Tag Archives: Pantone

Color Confidence Autumn 2012 review – part 3

Welcome to the third and final part of our Autumn review, looking at key events and news over the last year.

Pantone updates

The past few years have seen a number of key enhancements and innovations from Pantone, the most recent of which being the introduction of 336 new solid colour choices. This means you can now take advantage of 1,677 solid colour choices to let your creativity truly soar. To view where this update sits within the last few years of Pantone updates, read our full article here.

Monitor features explained

Reliance on soft-proofing and digital image manipulation has influenced display technology developments with the introduction of new features and terminology. Understanding the terminology helps appreciate the advantages of a professional monitor – in this article, we review what the terminology surrounding monitors mean, and what basic steps can be taken to identify the most suitable monitor for you. Read the full article here.

Viewing Booths – essential for quality assurance

In this article, we review the importance and significance of viewing booths when assessing print or product colour.From photo editing for home use through to commercial colour assessment for print and similarly for product manufacture, controlled lighting is essential.

Demand for tighter quality control, accountability and appreciation of the importance of illumination brings viewing booths to the forefront of essential equipment at all stages of production and presentation for print and product manufacture. Read the full article here.

Color Confidence Autumn 2012 review – part 1

Welcome to part one of our autumn 2012 update, reviewing product developments over the last year combined with explanations of the technology.

This first posting actually looks forwards slightly as we prepare for the upcoming Packaging Innovation’s Exhibition in London, on the 4-5th October.

Entry to the show is free, and we’ll be there on stand GB1 to showcase our expertise in colour management, and the latest developments from Pantone, NEC monitors, Just Normlicht (viewing booths) and the new interactive RealVue 3D Packaging Software from FFEI. Here’s a brief overview of what we will be showing:


336 new colours have been added to the Pantone Plus range. If you own the Pantone Plus series of guides, this is your opportunity to update your guides whilst the 336 supplements are available. It’s also a great opportunity to see the Pantone Capsure in action, and indispensable tool for capturing colour from any surface and matching to the nearest Pantone reference.

RealVue 3D Packager:

Interactive packaging visualisation software ideal for design, through to production. Take a test drive with us – send us an illustrator file and experience it in RrealVue 3D.

Viewing booths for colour assessment:

See a range of viewing booths including the Just Normlicht Color Communicator 2 for soft-proofing and the Pantone 5 Light for product/packaging colour assessment.

NEC – SpectraView colour accuracy:

See a range of professional colour accurate desktop monitors from 23” through to the 55” new NEC 552 presentation display model. Furthermore, see the SpectraView Reference with Just Normlicht Color Communicator 2 integrated soft proofing solution.

You can read our full article about the show here.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our Autumn review post next week.

New products galore…

As mentioned last week, we’ve had a host of brand new products to add recently and this week is no exception.

PANTONE have this week released 336 brand-new Pantone colours, meaning you now have 1,677 colourful ways to drive your inspiration.

For those of you new to Pantone – their colour matching systems are widely recognised as the industry standard way to communicate, specify and match colours. Particularly suited to the design and print industry, Pantone colours give the user a visual and code colour reference, enabling them to reproduce and demonstrate to clients accurately.

336 new Plus Series colours now give you even more choice and references to use. If you have or use the Pantone Plus Series already, you can get the new colours as supplements to add to your references complimenting your existing metallic, neon, pastel and process colours.

Learn about the range in Pantone’s below video, then see them for yourself on our website here.


X-Rite have also been busy launching the new i1Pro 2 device.

Based upon the success of X-Rite’s i1Pro series, i1Pro 2 features next generation technology to give you a complete colour managed workflow:


As before, you get 3 solutions:

  • i1Basic Pro 2 – gives you high-end monitor and projector profiling, monitor and print quality verification and spot-colour measurement.
  • i1Photo Pro 2 – specifically designed for photo professionals to manage your camera, display, projector and RGB printer workflow.
  • i1Publish Pro 2 – the ultimate in fully featured ICC profiling for imaging professionals to colour manage cameras, displays, projectors, RGB/CMYK printers and presses as well as quality assurance and verification.

There are also a range of upgrade paths available to upgrade from your old X-Rite device – you can find more information about these on www.colorconfidence.com

Give us a Sign (and Digital)

With Focus on Imaging done and dusted (read our review here) it’s time to move onto the next show; Sign & Digital UK.

Sign & Digital UK takes place at the NEC Birmingham from the 27-29 March. It provides a unique opportunity to view the latest innovations and products within the sign making and digital print industries. Suppliers from all over the world attend the show, with various seminars and workshops taking place throughout.

We’ll be attending this year – stand P94 – along with some of the leading manufacturers within colour management to demonstrate the difference effective colour control can have on the quality of signage and digital output.

So, who have we got with us on the stand this year?

Come and see X-Rite

X-Rite are world leaders in colour management technology and produce numerous professional hardware and software solutions for full control over your colour workflow. Their range includes the i1Pro series for complete colour control throughout your workflow and i1Display Pro; a monitor calibrator for accurate on-screen colour.

Come and see Pantone

Pantone are the leading provider of colour systems and technology for accurate colour communication. Setting the global colour standard for the reproduction and confirmation of correct colour, Pantone offer a full range of publications to achieve accurate colour.

See Colour accurate monitors

Your screen is the first port of call for ensuring accurate colour, meaning a monitor must display colours correctly. A range of monitors will be on stand from leading manufacturers to demonstrate the latest in colour accurate displays.

Come and see Neolt UV UK

Neolt UV UK are one of the few vendors in the world to offer complete wide format printing solutions and finishing equipment such as trimmers and welders. On stand, Neolt will be demonstrating the XY Matic Trim for substrates up to 1.65 metres wide.

We’ll be living in Hall A, on stand P94

Sign & Digital UK takes place on the 27-29 March at the NEC Birmingham. For more information about the show, visit www.signuk.com

Colour Reference Guides part 2 – media types

Last week we blogged about the types of colour referencing guides and formats available for you to use when referencing colour.

This week, part 2 sees us look at the types of media these reference guides use, and how that may affect your choice of reference guide.

You may see reference guides being described in the below ways:

Coated – This means the paper which the colours are printed on has a surface coating so that the inks sit nicely on the paper. This results in a vibrant, bold printed colour.

Uncoated – A more ‘natural’ feel than coated media. It is easier to write on, but colours appear flatter due to the ink being absorbed by the paper.

Newsprint & Recycled – This is a lower grade of paper which normally produces a ‘dirty’ or off-white colour. The paper itself has a high-level of ink absorbency producing dull, muted printed colour.

Which one should I go for?

As you can imagine, it depends on what the guide is required for. Generally, Coated guides are the most popular due to their vibrancy. However, Uncoated guides will probably give you a better reflection of what you can expect to be printed out. Newsprint/Recycled media will be best suited for newspaper adverts, which normally require CMYK 4-colour prints.

The sort of print processes – or paper – you are using may also determine which colour reference guide to go for. So what printing processes are there?

Types of Print Process

CMYK 4-Colour – A range of colours can be achieved through printing a combination of Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K) which combine and mix on the paper during the print process. The resulting colours aren’t high on vibrancy, but the CMYK 4-colour process is required for the reproduction of photographic type images, or multiple flat areas of colour. CMYK prints are made by printing a mixture of coloured dots which blur to produce the desired colour.

Spot Colour Printing – In this method, inks are mixed to achieve specific colours before they are applied to the printing press. Mixing ‘recipes’ are provided for the print companies alongside each colour reference, in this case, found in Pantone Formula Guides. Specially made Pantone mixing scales are also available to help the mixing process. Spot printing produces a cleaner, more consistent image than CMYK.

Textile, Plastic, Paint… – Unlike printing ink onto paper, colouring textiles, plastics and other materials have far more variables. For such processes, rather than colour recipes being created, manufacturers of the raw materials are certified for producing pre-colour specified materials.

 Is there anything else I need to consider?

The final piece of the colour reference and print jigsaw is the visual assessment of colour afterwards. It is worth considering how the light and environment in which you review colours may affect how it looks.

You can read about viewing conditions and how they affect what you see in our blog post, here.

Colour Referencing part 1 – guide types

Colour selection and reproduction.

Every process can vary, from the colour pigments  used to how they mix and reproduce on different types of media.

Whether a graphic or fashion designer, architect, interior designer or decorator, if the object is to accurately reproduce a chosen colour, a physical colour sample  will be needed from a controlled, reproducible colour system.

This is where the likes of Pantone, RAL and DCS come in.

The above brands produce a variety of reference guides and numerous forms, here we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type:

Fan Guide – corner rivet, fan opens to display 7 or 8 different colours per page.
Compact and easy to select individual colours, but not practical to compare multiple colours within the guide side-by-side.

Chip Book – Ring binder with multiple (normally 6) chips of each colour.
You’re able to separate chips for comparison of different colour options. Chips can also be fixed to work to help communicate colour choices and avoid misrepresentation during the production process. Replacement chips are available and can be added for frequently used colours. However, it’s not as compact  or convenient as a fan guide to flick through when selecting colours.

Planner – Chart with all samples on a single surface.
Compact, with all colours available at a one glance. Good for an economic option.
Generally based on smaller colour samples than other guides. Near impossible to compare colours to each other as they’re all fixed to a single baseboard.

Swatch Folder – Ring binder folder with multiple pages of pockets holding indivudal, removable swatches.
Can accommodate a large range of swatches, which can be removed for compariosn against each other.
It’s a fairly bulky item and not that practical for flicking through – although perfect once you have selected the general colour you want to use.

Ring Binder – Comprises of a fixed set of colours on each page.
Can accommodate a large range of swatches and is a very practical item for when colours on each page relate to each other.
As with the swatch folder, it’s fairly bulky and not that great for browsing – but again, perfect when you have chosen your final colours.

Best format?

Fan Guide’s are the most popular and practical for indentifying individual colours, whereas a planner can be quite restricting. A chip book is a necessity in addition to a fan guide in order to select colour combinations, and have the means of communicating colour with a visual reference.

Swatch and Ring Binders are the most practical solutions for approaching large colour ranges, with the ring binder having the advantage  or removable swatches for easy comparions.