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How pressSIGN Helps Press Operators Manage Color Requirements

Mike Todryk

Anyone who has been in the industry for a while has come to realize that evaluating color can be a funny thing. While people are very passionate about their brand colors, we also see a lot of subjectivity and misinformation about color. I had a designer at a press check once tell me they needed the clouds to be “more heavenly.” Another person who came in for press checks was colorblind. IWCO Direct realized early on that we wanted to control our color with science, not subjectivity.

pressSIGN Solves Color-Match Issues

The Color Technical Support team began researching software that could take some of the guesswork out of the process. We settled on pressSIGN for brand color measurement and scoring. How does pressSIGN solve some of the common issues we see with matching colors to Pantone books or drawdowns?

  • Pantone Books

Pantone has established standards for what their colors should look like. While Pantone books can be a useful tool, they have some inherent drawbacks. The biggest one is they are printed. All commercial presses print to a tolerance and have some variance. Pantone books are no different.

They also age. When we’ve compared Pantone books that were printed earlier with those printed more recently, we have seen some of the same colors in Pantone books with a delta-E of 4 to 7, which is very visible to the eye. (delta-E is the difference between two colors. The higher the number, the worse the match.)

pressSIGN solves this drawback by allowing us to check color using color measurement tools calibrated to the Pantone standard and not visually matching to a Pantone book that may or may not actually represent the Pantone color. This allows our press operators to hold your brand standards to a higher tolerance.

  • Custom Colors

My brand color is not a Pantone color, you say. We have always checked those colors back to drawdowns before. What do we do now? pressSIGN allows for distinct brand colors to be stored in the system in a custom library and referred to with color measurement devices, allowing us to hold those same high standards with less drift and subjectivity.

Why your eye will sometimes lie to you

Your eye does not see all color differences the same. Your eye can tolerate a delta-E of 3 to 4 on a saturated red or blue. That same delta-E on a gray or tan would be completely unacceptable. pressSIGN allows IWCO Direct to maintain the same high standards regardless of color.

IWCO Direct cares about your color requirements and uses pressSIGN to help maintain tight tolerances for the colors we print. This provides much better consistency across all pieces we run, regardless of print technology or location. Better consistency yields a better product for our clients. Feel free to contact me for more information.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2020/05/06/presssign-color-matching/
Mike Todryk


Mike Todryk

Mike Todryk is a Manager Color Technical Support for IWCO Direct, the leading direct mail marketing services provider in North America. Mike has been in the printing industry for 25+ years, specializing in Color Management for the last 22. He cut his teeth in the demanding world of dye sublimation before transitioning into commercial print. Mike became a G7 expert in 2008, helping his company to become one of the very first G7 Master printers that was exclusively dye sub. Mike is the resident G7 contact for IWCO Direct in Minnesota. When Mike is not geeking out on color, he enjoys playing his guitar and spending time with his family.

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