25 May 2020
They say ‘the future is digital’. And GMG Color, agree. Instead of traditional ink drawdowns, digitally-produced colour cards will soon be the proofs of choice for the approval process of packaging projects. Only with physical colour cards can all stakeholders visualise with certainty what the final printed result will look like. GMG Color, the industry leaders in the development of colour management solutions, have developed a new ColorCard tool for producing ink drawdowns. The new solution offers numerous advantages, above all: it’s digital.
An ink drawdown is traditionally a test print made with the final ink mix that gives a client an idea of the colour. Once the ink has been mixed, it’s printed out, usually on a small flatbed printer, or even just rolled onto the production paper with a small hand-roller so that it can be measured and validated. From here it would then have to be printed on a production press, and a square patch would then be cut out and stuck to a chart so that everyone involved could see exactly the colour that was going to be used. It’s fairly common to take multiple versions so that a client can judge how using different ink densities affect the colour. It’s also necessary to create copies for each person, including the client and the press operators, and might have to be repeated for different substrates. As a manual process, this equates to the high cost for the production of these colour cards.
The idea behind the ColorCard is to take out a lot of the manual repetition. It’s still necessary to mix the ink and to roll it out onto the production paper but at this point it’s measured with a spectrophotometer and the spectral data fed into the ColorCard software. From here it can then be printed out on an inkjet proofer with the appropriate proofing media and profiles to create a digitally printed ink reference that can be customised with density tolerances, customer logos and so on.
It uses standard CxF data and different proofing media can be used to simulate the effects on different substrates, including corrugated and folding cartons. It’s a simple matter to print as many copies as needed and the files can be sent electronically and printed through a remote proofing set up if necessary. And of course, the files can also be saved in the cloud for future reference.
It should be possible to produce a ColorCard in under three minutes, and GMG claims that this can save up to 90 percent of the time needed to manually produce an ink drawdown. It should allow printers to produce their own colour cards rather than paying an ink manufacturer to do it.
To learn more, Kayell Australia in collaboration with GMG Color, Hybrid Software, and ColourHead are hosting a FREE online web series, with one of their sessions covering this new technology, GMG ColorCard.
Visit ‘kayellaustralia.com.au/events' to register now.