June, 22 2020

Which Color do you want?


To answer this question in Grupo La Plana we control the color using X-Rite spectrophotometers. The color chosen by the customer is recorded in the equipment that we will use later in the production control. With this system we can guarantee customers security in the color specification and stability in the printed color.


To further understand this process, our partner Carlos Serra, Quality Director, explains how color management is in our company:


1.-When we choose a color for an image, we must be able to communicate it without any doubts. There are several ways to communicate the color, but it is only valid to choose one for each case.


http://www.pantone.comColor identification system most used in the world. Options: Gloss (Pantone-C “Coated”), for coated and Matte supports (Pantone-U “Uncoated”), for Absorbent supports. It is not possible to assign a Bright Pantone on an Absorbent support and vice versa.


Printed sample, card, object, … It is very common to rely on previous work, design results, labels, … We must take into account the limitations depending on the difference between the support of the sample print and the support of our print . (Support: Material on which printing is made. Plastic, paper, metal, wood, … Different absorption characteristics, transparency, color, …)


Color measurement data: Spectral curve, xyz coordinates, lab, lch, … It is only valid when we are going to compare it with measurements made with the same equipment, type of equipment, type of measurement. Depending on the type and geometry of the equipment, illuminating, angle of incidence,… the measurement results will be comparable or not.


2.- Formulation: Once the objective color has been selected and understood, we will reproduce it with our printing system. It is important that the support on which the color must be reproduced corresponds to the specification, due to the following limitations:


It is not possible to reproduce Pantone-C on absorbent support (not coated), and vice versa, Pantone-U on coated support, which is not absorbent)


It is not possible to play a Pantone on Raw or Natural support.


“Clean” or very intense colors cannot be reproduced on very absorbent media, or with low whiteness levels.


We start from mono-pigmented color bases, which mixed in the appropriate proportions allow to obtain the desired color.


For this we use the formulation software, which for a desired color proposes a formula with which to obtain it, which we test using a flexometer (laboratory tool that simulates flexo printing. Two rollers, one of rubber and another interchangeable gravure anilox depending on the contribution to simulate) (PHOTO) We make corrections, fine adjustment of the color, to get the closest possible approximation. The result of the formulation has a usual tolerance of <1. Any higher difference requires validation.


The inkjet printer software transforms the Pantone specification to obtain the printed color. Our system with colors (CMYK-OV) allows to obtain about 95% of the colors of the Pantone card with a DE <2.


3.- Validation: In many cases, the difference in appearance of a color depending on the support to be printed (In our case, paper: Recycled white, White Kraft, Coated, Recycled raw, Natural Kraft, …) and the finish of the Printing (Gloss, Matte, Varnished, …) requires that the client needs to validate the final result.



Formula of flat or mass inks. Extension using flexograph.


Color in range or four-color. Color test or Chromalin


Digital: Print sample.


4.- Pattern engraving. Specification, Control samples.


To use later in production, the color specified in the spectra color file is added. Validated samples must also be available.


We keep records with all the specifications, the results of the formulations, the samples delivered and validated.


5.- Production control.


Armed with the validated samples, Pantone cards, portable spectrum with the recorded patterns, we have all the guarantees to obtain the specified color. Once the work is adjusted, the color will be verified visually and / or with the spectrum. Allowable tolerances are:


Coated printing (High Quality) DE <2


Printing on absorbent paper DE <3