Getting the Color Right
In part one of Chasing the Three Foot Effect, Church Street Brewing Company decided on digital printing as the most cost-effective means of producing short run labels for the launch of “Special Hell”, a new craft beer offering from the Chicago-area brewer. The demanding job specs required accurate and consistent spot colors, metallics, and laser-trimming. But with the 164 fpm print speed of the L350 UV inkjet system from Screen, everything had to be right; from design all the way through final printing. So once the design was finalized, Church Street began with a streamlined workflow that used PACKZ and PRINTPLANNER from Hybrid Software. The next step was to make sure the color was on point.
Accurate and consistent color on both labels and cartons were key to carrying Church Street’s brand promise to customers and prospects. Ensuring the colors were as perfect as possible was the job of Anderson & Vreeland partner, GMG, whose innovative color management technology was used for prototyping, proofing and color management of the Special Hell beer label.
Managing color without a RIP?
Taking in the files from Hybrid PACKZ and PRINTPLANNER, GMG used its unique, RIP-agnostic, color-managed PDF approach that ensured labels would print as expected when they reached the big Screen L350 UV label press. The steps involved four critical color tasks for Special Hell labels: prototyping, press calibration, color management, and spot color mapping. These steps put GMG ColorProof, ColorServer and SmartProfiler into action.
As most converters know, traditional RIP-based color management doesn’t always meet the demands of the packaging market, and differences in RIP vendors’ implementation of color add complexity to cross-platform color management. This can leave users chasing color and making subjective edits to colors as the press changes over time, causing quality levels to vary. Furthermore, because ICC specifications do not address spot color matching for digital presses, RIP-based color management can be undependable.
Addressing this for the Special Hell labels, GMG’s PDF based color management incorporated all color calibration and color matching into the print-ready PDF file. This took the RIP out of the loop for controlling color, moving all color control upstream to a centralized GMG color management system that used GMG ColorProof, ColorServer and SmartProfiler.
The GMG color managed PDF used for Church Street Brewing’s Special Hell label represents the most precise method for color managing complex converting methods. Using this single approach delivers unrivaled color matching across all printing methods and allows any digital print platform to fit into existing analog converting systems. Consistent calibration and recalibration functions eliminate the natural color shift that happens to all conventional and digital presses over time and is essential to attaining reliable results—and profits.
Watch for Episode Three, Streaming Labels on the Screen Truepress, coming next month on Anderson & Vreeland’s Flexo Daily. Be sure to visit Anderson Vreeland’s Booth #929 in September at LabelExpo to see the Screen L350 press in action and sample both the label and a bottle of Church Street Brewer’s Special Hell.