it far exceeds “the same pms ink will look different on different substrates” approach.

Good luck. I think that the only way to do this correctly is for the foundation to hire you as a contractor for a minimum of 10 years at a fat rate, and have you control all print work (or anything that involves these colors). Else wise you can just tell them that once you're out of the picture all bets are off in regards to competent color management.
 

Craig

Well-known member
Good luck. I think that the only way to do this correctly is for the foundation to hire you as a contractor for a minimum of 10 years at a fat rate, and have you control all print work (or anything that involves these colors). Else wise you can just tell them that once you're out of the picture all bets are off in regards to competent color management.

Sure as shit down the road someone will ask for a logo and they will send one for coated stock and it will get printed on uncoated. Now lets go one further, what about web safe colors and monitor displays? The Founders computer screen looks a different color than his/her phone.
 

Ulrich

Well-known member
My questions are. First- is it common when creating corporate identities to have multiple PMS colors dependent on paper coating to maintain a consistent visual match?

I have also opted once for different Pantone shades for coated and uncoated paper (example: Pantone 129 U + 130 C, which seemed closer to each other than twice 129, as a measurement of the color values ​​in Lab also confirmed, they are of course the same not yet).


Aside from the inevitable scenario that Craig foresees in the previous post here:

The hope, by using PANTONE to guarantee a Corporate Identity, desired by the customer is, unfortunately, an indelible part of one of the biggest fairy tales of the (offset) printing industry, which is repeatedly told (incompletely), even in training situations:

The Pantone color pattern book printed in various editions - partly under a different name - has also been produced in a different process (dry offset) as it is used in the process for which it is to serve as a reference in the graphic arts industry (wet offset), because sometimes it is simply not possible to reproduce certain color samples from it in that neccesary density in wet Offset.

That is not my own expirience and i Can not whitness, but my knowledge from me
suspicioused
as a well-informed source, that the printed subjects in the production by Pantone partly visually (!) adjusted for further editions. (But I like to be corrected by an "even better informed" source!)

When using Pantone CMS in the printing industry, you just have to realize that this tool is simply a basis for communicating about color vision aims (to define an aim and not a claim by using an example).

Nowhere is written or claimed that it is a 100% reliable method to get exactly the same colors in the results of different productions, especially not with different parameters such as different substrates or even printing processes. (Which, conversely, does not mean that it is impossible to achieve satisfactory results, it is just not "reliable" ...)

Also, I know only from others and can not testify, but after over 30 years in the industry I would not know how to do it differently:

A consistent color, based on differently produced printed products according to the requirements of Corporated Identity of a sophisticated and intelligent design, e.g. repeatedly found on packaging and thus to a considerable extent guarantees the recognition value of a brand, can be achieved only under the strictest agreements / stipulations on exact color values ​​in connection / dependence with the respective substrate.

This means, that the greater the difference in the properties of the substrates used (for example, paper white or ink acceptance behavior), the more the formulation then has to be adapted in each case.

By ordering one or more shades from the Pantone fan at a color supplier, a targeted Corporated Identity can only be guaranteed with foreseeable inadequacies of the most diverse dimensions.


Ulrich
 
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Cold

Well-known member
Hello Akmaleja,

I recommend the following:
-Only choose a Pantone color with the following bases- T.White, Yellow, Rubine, Pantone Pro Blue, and Neutral Black. By limiting your color search to these pigments, this will allow for differing 4 color processes to be able to match your spots within a few delta.
-Once the color has been chosen, Stop Referring to it as a Pantone number. The next printing by Pantone will not, barring blind luck, be a close enough visual or delta match to the color that was chosen for your brand. Measure your L.a.b. and lock this in as your standard calling it Copper Queen Orange or whatever the brand is.
-In your case, since both coated and uncoated stocks are used, repeat the process on uncoated.
-Set the tolerances for your printers, typically 2.45 CMC is a reasonable window for spots and give them the L.a.b. to hit. If it is a 4 color build open the window to 3.5 or so. (Of note, on my end of things 2.45 CMC is too large of a window. I set up our tolerances to rifle shots. This allows more room for my customers' inherent noise).

Good Luck and Best Regards,
Cold
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Alternate thread title: I am hunting a unicorn. Where is a good spot to start my search?

Sorry, but you're doing your client a horrible disservice here.

Instead of chasing imaginary creatures for them, you need to sit them down and tell them what is realistic in the printing industry.

None of what you are proposing is.



Mike Adams
 

akmaleja

Member
Alternate thread title: I am hunting a unicorn. Where is a good spot to start my search?

Sorry, but you're doing your client a horrible disservice here.

Instead of chasing imaginary creatures for them, you need to sit them down and tell them what is realistic in the printing industry.

None of what you are proposing is.



Mike Adams

That is some great feedback.

We started with Solid ink draw downs from a reduced number of colors (Orange) and 3 different CMYK builds of each, printed on 3 common offset stocks that also had a digital version. The selection process was done under 4 different lighting conditions with and without UV. They were educated to the cause of varying appearance do to base material, manufacturing processes, and lighting conditions. They understood and accepted the variables when they choose their color. All of this was touched on and I am not sure how much more “realistic” I could have got.

The insight I am looking for is more to do with, how do I promote the use of a 2nd (alternate) PMS color for use on uncoated stock that has a much better (and more than acceptable) match to the color they choose?

PMS 1645C accepted by client
CMYK build of PMS 1645C accepted by client
PMS 1645U unacceptable by client
PMS 021U (that looks more like PMS1645C) acceptable by client
 
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Correct Color

Well-known member
Well...

All that aside...

If I'm understanding your process here: They really want 1505C. You've told them 1505C isn't possible by differing printing methods and have therefore steered them to 1645C, which they have grudgingly accepted, but don't like on uncoated stock, so for that you're recommending 021U.

And I say that is a horrible disservice to the client.

To start, are you familiar with the formulas of each of these colors? I'll assume you know that all Pantone colors are ink formulas, and that the formulas of all the colors are the same between coated and uncoated versions, meaning that coated and uncoated are simply representations of how the exact same ink will look printed on different materials.

021 is a Pantone mixing color, meaning that there is no published formula for it. Pantone 021 C or U is simply Pantone 021, right out of the can.

Coated or uncoated, Pantone 1505 is the color right above it on that page. It is simply 021 cut in half with transparent ink.

Pantone 1645, however -- coated or uncoated -- is 5 parts warm red, 3 parts yellow, and 8 parts transparent ink; meaning that in actuality what it is is Pantone 1655, cut in half with transparent ink.

Now, the thing is, neither 021 nor warm red can be reproduced in CMYK. But warm red isn't as orange as 021. To my mind -- and as I said -- you're chasing a unicorn here.

The client wants a color on the 021 page. They want 021 as their base color.

You're taking them down the wrong path chasing some other color with some other base when my guess is they'd be happy with 1505 if they just used printers who can run spot colors correctly. And if they don't, then your work-arounds are just going to take them farther afield.

And I'm not quite coming at this out of left field. I deal on a constant basis with large-format digital inkjet printers who want to print Home Depot orange, or KTM orange, or 021 orange all the time. In digital inkjet, how close they can get depends on inkset of a particular device and the reflectivity of a particular media, and of course with just CMYK -- any CMYK -- they can never get completely there.

But with proper profiles they can get closer than the Bridge Book says they can, and usually they're happy. However, the limitations are the limitations.

In digital printing, any spot color is a name and L*a*b* value. The RIP reads the name, then looks for the L*a*b* value of that name in the destination color space, which is the printer profile. It's all in the printer profile how well that color will be reproduced.

But what's indisputable and unchangeable is that the L*a*b* value your client wants is the L*a*b* value of Pantone 1505 printed on coated stock. That should be your starting point.

You can chase work-arounds all day long, but that's the number you should be trying to achieve.



Mike Adams
Correct Color
 

akmaleja

Member
Well...

All that aside...

If I'm understanding your process here: They really want 1505C. You've told them 1505C isn't possible by differing printing methods and have therefore steered them to 1645C, which they have grudgingly accepted, but don't like on uncoated stock, so for that you're recommending 021U.

And I say that is a horrible disservice to the client.

To start, are you familiar with the formulas of each of these colors? I'll assume you know that all Pantone colors are ink formulas, and that the formulas of all the colors are the same between coated and uncoated versions, meaning that coated and uncoated are simply representations of how the exact same ink will look printed on different materials.

021 is a Pantone mixing color, meaning that there is no published formula for it. Pantone 021 C or U is simply Pantone 021, right out of the can.

Coated or uncoated, Pantone 1505 is the color right above it on that page. It is simply 021 cut in half with transparent ink.

Pantone 1645, however -- coated or uncoated -- is 5 parts warm red, 3 parts yellow, and 8 parts transparent ink; meaning that in actuality what it is is Pantone 1655, cut in half with transparent ink.

Now, the thing is, neither 021 nor warm red can be reproduced in CMYK. But warm red isn't as orange as 021. To my mind -- and as I said -- you're chasing a unicorn here.

The client wants a color on the 021 page. They want 021 as their base color.

You're taking them down the wrong path chasing some other color with some other base when my guess is they'd be happy with 1505 if they just used printers who can run spot colors correctly. And if they don't, then your work-arounds are just going to take them farther afield.

And I'm not quite coming at this out of left field. I deal on a constant basis with large-format digital inkjet printers who want to print Home Depot orange, or KTM orange, or 021 orange all the time. In digital inkjet, how close they can get depends on inkset of a particular device and the reflectivity of a particular media, and of course with just CMYK -- any CMYK -- they can never get completely there.

But with proper profiles they can get closer than the Bridge Book says they can, and usually they're happy. However, the limitations are the limitations.

In digital printing, any spot color is a name and L*a*b* value. The RIP reads the name, then looks for the L*a*b* value of that name in the destination color space, which is the printer profile. It's all in the printer profile how well that color will be reproduced.

But what's indisputable and unchangeable is that the L*a*b* value your client wants is the L*a*b* value of Pantone 1505 printed on coated stock. That should be your starting point.

You can chase work-arounds all day long, but that's the number you should be trying to achieve.



Mike Adams
Correct Color

Thanks for taking the time to follow up with valid and valuable info.

My approach on this I guess is guided or at least effected by the fact that a large amount of the printing will be done as a charitable contribution to the foundation leaving little control or leverage on how the printing is produced and or by who. Far from perfect approach but main goal was to narrow the gap in both printing and non- printed products knowing that a good portion of the work will be produced in a less then best case environment resulting in a wider gap in appearance.

What started this thread was the very first piece produced (post switching to PMS 1645) was a 24 page plus cover (both C2S) text was printed strait 4/c (with custom CMYK suggested builds for 1645) cover was printed 4/c + 2 spots one being the 1645. Client was pleased and signed off (even though the printer choose to print IFC with spot that gutter jumped to P1 4/c) Last piece was a tipped in envelope that was printed by third party in spot color 1645 on uncoated and was rejected. Reprinted in 021 tipped in and they were happy as a Unicorn.
 
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Correct Color

Well-known member
I don't doubt they were happy with 021.

What I would have suggested to this client is that they use 021. Period.

My approach on this I guess is guided or at least effected by the fact that a large amount of the printing will be done as a charitable contribution to the foundation leaving little control or leverage on how the printing is produced and or by who.

Which is precisely why you shouldn't be creating a Rube Goldberg device of a style sheet in the first place. You may have gotten a passable result, but that won't happen every time.



Mike
 

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