PANTONE Combines Metallics and Premium Metallics Fans

Photo: PANTONE.com

PANTONE has combined and supplemented its two metallics fans “PANTONE Metallics Coated” and “PANTONE Premium Metallics Coated” into one fan. On the one hand, a new metallic base colour, “PANTONE Rose Gold 10412 C” has been added to the existing “Premium” base silver “PANTONE Silver 10077 C”, adding 54 new metallic shades. On the other hand, the two previous fans are now separated according to Metallics base colours, the fan is divided into two areas: Into one Metallics area for “packaging” and into one for the classic “printed graphics”.

The 354 high-gloss, durable metallic packaging colours are based on the two premium metallic base colours PANTONE Silver 10077 C and PANTONE Rose Gold 10412 C and form the front part of the fan. Fan pages with the 54 new colours are now marked with a black square on the top pagination to make the new colours easier to recognise, a good idea in my opinion. The 301 metallic spot colours for advertising graphics are based on the seven classic, “old” PANTONE gold and silver shades with PANTONE 871 C to PANTONE 877 C and form the back part of the fan.

Printed graphics PANTONE Metallics (previously referred to as “Metallics”)

Metallic inks for non-packaging projects Marketing and sales materials, publishing and literature. The colours are based on the seven classic PANTONE Gold and Silver Shades 871 to 877 C.

Packaging PANTONE Metallics (previously referred to as “Premium Metallics”)

Metallic packaging inks for packaging printing. These former “Premium Metallics” colours are created with the basic colours Pantone Silver 10077 and Pantone Rose Gold 10412. These special inks are made with pigments that are easier to process with water-based and UV varnishes. The varnish seals the inks, this protects the inks and thus provides the protection that is often required in the packaging sector. According to PANTONE, the new inks offer

  • Better print results
  • Greater brilliance
  • Higher gloss
  • More durability
  • Less leafing and tarnishing in the long term

According to PANTONE, the inks used to produce these inks (if my memory serves me well, from Sun Chemical) are somewhat more expensive, but are also suitable for a wide range of aqueous and UV coatings.

PANTONE and EFI? No chance.

After having implemented the new PANTONE colours in our proofing system over the past few days via a difficult update from Fiery XF, we noticed that the new Metallics colours were still missing.

Currently, the PANTONE Metallics colours for packaging printing are not yet supported by Fiery XF, and there are no plans to support them, according to Fiery Support. For us an incomprehensible decision. Admittedly, metallic colours cannot be reproduced in the proof anyway, as only the colour but not the metallic gloss can be reproduced. For us as a service provider, however, this decision by EFI means that we – when customers order proofs with Premium Metallics colours – have to create them manually with LAB values in the job, because our proofing software will not recognise all current PANTONE colours, but will mark them as unknown special colours and refuse the proof.

Since the current PANTONE V4 colour palettes can only be integrated into the Adobe product palettes with considerable effort on the part of the users, it is not quite clear to me whether the lack of colours in Fiery is due to a profit-driven, ostentatious PANTONE licensing policy or a miserly, ostentatious EFI product policy. However, be sure:

We at proof.de will provide the service and also offer these colours for the proof. We owe this to our customers.

Barcode Check: New in ISO 15416:2016

The “ISO/IEC 15416:2016 – Information technology – Automatic identification and data capture methods – Test specifications for bar code print quality – Linear symbols” specifies the current criteria for testing bar codes. ISO 15416:2016 replaces ISO 15416:2000 and defines modified bar code quality calculations for some areas. During the barcode check by Proof GmbH, barcodes are checked according to the current criteria of ISO 15416:2016.

An overview of the most important changes in ISO 15416:2016:

  • Proof.de: New criteria for barcode checking according to ISO/IEC 15416:2016Four of the seven barcode parameters – symbol contrast, modulation, defects and decodability – were previously graded by whole numbers, so the evaluation could be 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4. With the adoption of the ISO/IEC 15416:2016 standard, evaluations are now graded to one decimal place. So under the old standard there were only five possible parameter gradations (0/1/2/3/4), now there are forty-one (0.0/0.1/0.2 etc. to 4.0).
  • This also changes the rating with letters. Since this is even less precise than the evaluation by numbers, it is omitted in the new standard, whereby the usual letter notes can still be provided for information purposes. However, the nominative standard must be given as a decimal number.
  • Defects are now calculated methodically differently. A defect is a light spot on a dark bar or a dark spot on a light surface. If a defect was at the edge of a bar or a gap, the old standard gave a worse rating than the same defect that was further from the edge. The calculations in the new ISO/IEC 15416:2016 standard describe the effects on the readability of the barcode much more accurately.

The new calculation methods lead in some cases to a higher averaged score for the barcode compared to the method described in ISO 15416:2000.

We have also updated our REA TransWin 32 evaluation software to the latest version and also provided our barcode checking device with a firmware update.

Order Barcode Checks for EAN13 and EAN8 Codes in our Proof Shop

 

 

eciCMYK_v2 / Fogra 59 Available for Proof

The new CMYK exchange colour space eciCMYK v2 (FOGRA59) is the successor of eciCMYK (FOGRA53) from 2017. The new “V2” profile is based on the revised characterisation file FOGRA59. For the same colour space, the new profile offers a significantly modified and improved grey axis, which now contains the familiar cyan, magenta and yellow components from classic printing processes. Thus eciCMYK v2 offers a further advantage besides a large colour space and proofability. Practical tests with various digital printing systems have shown that, in addition to the conversion from “ISO Coated v2” to “PSO Coated v3” data, the assignment of the new CMYK exchange colour space profile also enables improved output on digital printing systems with a larger colour space: the printed image appears richer in contrast, with brighter colours. The icc-profile “eciCMYK_v2.icc” can be downloaded from the ECI in the download section.

Proofs in the eciCMYK_v2 colour space can now be ordered in the shop at Proof.de.

Device Link PDF Colour Conversions for Ads

We have recently started offering DeviceLink colour conversions via DeviceLinks made by ColorLogic from numerous RGB and CMYK standards into other CMYK standards from offset and gravure printing.

DeviceLink PDF Colour Conversion

Optimised colour conversion between different printing standards

The colour conversion profiles preserve the separation structure, limit the total colour application for the selected printing standard and maintain the purity of the primary and secondary colours. They ensure smooth transitions in gradients and enable correct conversion of PDF and PDF/X data. Separation-preserving conversion ensures that pure grey tones are not built up into four colours and that duplex tones (black+primary colour) and triplex tones (black+secondary colour) remain pure, while still being colour-metrically transformed in the best possible way. In addition, the colour impression of the source colour space is optimally preserved in the target colour space by taking into account both paper colouration and dot gain.

Limitation of Total Allocation of Colour (TAC)

For current printing standards of ISO, Fogra, ECI, Ifra, Gravure (PSR), Gracol, Swop, SNAP, these profiles ensure a targeted limitation of the maximum ink application without completely new separation. This reliably prevents problems with set-off and improves the drying behaviour. These profiles are suitable if the data is generally already in the desired colour space, but individual images or objects have too much ink application.

You can order the Devicelink PDF colour conversions for advertisements here

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Proof.de Support Chat Software updated

Today we updated our chat software Livezilla Pro to offer you even more comfort and speed in the chat. Simply contact us directly via chat … a lot of minor details or brief queries can be dealt with quickly and conveniently.

In addition to security updates and performance improvements, the chats should now be even more reliable in every possible browser and PC combination. Uploading and downloading files such as screenshots in the chat history should also be improved.

A word about data protection: We don’t use any supposedly free chat solutions based in Las Vegas, we care about the protection of your data and your anonymity in the chat:

  • We use the chat software of LiveZilla GmbH from the beautiful town of Singen in Baden-Württemberg,
  • anonymise or mask automatically the last 6 digits of your IP address,
  • host the chat software on our own server and
  • have of course SSL-encoded the chat with you.
  • All data is transmitted purely via our server,
  • there is no access by third parties and
  • Livezilla works without cookies.

So please don’t be surprised if you already have an order in your shopping cart and then start a chat with us, that we neither see who you are nor what you want to order from us. We only chat with “Guest 0288” or “Guest 6452″… only if you tell us your order number or your name, you will be “recognisable” as a person or company in the chat.

What is a finishing proof? Fogra49 and Fogra50 in detail.

With the proof standards Fogra49 and Fogra50 for the first time a proof standard was created that is not binding for printing. Why?

Fogra49 and Fogra50 describe two colour spaces as they are created by foil lamination not after printing but after printing and finishing.

  • Fogra 49 refers to the ICC profile: PSO Coated v2 300% Matte laminate (ECI) – PSO_Coated_v2_300_Matte_laminate_eci.icc
  • Fogra 50 refers to the ICC profile: PSO Coated v2 300% Glossy laminate (ECI) – PSO_Coated_v2_300_Glossy_laminate_eci.icc

Why were these profiles created?

Print finishing plays an increasingly important role in the further processing of printed matter. The application of a printing varnish, for example, is nowadays usually done directly during the printing process, e.g. with dispersion varnish in a 5th inking unit. The print image is usually only slightly changed in the process: An dispersion varnish, for example, results in a dot gain of 2-3 percent, a UV varnish up to around 5-7 percent. In contrast, foil lamination with OPP foil has a much stronger (more…)

Pantone Plus vs. Pantone: Farben, Fächer und Probleme.

Im Jahr 2010 stand eine der zentralen Neuerungen im Hause Pantone für Grafiker, Dienstleister und Druckereien an: Die Pantone Palette wurde um zahlreiche Farben erweitert und bekam einen neuen Namen: Pantone Plus

Die Erweiterung um 560 Farben erfolgte in zwei Schritten:

 2010: Plus 224 auf insgesamt 1341 Pantone Solid Farben

Im Jahr 2010 wurde die Pantone Palette um 224 Farben erweitert, die in der Pantone Nomenglatur die Farbnamen von 7548 bis 7771 tragen. Alle neuen Farben konnten weiter in der Druckerei mit bisherigen 14 Pantone Basisfarben angemischt werden.

  • PANTONE Yellow
  • PANTONE Yellow 012
  • PANTONE Orange 021
  • PANTONE Warm Red
  • PANTONE Red 032
  • PANTONE Rubine Red
  • PANTONE Rhodamine Red
  • PANTONE Purple
  • PANTONE Violet
  • PANTONE Blue 072
  • PANTONE Reflex Blue
  • PANTONE Process Blue
  • PANTONE Green
  • PANTONE Black

 2012: Plus weitere 336 auf insgesamt 1677 Pantone Solid Farben

Im Jahr 2012 wurde die Pantone Plus Palette um weitere 336 Farben erweitert, die in der Pantone Nomenglatur die Farbnamen von 2001 bis 2336 tragen. Damit diese Farben erzielt werden können, wurden die bisherigen 14 Pantone Basisfarben um 4 neue Farben auf insgesamt 18 Basisfarben erweitert. Die neuen, aus der Pantone GOE Palette entlehnten Farben sind:

  • PANTONE Bright Red
  • PANTONE Pink
  • PANTONE Medium Purple
  • PANTONE Dark Blue

Diese Änderungen wurden ungeschickterweise von Pantone nur sehr ungenügend kommuniziert. Ein typisches Beispiel zeigt ein Screenshot vom 08. November 2013: Auf der deutschen und der englischen Pantone Seite werden zwei völlig (more…)

PDF X/4 data – who calculates? InDesign or the RIP?

Recently we received a PDF file from a Swiss customer who asked us to proof it according to ISOCoatedV2. The format was PDFX-4, we could open the file, preflight it and also display it in Acrobat. However, when proofing in Fiery XF 5.2, the file was only output after a RIP time of over 3 hours.

Adobe PDF X4 screen output in Acrobat Professional

We have recorded the screen layout on a modern Macbook Pro with four processor cores and the latest Acrobat Pro version to illustrate the enormous demands on computing power.

It was clear from the screen layout that the RIP time would be quite long, but three hours with just one use was quite unusual, especially since in our RIP two instances of the Adobe PDF Print Engine work simultaneously. Where exactly the error lies in the extremely high RIP time is not yet clear. Both EFI, as the manufacturer of the Fiery RIPS, and Adobe, as the manufacturer of the PDF Print Engine (APPE), have been given the information that on a Harlequin RIP the file was probably ripped within a few minutes. So a bug in the Adobe PDF Print Engine might also be a reason for the long processing time.

It’ s a typical problem. From creation programs such as InDesign and Illustrator, the flattening of file elements with X/4 is passed on to the RIP in the print shop or proof printer.

The case in question was calculated on a quad-core system with SSDs with two instances of the Adobe PDF Print Engine and output correctly for three hours 47 minutes. However, since the final product cover is not expected to be produced in Europe, but in Asia, it was decided to break down the complex graphics with transparencies, drop shadows, etc. in Photoshop and then reuse it as a transparent PSD file. The resulting PDF X/3 file was ripped and proofed within seconds. The colour result was identical to the X4 file.

This example shows: PDF X4 is not just a modified data format. It also shifts the computing power and software requirements from the data creator to the data processor or printing house. But especially with complex graphics this can lead to unpredictable effects. Although PDF X/4-capable solutions such as Fiery XF 5.2 do exist today, a RIP time of over three hours is of course not practical.

Proof.de Introduced new measuring technology: X-Rite SpectroProofer ILS30

With the new SpectroProofer ILS30 made by X-Rite, Proof GmbH has created the basis for automated measurements and Proof verifications according to M1 standard. Proofs with optical brighteners (OBAs – Optical Brightning Agents) can now be measured. Contrary to earlier announcements, the new SpectroProofer are also able to measure the current proofing standards as before in M0 measurement standard.

Because of the new ILS30 SpectroProofer, the layout of the Ugra / Fogra media wedge was slightly modified. For a comparison between old and new media wedge, see the image below.

Detailed X-Rite SpectroProofer ILS30 measuring head compared with X-Rite SpectroProofer ILS20
Detail Spectroproofer ILS30 front, ILS20 at the back
X-Rite Spectroproofer ILS30 Packaging
X-Rite Spectroproofer ILS30 Packaging

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Proofing with individual ICC profiles

We received a call from a new customer today: He proofs for Chinese suppliers, and up to now he is producing proofs in Japan Color 2001 Coated (JapanColor2001Coated.icc). We had not yet set up the profile in our RIP, but within a short time we were able to load the profile into our RIP, create workflows, and make the profile available for order in the shop.

We will gladly integrate your individual ICC proof profiles and create proofs for you.

We proof more than 50 international proof standards, but there are always one or two standards that we do not yet offer. Often ink manufacturers or paper producers also offer ICC profiles like Aniva or Heaven42 and the Munken, Amber and Arctic paper series from Arctic Paper. Or have you measured a house standard for your printing parameters which you would like to use for proofs? Then please contact us. We will be happy to support you.

Why is the embedding of RGB profiles so important?

A few days ago we received a call from a customer in the field of design, who sent open Adobe InDesign data in ISOCoatedV2 300% with contained RGB images to the production company for a complex CD production on the advice of the producing company (“The printing company still has a prepress stage, which can then prepare your data optimally…”). The result of the finished printed CD booklets and inlays did not correspond at all to the calibrated monitor image of our customer, the client was also unhappy and requested the print data about the production company from the print shop responsible for the print to troubleshoot. Data in the “US Web Coated” color space with 350% ink coverage came back from the printer. For troubleshooting, the customer then had a proof of his data created by us, but had chosen the settings “Convert to target profile (retain values)” as usual when writing the proof PDF; we thus received completely CMYK data, of which we produced a proof according to ISOCoatedV2 300%, which completely met our customer’s expectations. So it seems that the designer created the data correctly and printed the print shop incorrectly.

On closer inspection, our error analysis revealed two serious weaknesses:

  • On the one hand, the obviously wrong profile conversion of the print shop with InDesign CS2 to “US Web Coated”, a completely outdated profile never used in Europe, which was delivered with early Creative Suite versions and was probably never adapted due to a lack of competence on the part of the print shop.
  • On the other hand, the open InDesign file of our customer, which he had sent to the production company, contained RGB images without a profile (DeviceRGB), which cannot be safely interpreted.

In this case, a complaint of the designer to the printing company will of course be difficult, as on the one hand, non-profiled RGB data were sent to the production company, and on the other hand, no print PDF generated by the data creator in the correct output color space ISOCoatedV2 300% was supplied.

If this had been done, one could at least have argued that the expected color of the production print would have been comprehensively known. Thus, one can only refer to the fact that the printer would have had to ask the designer for RGB data without an embedded color profile, and should not have assigned the data somehow to a profile “blindly”. The fact that the print shop with its crude US Web Coated workflow certainly did not create a correct print file, but a wrong one for the output, can indeed be stated, but the print shop can always talk its way out to “systems with in-house standard”.

How do we deal with RGB data at Proof.de?

If we receive a PDF file that contains RGB images, the next step is to check if the file is a valid PDF/X-3 or PDF/X-4. If this is the case, we check whether all input RGB profiles are correctly marked with color space (sRGB / AdobeRGB / ECI-RGB-V2 etc.) and rendering intent, then we check whether the correct output color space was used as output intent and whether also contained CMYK data have the correct input profiles. If yes, then we proof the file with the settings: “Consider all input and output color spaces”.

In this case, the file is reproduced 100% exactly as our customer created and defined the color profiles. If he has made a mistake and e.g. marked an image with a wrong RGB profile, this will also be “incorrectly proofed” exactly as correctly.

If RGB data should not contain a profile, e.g. if they are created in Device RGB, we generate a “data incorrect” e-mail in which we explain our procedure as follows:

“Dear customer, the data check has shown that RGB elements are contained in your data. RGB elements can only be safely interpreted in the proof if they are marked with a color profile and a rendering intent. This is the case, for example, with correct PDF/X-3 and PDF/X-4 data. The correct output intent must also be specified.

At least one of these criteria does not seem to be the case for your file. The safest way would be to convert the contained RGB data to CMYK. This has the advantage that you have control over the conversion and can view the CMYK result again in Acrobat before uploading the file again for proofing. We can then reliably use your CMYK values for the proof. To do this, call up the current order in your customer account, delete the incorrect data and upload the corrected data.

If, for example, the RGB element should only be a small image that is not relevant for the overall impression of the proof, or if you do not have another file available for the proof, then of course we can also use your RGB data for the proof. If available, we use your RGB source profiles and rendering intents, otherwise we use the sRGB standard and the rendering intent “relatively colorimetric with depth compensation”, which in most cases will lead to correct proof results. If you would like us to proof the supplied RGB data in this way, please let us know. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Best regards, your proofing team”.

In our case, the CD production case would also not have occurred in the proof, as we reject RGB data not provided with an ICC profile with the error message mentioned above, and do not convert them, as we cannot predict precisely how our customer would have liked the data to be converted.

We are aware that our approach is not 100% the ultimate best approach in all cases, but to the best of our knowledge and belief it is best in line with market practice and the expectations of our customers.

However, we are also happy to accept your individual requirements and circumstances. Give us a call or send us an email and describe your processing requirements.

Colour Management Consulting and Expertise

Colourmanagement Consulting
Colourmanagement Consulting

By the way: We are happy to put our knowledge and data competence at your service: If you also have a problem, a question about print data, data preparation, or – as in the above example – a misprint has already occurred and you need external expertise and assistance for the complaint: Give us a call. We will be happy to advise you and help you where we can help. We will charge you for our advice and analysis at an hourly rate of EUR 90,- plus VAT, and you will be billed for 15 minutes each. An initial consultation and assessment is of course free of charge.

DIN SPEC 16699 “Open colour communication” published

A few days ago, our DIN SPEC 16699 “Open Colour Communication” was published and is now available for free download from DIN’s Beuth-Verlag.

Matthias Betz from Proof GmbH, Holger Everding from DTP Studio Oldenburg, Jan-Peter Homann from Homann Colormanagement in Berlin and Eric. A Soder from Pixsource in Switzerland, all members of the association freieFarbe e.V., have shown in the bilingual DIN specification a way to create high-precision color samples on the basis of open source, license-free standards and have shown ways for cross-media color communication.

The 44-page PDF is bilingual in German and English and can be ordered directly from Beuth Verlag, which distributes the DIN standards in Germany, and downloaded free of charge after a short registration.

DIN SPEC 16699 Open Colour Communication

Proofs for recycled paper. Is that possible?

We produce proofs for classic white uncoated papers on a daily basis, but the question often arises as to which proof standard could be used for printing on recycled paper.

In general, the paper white in a proof is precisely defined in the proof standard and is also measured in every test report.

For PSOUncoated it is 95.00 / 0.00 / -2.00 in CIELAB and for PSOUncoatedV3 it is 93.50 / 2.50 / -10.00, i.e. slightly darker (93.50 instead of 95.00 for brightness L) and significantly bluer (-10.00 instead of -2.00 on the B axis, i.e. the blue-yellow axis in the blue direction).

Recycling papers differ not only greatly from type to type in the area of paper white, but even from batch to batch. So if a printing company orders the same recycling paper in January and in February, the paper mill may well deliver a slightly different white value of the paper, as the paper white of course depends strongly on the recycled paper qualities used for production.

A colour-binding proof for recycling paper is therefore not possible, as no standard has ever been worked out due to the different paper qualities and white tones.

It is recommended for the proof to choose a classic proof standard such as PSOUncoated / Fogra 47, which shows a rather neutral, unbrightened paper white in the proof. Place one side of the recycled paper next to the proof and mentally transfer the colour of the proof to the white tone of your recycled paper. This way you can imagine the later printing result quite well.

Paper white of many paper manufacturers and online printers measured

We spectrally measured the paper white tone and the proportion of optical brighteners of over 1,000 papers of the most important paper manufacturers such as Berberich and Papier Union as well as online printing companies such as Flyeralarm and wir-machen-druck.de.

Example: Spectral data comparison of Antalis Coqueror CX 22 white for the measurement standards M0 and M1. Below you can also see the color deviation in Delta-E00 of 1.97 and the two paper white values in LAB and LCH.

Only a few paper manufacturers currently publish data on paper whiteness and the proportion of optical brighteners in their papers, but only technical indicators such as whiteness according to ISO 2470-2 or CIE ISO 11475. However, designers can hardly record paper whiteness with these values. In addition, it is not possible to read from these data whether and what proportion of optical brighteners the paper has.

Example above: Spectral data comparison of Antalis Coqueror CX 22 white for the measurement standards M0 and M1. Below you can also see the color deviation in Delta-E00 of 1.97 and the two paper white values in LAB and LCH.

Left: CGATS.17 Data for measurement conditions M1 and M0 for paper Antalis Conqueror CX 22 white

We have therefore measured the most important papers and dyes of all central paper producers and paper distributors as well as online printers in the three measurement standards M0, M1 and M2. From the difference in the paper whiteness of the two measurements M2 (UV cut without UV portion) and M1 (ISO 3664:2009 with noticeable UV portion), we determined the color distance on the yellow-blue axis of LAB in Delta-b and derived from this the proportion of optical brighteners according to Delta-B according to ISO 15397 and evaluated it.

Delta-B conversion: OBA share in the paper

Delta-B < 1 = faint OBA
Delta-B < 4 = little OBA
Delta-B < 8 = low OBA
Delta-B < 14 = moderate OBA
Delta-B > 14 = high OBA

Spectral data of all measured papers for download

Parallel to the images of the spectra, we have also provided spectral data in CGATS format for the measurement modes M0, M1 and M2, which can be downloaded for any paper. These values can be used, for example, in proofing software to calculate a paper white simulation for a specific production paper.

Affordable Proof Shipping, now worldwide.

Proof GmbH has now even more attractive shipping terms for domestic and international shipping. In addition, proofs can now be sent via Express and standard shipping worldwide.

Throughout Germany shipping costs for packages from Proof A3 were reduced to only 9,-€.

In international shipping, costs were partially reduced by almost 50%. Proofs can now be sent quickly and conveniently wordwide. shipping costs and options are directly calculated in the shop so that a quick and direct proof order is possible. Express delivery in the EU is now from 35, – €, Switzerland and the United States from only 45, – €. Even for Afghanistan and Nigeria, shipping costs for DIN A0 proofs are only 75, – €.  In international express, delivery time is between one to four days…

The exact prices and per country can be seen here:

Countries and shipping cost for proofing on shop.proof.de

Please note: Express delivery and standard delivery to countries in located in different shipping zones. So the standard shipping in the US through DHL is nearly as “expensive”, as the express delivery. So express delivery for only 10 Euro more certainly is the more attractive option for time-critical goods such proofs.

Proof GmbH is now four times Fogra and Fogra “Spot cert” certified

Fogra Zertifizierung Proof GmbH 2019 Contract Proof Creation 33246

This year we have again submitted proofs for Fogra certification. We thus prove that we not only deliver outstanding proof quality through internal quality controls and checks, but that the quality of our proofs is also confirmed by an external body. We have therefore had proofs certified for the seventh year in succession.

In 2019 we have made two innovations in Fogra certification.

  • We were certified for the first time for the new standard Fogra 54
  • We have also carried out a certification for PANTONE spot colours for all four printing conditions, the “Spot cert”. We have certified the spot colours PANTONE 2270 C, PANTONE 151 C and PANTONE Cool Gray 6 C for the proof standards ISOCoatedV2, PSOCoatedV3 and PSOsc-b_paper_v3 and PANTONE 2270 U, PANTONE 151 U as well as PANTONE Cool Gray 6 U for the standard PSOUncoatedV3

The quality of our prints and our spot colour reproduction of the PANTONE colours was confirmed by Fogra for all four proof standards.

Proof.de Fogra Prüfzertifikat für Fogra Zertifizierung und Spot cert Sonderfarbzertifizierung

The complete 14-page Fogra test report can be downloaded here.

These new certifications have been implemented on the current software revision Fiery XF 7.1.3 and have been applied to the papers EFI Gravure Proof Paper 4245 Semimatt, EFI Proof Paper 8245OBA Semimatt and EFI Proof Paper 8175OBA Matt.

Good times: The general meeting 2019 of freieFarbe e.V. in Switzerland

After the association freieFarbe e.V. had met last year in Tübingen for their annual general meeting, this year we met in a rustic hut in the Appenzeller Land, which Peter Jäger from pre2media and Eric A. Soder from pixsource.com had excellently chosen, just like the sunny weather that should accompany us from Friday to Sunday.

freieFarbe e.V. Mitgliederversammlung 2019: Unsere Unterkunft in den schweizer Bergen
freieFarbe e.V. general meeting 2019: Our accommodation in the Swiss mountains

The chairman of the association, Holger Everding from DTP Studio Oldenburg and Jan-Peter Homann from Homann Colormanagement in Berlin arrived in Tübingen on Thursday, and after a first long night full of discussions and a meeting in the Proof.de office on Friday morning around noon, the three of us continued our journey to Switzerland. After a joint dinner with Peter Jäger and Eric A. Soder (from Tübingen, we had taken some Swabian potato salad and my handmade Maultaschen with us the evening before), an evening full of planning and a strategy workshop for the tasks and goals of the next year began. Without question, this evening was also spent discussing, developing, laughing and working creatively until late into the night between Flensburger Pils, Swiss mountain beer and wine in attractive red and light yellow shades.

Ausschnitt der Ergebnisse des freieFarbe Kreativworkshops am Freitag Abend mit Gewichtungen (blaue Aufkleber) und Zuständigkeiten (Namenskürzel)
Part of the results of the freieFarbe creative workshop on Friday evening with importance (blue stickers) and responsibilities (name abbreviation)

After breakfast, we continued on Saturday to swissQprint, where we had the opportunity to learn more about the status quo of large format digital printing from association member Guy Flüeli, as well as visit the production facilities and conduct print tests on the Karibu and other SwissQPrint presses.

Jahreshauptversammlung freieFarbe e.V. 2019 in der Schweiz
from left to right: Matteo Baschera, Jan-Peter Homann, Matthias Betz, Holger Everding, Eric A. Soder, Martin Spaar, Peter Jäger, Michael Jakobi. It is missing: Kai-Uwe Behrmann, Jan Seguda, Guy Flüeli (photo)

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Epson launches new generation of proof printers SureColor SC-P9500

In late 2019, Epson will present its new generation of proof printers: the Epson SureColor SC-P9500 and SC-P7500 proof printers.

EPSON SureColor P9500 spectro
EPSON SureColor P9500 spectro

Epson has incorporated many improvements into the new printer generation. For example, fully loaded print heads now work in the new printers, which can finally handle photo black, matt black and the two grey tones LightGray and LightLightGray as well as the colours orange, green and violet simultaneously in one print head. For cyan and magenta there are also the light variants light-cyan and light-magenta, so that besides yellow, cyan and magenta, 12 full colours are available in the print head. The printer uses the new UltraChrome Pro12 ink set, which could possibly bring some detail improvements to the classic K3 inks, although nothing more is known about this yet.

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Convert PANTONE colours optimally into CMYK. Practical aspects to the new old discussion.

A very frequent topic for us in the area of proofing is the optimal conversion of PANTONE colours in CMYK for classic, inexpensive four-colour printing. In the last few days, there has been a lively discussion on this topic in the Adobe Forum and in the colour management forum of hilfdirselbst.ch, which I would like to summarise briefly, as our customers often struggle with the same issues.

PANTONE and the PANTONE CMYK values from Bridge: The Problem

The central question is to which standard or colour profile a CMYK value of a PANTONE colour in Bridge actually refers. Specifically, a user asked for the conversion of PANTONE 116 C, a colour tone that is specified in the PANTONE Bridge fan in CMYK 0/14/100/0 (here you can see the original value in PANTONE). But if you now convert the underlying PANTONE Lab color value in InDesign or Photoshop into different CMYK profiles, you will get different, significantly different color values. “What does the PANTONE Bridge CMYK colour value refer to” was the original question of the discussion.

The starting point of the PANTONE Bridge fan

In the PANTONE Bridge Fan, “equivalents” of the PANTONE spot colours on a coated and an uncoated paper grade, separated with 4 Pantone scale colours, are visualised and the CMYK values are specified.

But one thing is clear: without precise information on the substrate, print density, inks used, etc., the information provided there has only limited validity. If, for example, one converts the LAB colour value of PANTONE 116 C into the SWOP Web coated commonly used in the USA, then one reaches a value of 20 in magenta instead of 14 as indicated in the PANTONE Bridge Fan.

Comparison of PANTONE LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOUncoatedV3 and PSOCoatedV3

If you compare the original PANTONE LAB values and the PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in European standards such as ISOCoatedV2 or PSOCoatedV3 for coated or PSOUncoated or PSOUncoatedV3 for uncoated paper, there are sometimes serious colour deviations. The PANTONE Cool Gray 2 is much too light in CMYK conversion, the PANTONE Cool Gray 11 is always much too dark. For the PANTONE 3278 C, the Bridge CMYK value for PSOCoatedV3 fits quite well, but the same comparison for Uncoated is noticeably worse. What is the reason for this?

Comparison of PANTONE C Solid Coated LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOCoatedV3 colour space
Comparison of PANTONE C Solid Coated LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOCoatedV3 colour space
Comparison of PANTONE U Solid Uncoated LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOUncoatedV3 colour space
Comparison of PANTONE U Solid Uncoated LAB values with PANTONE Bridge CMYK values in PSOUncoatedV3 colour space

The question was therefore specified once again:

  • How can PANTONE specify “official” CMYK values for a particular colour if it is not clear what paper white, print density, ink coverage, etc. the values refer to?
  • How does PANTONE arrive at the specified colour values?
  • Which ICC profiles are possibly the basis?
  • Are there errors if programs such as Photoshop or Affinity Publisher do not show the same values when converting a Pantone color as those specified by Pantone?

Thesis 1: Why should a spot colour manufacturer deliver perfect CMYK replacement values for his products? That would be detrimental to business.

One thing is clear: there are no system errors. PANTONE knows what they do. But it is surprising that the bridge values have apparently been fluctuating by several percentage points for many years. Perhaps one reason for this is that different base pigments have been used over the years and the values have therefore been adjusted. But it was not possible in any way to find out how the values are created, what profiles or logic could be behind the values. Some discussion participants thought of a deliberate system error: “Cui bono? Why should a spot colour manufacturer deliver perfect CMYK replacement values for his products? That would be detrimental to business.”

This is an exciting approach which, at second glance at the latest, does not lack a certain logic. If the head of the company has only seen bad CMYK conversions of his PANTONE spot colour for long enough, he will sigh and agree to any surcharge for a five-colour print, only to finally find his corporate colour correctly reproduced again.

But another thesis is also very plausible:

Thesis 2: The sales department defines the CMYK values

Let’s assume that a PANTONE “Green1” corresponds colorimetrically to a CMYK of 30/0/100/0. If two more saturated green tones (“Green2” and “Green3”) are displayed in the fan, which theoretically should be displayed with CMYK 35/0/110/0 and CMYK 40/0/120/0, what then?

To set all three green tones to CMYK 30/0/100/0, i.e. the next CMYK value that can be achieved absolutely colorimetrically? That would actually be the most obvious way, especially since it is very unlikely in practice that two adjacent PANTONE colours would ever be used in CMYK conversions. Because a company has either green1 or green2 as its corporate colour, but hardly both at the same time.

On the other hand, buyers of PANTONE Bridge fans would probably be very surprised if different PANTONE colours in the fan had the same CMYK value.

Therefore, a psychological-sales-department correction is obvious: In order to avoid identical CMYK values, we set the most saturated green tone to the not matching CMYK 30/0/100/0, and then the less saturated colors to 25/0/0/90/0 and 20/0/0/80/0, i.e. also not matching CMYK values. Now nothing fits anymore, but at least all colors have different CMYK values.

Practice shows: An adjusted conversion via ICC profiles often provides a better CMYK color value for the conversion of PANTONE colors like the CMYK value from the PANTONE Bridge.

We have converted the PANTONE colours used in the above mentioned graphics also via ICC profiles partly absolutely colorimetrically and relatively colorimetrically with depth compensation (marked with an “r” behind the CMYK colour value) into the two output colour spaces PSOCoatedV3 and PSOUncoatedV3 and have mapped the visually best match in each case.

In most cases, this conversion adapted to the output color space delivers the significantly better results. See for yourself:

We support you in determining the optimal CMYK conversions for your PANTONE house colours

If you need the best possible conversion of one or more PANTONE colours to CMYK, we will be happy to support you with our know-how and our measuring and proofing technology. We determine and compare different imaging variants of a PANTONE colour in CMYK and show you the best determined conversions in CMYK with metrological evaluations in Delta-E00.

Paper white from Arctic Paper, Surbalin from Peyer and more added

We have added 140 additional paper white values from Arctic Paper, Peyer, Igepa, Antalis and Mondi. As a result, a total of almost 1400 paper whites are now available in our database.

From the company Peyer we have added the colour shades of the Surbalin product range, although we have not covered all surfaces individually here. However, we have now also included other Peyer products such as Peytan, Peydur, Peyprint and Comet in the paper white database.

You can find the paper white database at shop.proof.de:

https://shop.proof.de/en/info/paper-white.html

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