Why My Color Doesn’t Match on Press, Part 2

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5. Terminology is everything. Describing color is difficult because it is a sensation. It’s as difficult as trying to describe all of our other sensations: how something smells, tastes or sounds. Often, vague terms such as flat, muddy, too warm, too cold or needs more snap are used to describe color.

For example, what if an image is too warm? Does too warm mean too red, too yellow or too magenta?Does too cold mean too blue, too green or too cyan? Flat typically refers to lacking in contrast, while muddy typically means too dark.Using vague terms will result in additional proofing, delaying the printing process. The bottom line: use correct terms when communicating color; it can save you time and money.

6. Converting color to CMYK. When images are converted from RGB into CMYK, the halftone dots for the black plate are typically generated in one of two ways: using under color removal (UCR) or gray component replacement (GCR). This choice determines how much black ink is introduced into the image, as well as how much cyan, magenta and yellow ink will be printed.

This must be done by converting to a CMYK Profile to achieve the best color match possible.

UCR reduces the amount of cyan, magenta and yellow and increases the amount of black in areas where black is already present. UCR primarily affects the shadow areas of the image and does not affect color areas. Images are more susceptible to color shift throughout the press run when images are separated with UCR.

GCR also reduces the amount of cyan, magenta and yellow and increases black. However, GCR is more aggressive. GCR replaces cyan, magenta and yellow in neutral areas to help eliminate gray balance issues. Images separated with GCR tend to print more consistently throughout the pressrun.

hiDEFcolor.com uses a high percentage of GCR to enable consistent gray levels across the tonal range.


7. Printing is not an exact match process. What is a reproduction? A reproduction is a likeness, or close facsimile. Printing is not an exact match process. This is because there are many color reproduction systems within the color reproduction workflow.

Photography is one example of a color reproduction system; proofing and the press run are others. As we compare what the eye can see, to what photography can capture, to what the press can reproduce, the color gamut (or number of reproducible colors) is diminished.

Please take this into consideration. A quality printer can reproduce a very acceptable color match for the most demanding client.

Read Part 1 Here


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