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Matching PMS coated to uncoated & compensating for brown board.

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  • Matching PMS coated to uncoated & compensating for brown board.

    Hi there! I was hoping someone might be able to give some guidance in the process of choosing correct PMS colours across different forms of media/packaging. One pretty huge hurdle I have is that I'm quite severely colour blind. I am hoping that correct use of technology might compensate for that fact. I am working with a logo that includes a raster element when the logo is used on individual unit packaging. The raster image changes with each variation of the product. The most prominant colour within this raster image is selected for printing. In this example it is 2443CP. Printing is on aluminium. The wholesale carton requires that this colour is used to produce block colour in place of the raster image. The carton is brown & 2 colours are to be used be Flexo printing. One colour is black but the 2nd is proving difficult to choose. The uncoated version of 2443 is so significantly different to the coated version, that even I can see the difference. I have searched through the PMS uncoated colour books in illustrator & cannot find anything even vaguely similar. I have tried to limit the Pantone Studio App to uncoated libraries while analysing a 2443CP swatch. I cannot figure out to choose a particular library for it to use. Maybe I can't. I have used Illustrators eyedropper to create a CMYK swatch matched to 2443CP. When analysed back in the App, I only get coated colours as a result. I also do not know how to predict the outcome of printing on brown cardboard. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    2443CP is the Color Bridge Coated Simulation of the Pantone 2443c in 4-color process print. It shouldn't even be actually applied to the file.
    Printing on brown stock, the only way to get true pantone is pretty much to use an underspot white.

    If you are severely color blind, you may want to invest in an accurate handheld spectrophotometer to use for matching colors. I'm honestly mystified how anyone who is color blind can function in a graphics production environment. Back in the day, you had to pass a Munsell test to do that kind of work.

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    • #3
      To be honest with you this will probably be the first & last time I do this kind of work. Circumstances dictate that I do, not a design background or carer.
      I have no choice but to do the best I can.

      I've attached the raster image that I need to nominate a colour from. As I mentioned above I chose 2443CP because the Pantone App selected it from the image.

      I have never dealt with Pantone selection, cross referencing or printing before, so 2443CP looked like the best option (multiple sets of eyes - not just mine).

      The printers used 2443CP for printing on aluminium & the end result was pretty good. A good representation

      As this is not my profession, I will not be purchasing a handheld spectrophotometer. I was hoping I could get away with the pantone app.

      The 'client' is acutely aware that I do not have the experience to be getting him through this project. We are trying to be as resourceful as we can to compensate.

      We have two colours to choose from, black & red. I am assuming that 'underspot white' is a third colour that prevents the red from showing the effects of the brown underneath? We don't have that luxury unfortunately.

      Thank you for your help.

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        Hi Bledrin and welcome to GDF.

        We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
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        • #5
          I had a little difficulty wading through all that was written and might misunderstand just a little, but...

          Coated and Uncoated Pantone colors are exactly the same color. The swatch books for each just show how that color will appear on an uncoated stocked as opposed to a coated stock. Uncoated stocks are more absorbent and the ink soaks down into the stock rather than mostly just sitting on top of the coated stock. It doesn't change the color, but it does change the appearance some in various ways.

          If I understand correctly, you're planning on using a Pantone ink and black to reproduce the image that you've shown by means of a duotone (a halftone using only two inks instead of the usual four found in four-color process printing). Right?

          If that's the case, yes, an image printed on brownish cardboard (or any colored stock) will be a combination of the cardboard color and value (degree of lightness vs darkness) plus the image. This is because printing inks are (generally) transparent, so whatever they're being printed on will show through.

          Luckily, though, at least in this case, cardboard doesn't contain radically different colors than the color of your image. This being the case, you could just lighten the original image a bit, then, when it's printed on the card stock, the color of the stock will roughly add back in the value you removed.

          So with that in mind, the images below show what I'm describing.

          1st image Brownish cardboard
          2nd image Your original image
          3rd image Your original image multiplied with the cardboard (how it would look when printed on cardboard). As you can see (even with your color blindness), it's darker.
          4th image I've lightened your original image just a bit using Photoshop's curve tool, then multiplied it with the cardboard beneath. As you can see, it's approximately the same value as your original image (and if you could see the color, it's reasonably close too).

          Make sense?




          If I've misunderstood about the duotone and you're just trying to pull a closely matching color from the wood image to print as a solid color on cardboard, I'd use the eyedropper tool in Photoshop, then set it to pick up and average the colors from, say a radius of 10 or 15 pixels, or so, from where you place the eyedropper tool.

          Match that to a Pantone equivalent, then do one of two things: pick the next, barely lighter Pantone color (if there is one) or, screen back the solid color by a few percentage points to compensate for the darkening the cardboard will cause. If you don't want the screentint (which depending on the quality of the flexo printing on the cardboard, can look less than good), using the slightly lighter Pantone color (if there is one) is about your only option.

          If it's not absolutely critical that the printing be exact matches, people's eyes do a pretty good job in compensating for colors printed on light-colored backgrounds, like cardboard. Hold one a color that's been printed on white stock next to that same color printed on brownish card stock, and almost all people will readily see a difference. Separate them a few feet from each other (or by a minute or two's worth of time), and most people won't notice the difference.
          Last edited by B; 09-11-2017, 12:13 PM.

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