Prepress Camouflage Pattern

tsfx

Member
Good Day,
I am a flexo graphics coordinator. 90% of our work is linework and some screenwork. Sometimes we will get process print jobs, but not a whole lot.

I have a customer that wants a camouflage pattern on their product. The design sent to me has the pattern in 3 separate GREY PMS colors (427, 428, 429).
I informed the customer that the trapping on this may produce undesirable results. Something like a puzzle pattern as opposed to the texture they were looking for.
I informed them the best way to print this would be process print but that would add more colors to their design.

I gave them an alternative that had the lightest grey with screens of black on top. We sent them a press printed proof and they are now questioning the outcome.
They want each color to look closer to their PMS alternatives.

I have tried different variations of screening and/or stroking the PMS colors, but all attempts have that puzzle pattern look.

My question is,
Is there something I am overlooking? Is there a different option I am not considering?

Thank you for any assistance.

EDIT:
View attachment PrePress vs JPGS.pdf
 

Attachments

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tsfx

Member
I have added images of what I have so far.
1 is a screenshot of the original pattern.
1 is a screenshot of the trapping
And 1 is a PDF showing the comparison by the customer. But unfortunately, the comparison is only a screenshot vs. print.
 

gordo

Well-known member
Rather than trapping, would overprinting the dark colors over the lighter colors not work?
 

tsfx

Member
gordo, I have considered this, but with all three colors being PMS I was fearful of the outcome. I felt one screen overlay would have more control than three. Especially when I considered repeatability. I have proposed this idea to the customer and told them we could run another press test, but that may put them behind schedule.
 

tsfx

Member
M@CK, If printed using the PMS colors only, then no, they are not set to be screened. They are 100%. I did do a RIP test preview to see if I knocked back the colors to 80 or 90%, considering dot gain would fill it back to 100% but the preview still gives me a significant stroke, therefore I didn't feel confident going with this option.
 

M@CK

Well-known member
Do you mix your inks in house? I think Gordo has the simplest solution here, It would require that you purposely make the other 2 inks as overprints, so you subtract the light ink in the dark inks when mixing.
 

tsfx

Member
M@CK gordo, Yes we mix in house. Okay. please confirm if I am hearing this correctly. I take PMS427 and use that as my base. I then overlay screens of PMS428 and 429 on top. I will have to use my digital preview to get the best estimate for my screens. Then during prepress, I will not perform any trapping on the 2 overlayed colors, even if they are touching each other. because if any misregistration were to occur, it will only show the 427 base and not the paper and therefore will not be as noticeable. I will then speak with my ink technician informing him that we may need to tone inks during the press check to ensure colors match up to the expected original outcome. Is this correct? or am I totally offbase? Thanks again, you two have been greatly helpful, especially in such a short amount of time.
 

M@CK

Well-known member
Almost, there's no screening involved, only solids, It's the ink you mix to match subtracting first the 427 from the 428 and then, the 427 and 428 from the 429.
 

gordo

Well-known member
M@CK gordo, Yes we mix in house. Okay. please confirm if I am hearing this correctly. I take PMS427 and use that as my base. I then overlay screens of PMS428 and 429 on top. I will have to use my digital preview to get the best estimate for my screens. Then during prepress, I will not perform any trapping on the 2 overlayed colors, even if they are touching each other. because if any misregistration were to occur, it will only show the 427 base and not the paper and therefore will not be as noticeable. I will then speak with my ink technician informing him that we may need to tone inks during the press check to ensure colors match up to the expected original outcome. Is this correct? or am I totally offbase? Thanks again, you two have been greatly helpful, especially in such a short amount of time.
You say the inks print solid - but you refer to them as "screens". This is very confusing. Don't use the term "screens" unless you are actually screening the inks.
 

tsfx

Member
gordo, Yes, understood.
...
I think (99% sure).
In my reply, I was talking about screening as in screening the plates during prepress.
But as M@ck confirmed, I will not screen the plates. The plates will be a solid and the ink technician will adjust the tones to match the expected outcome.
 

gordo

Well-known member
gordo, Yes, understood.
...
I think (99% sure).
In my reply, I was talking about screening as in screening the plates during prepress.
But as M@ck confirmed, I will not screen the plates. The plates will be a solid and the ink technician will adjust the tones to match the expected outcome.
You've got to get your terminology correct otherwise you'll get incorrect answers and cause a lot of confusion.

You don't screen the plates during prepress. You expose the plates, or you burn the plates. Plates are effectively binary - as is the printing process. I.e. the image areas are always 100% solid. Prepress may halftone screen the files that they receive if the original files contain % tone values, however, the resulting halftone screen that will be exposed to the plate is still made up of solid areas - even the tiny halftone dots that simulate tones are actually 100% solid dots.
Your ink technician won't "adjust the tones to match the expected outcome". The technician will adjust the hue/color of the ink to align the press work to the desired outcome.
 
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Slammer

Well-known member
You've got to get your terminology correct otherwise you'll get incorrect answers and cause a lot of confusion.

You don't screen the plates during prepress. You expose the plates, or you burn the plates. Plates are effectively binary - as is the printing process. I.e. the image areas are always 100% solid. Prepress may halftone screen the files that they receive if the original files contain % tone values, however, the resulting halftone screen that will be exposed to the plate is still made up of solid areas - even the tiny halftone dots that simulate tones are actually 100% solid dots.
Your ink technician won't "adjust the tones to match the expected outcome". The technician will adjust the hue/color of the ink to align the press work to the desired outcome.
The guy is in the dark art of Flexo. a place where you can have a solid with a Screening (Kind of)
I do like the cammo though, but I pity the poor bugger who has to come up with a winchester solution.
 
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gordo

Well-known member
The guy is in the dark art of Flexo. a place where you can have a solid with a Screening (Kind of)
I do like the cammo though, but I pity the poor bugger who has to come up with a winchester solution.
That’s why they call it “surface patterning” rather than screening.
 

Slammer

Well-known member
That’s why they call it “surface patterning” rather than screening.
One man´s Surface patterning is another man´s Screening, Kind of :) But seriously and Maybe I am overthinking this, as far as I know the Surface pattern is alligned on the 0/90
° axis and can´t be set. Would this not have a resonance with the Anilox?
 

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