TBN Direct is a qualified
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Tech Talk

Looking for a special effect coating to create a printed piece that is unique and different? TBN Direct has the capability to provide a soft coating that has the touch and feel of suede leather or soft rubber. While your graphics appeal to the sense of sight, let this unusual coating also appeal to the reader’s tactile sense. Soft coating is so different in its feel that it leaves a memorable impression that will distinguish your project and stand out and get notice and saved.

This soft coating is applied in-line on our KBA press and doesn’t need a separate press pass. If you want a more extra velvety effect, a second application pass is also available. Because the soft coating has a matte finish or texture it won’t easily fingerprint when handled, which is an added benefit.

Ask your sales person to see actual production samples so you can experience the “soft” touch and feel yourself.

If you have any question regarding this Tech Talk article, please contact Steve Suffoletto at ssuffoletto@buffnews.com

There are two basic groups of ink colors: Process and Spot. Process colors are standard colors used to reproduce full or four-color (4/c) photographs using color separations. Process is called 4/c because there are only 4 ink colors used Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black or CMYK. These 4 colors are evident when a magnifying glass is placed over the halftone dots of a printed color photograph. Process colors are named so because CMYK are the individual components of a coloring process that produces finished composite or full color. Process colors are also used to build or fabricate synthetic color or call-outs using flat screen tint percentages. This is common for creating colored type.

Spot color is a unique stand-alone ink. Other names for spot color are special, solid, match, fountain, logo, corporate, custom, 5th color, etc. PANTONE or Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the most popular spot color system. Pantone is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Pantone is owned by X-Rite, a color measurement instrument manufacturer. Spot colors are used to extend the color gamut or pallet beyond the limitations of process colors. Process can only simulate about 50% of the Pantone colors. From a base of 14 basic colors, Pantone offers 1,341 uniquely different colors by altering the ink formula or recipe. The colors are identified by a 3 or 4 digit numbering system, such as PMS 286 Blue. A suffix letter identifies the type of paper, C is for coated and U for uncoated. Spot colors should be used when the accuracy and consistency of a color is critical, such as corporate branding. Our 5/c and 8/c presses can print process and a spot color simultaneously in a single pass, offering productivity and quality advantages over just a 4/c press. The price of spot color is more expensive because it requires an additional plate, special ink, longer press make-ready time and paper to fit register and match color of this extra ink color.

If you have any questions about this Tech Talk article, please contact Steve Suffoletto at ssuffoletto@buffnews.com

When your job is started on our printing press it goes through a process called make-ready, or MR. Make-ready consists of two major tasks, getting register to fit and getting color to match. The MR process will vary but for each plate takes about 15 minutes and 200 sheets. Once MR is completed, the actual production run begins printing.

Each process color, CMYK, is imaged onto a separate metal plate by computer-to-plate or CtP. To mount or hang the plates onto the press the plates are first punched and bent to fit onto the plate cylinder. During MR small test trials or samples of about 100 sheets each are printed, we call these pulls. The goal is to get the separate plate images to superimpose on top of each other so their register fits. This makes images look sharp, crisp, and in focus. Register tolerance of less than one full row of halftone dots is about 0.006” at 175 lines per inch, or Lpi. Smaller and thicker sheets with less ink coverage usually register better.

Color is achieved by adjusting the amount or thickness of ink first applied to the ink rollers, then plate, then rubber offset blanket, then finally onto the paper. Adding more ink makes the color darker and less ink makes the color lighter. While we have software and hardware technology that assists in achieving color, such as ink key presets and closed loop scanners, setting color still requires the art and craft of experienced technicians who visually compare the degree of color match between press and proof. The ink film thickness is measured with instruments called densitometers that measure optical density. Our presses have been calibrated to comply with international printing standards, such as ISO, SWOP, SNAP and GRACoL’s G7. Solid ink density tolerance is 0.10 units darker or lighter, this should produce consistent color. Density is used as a quality and process control metric to set the initial color, check for uniformity and evenness across the sheet (important for crossovers), and monitor consistency throughout the entire press run from beginning to end.

If you have any questions about this Tech Talk article, please contact Steve Suffoletto at ssuffoletto@buffnews.com

Color is a sensation caused by the interaction of a light source, an object (ink on paper) and an observer (you). If any of these variables change, so does the color. If a goal is consistent color, then these variables or factors need to be controlled and standardized. For now, let’s just discuss the light source.

The international standard for viewing condition in the printing industry is called ISO 3664. The current version is from 2009. It specifies many technical parameters concerning lighting, such as chromaticity or color temperature, intensity or brightness, evenness, surround, and others.

At TBN Direct, our printing press consoles are equipped with the proper lighting according to this ISO standard. However, if our customers do not have this same lighting condition, then when you view the proof or press sheet, the color may look different than when we view the proof or press sheet. The technical term for this is called metameric or metamerism. It means two things that look the same under one light look completely different under another light. For example, when purchasing clothing inside a store under fluorescent lighting, the color may not appear the same when viewed at home under incandescent lighting or outdoors under daylight.

Pantone realizes the importance of proper lighting conditions and the effect it has on viewing colors. They now include in their formula guide books, a light indicator at the very back. When the two metameric stripes match the lighting color is correct for daylight or D50 (meaning daylight at 5,000 Kelvin). If they don’t match, we shouldn’t be using this light for critical color evaluation and judgment.

If you have any questions about this Tech Talk article, please contact Steve Suffoletto at ssuffoletto@buffnews.com

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