Dr. Martin Habekost

Brand Colour Reproduction Using Expanded Gamut Technology with Offset Printing

Reem El Asaleh and Dr. Martin Habekost, Ryerson University

Extended gamut technology is the technology that use additional colours such as Orange, Green and Violet along with the traditional four process colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to expand the colorspace gamut of a printing press beyond standard colorspaces such as GRACoL and FOGRA for the goal of increasing efficiency and printing quality and reduced expenses.

Many brand owners and packaging buyers depend on Pantone® colours to increase the aesthetic of their products. In addition, maintaining the consistency and the accuracy of the reproduced colors are considered to be an essential step for brand owners as it would affect their brand’s identity. With the existence of various digital workflow solutions, the accuracy of Pantone® colour reproduction might be affected and thus, the main goal of this project is to investigate how colour accurate these different workflow solutions are when a Pantone® brand colour is reproduced with expanded gamut technology.

In this project 10 – 15 brand colours that use a Pantone® colour were chosen. The selected colours cover all aspects of the colour wheel. A test form was created and printed with an offset printing process. The test form was then processed for expanded gamut printing with the two different expanded gamut premedia workflow solutions that are available for this project. There will be at least four press runs needed for this project. Since the School of Graphic Communication Management only has a four colour offset press the press sheet have to be sent twice through the press. The colour sequence that was used for printing the seven colours was selected based on the recommendation of the providers of the premedia workflow solutions.

Once the test sheets have been printed the selected colors will be measured for the L*a*b*-colour coordinates and compared to the L*a*b* values of those Pantone® colours provided by Pantone® itself. The colour differences will be recorded in DE2000 values, and the L*a*b*-values will also be evaluated to see if there is a more dominant colour difference in either red-green, blue-yellow or lightness of the printed sample colours.

A pilot project was conducted previously testing one digital workflow that showed some inconsistencies with the accuracy of the colour reproduction. After consulting with the workflow solution provider changes were made in the initial setup of the workflow solution. The effects of these setup changes need to be investigated. In addition, a second digital workflow will be used, and similar evaluation will be conducted. The composition of the tested Pantone® colors will also be compared to see if the two digital workflows “create” the same Pantone® color differently.