A&V Technologies Team researched some of the latest technologies in label printing to better understand GMG’s OpenColor overprint matching system. OpenColor optimizes the entire printing process chain – creating proofs that simulate the process and pure spot colors along with complex overprinting behavior. Our partners on the project serve as a “Who’s Who” in the flexo industry, including Fox Valley Technical College, UPM Raflatec, Esko, Actega Wit, Flint Group, 3M, Epson, GMG, and X-Rite.
Our team designed a series of beverage labels promoting a new brand, Mr. Poppleton’s, that would test the color management capabilities of GMG OpenColor and printing effectiveness on ultra-thin substrates. The label used in our test (shown above) was designed in Adobe Illustrator CC, trapped using the Esko Deskpack PowerTrapper plug-ins, ripped using Imaging Engine and the HD Flexo C48 dot shape, and plates were imaged on an Esko HD Digital Imager. The job was printed using 0.067” ACE material to produce fine highlight dots and detail. Proofs were printed on the Epson 7900 using GMG ProofPaper SemiMatte media.
We printed the 6-color Mr. Poppletin’s Gin Fiz label using a Mark Andy P3 press at Fox Valley Technical College. The substrate used was UPM Raflatac’s 1.6 mil clear film substrate so we could produce a “no-label” look effect. Because the label itself (without the liner) is 0.68mil thick, it often goes undetected on the bottle and appears to be a direct-print application.
Overall, the trial was very successful in assessing the value and capabilities of the GMG OpenColor software. Profiles were easy to create and store, and the proof actually matched the printed result without any profile tweaking. As a team, we all feel that the OpenColor product could be beneficial in predicting process and spot colors, without the significant investment in dedicated press time for running targets.
The job also printed well on the ultra-thin substrates with water-based inks. The only design issue that was found with this process was that the existing die was tooled for a 40# backing liner, and this ultra-thin clear liner was significantly less. We found in advance that the die would crease but not punch through to the liner, but determined that we would continue with the trial.
See the whole study here.
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