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.................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... Colour Systems & Inks

Colour is a crucial part of graphic design today, but it is something that consumers, clients and designers take for granted. Colour can bring a design to life, help establish hierarchies , highlight key information and add pace and emotion to a design. However it is a design aspect that is easy to get wrong and cause problems when a job prints incorrectly. Print design has developed in recent years beyond the traditional four colour process of CYMK and these developments have allowed designers to be more creative and experimental in how they use and reproduce colour through print. With the emergence of affordable digital print, print can become more accessible and allowed for more experimental short print runs. Additional the six colour hexachromatic printing process gives designers a wider printing gamut allowing them to push print in new dimensions. There are a variety of ways in which images can be produced from using one ink up to 6 or 8 inks to produce prints all of which produce extremely different results. Further developments an innovations in inks how allowed designers to work in new ways make use of innovate inks such as metallic and glow in the dark inks as well as taking print to other sense other than visionary with using scented inks.

Introduction to Colour systems and Inks

Colour Systems & Inks

Colour Systems Inks

CMYK RGB Colour Systems & Inks

CMYK (subtractive) CYMK is known as a subtractive colour space in which each subtractive primary is made up from each primary additive colour, for example when two subtractive primaries are mixed they make additive primaries, yellow and cyan mixed together make green. CYMK is the colour space used for printed images although they can be produced in a variety of ways the most common way in which images are printed is through the CYMK colour space. The process separates a full colour image into a separation of four primary colours, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black each layer of colour is then separately printed on top of each other to create a final full colour image. When Cyan, Yellow and Magenta is printed in theory this created black however we still print a black over the top to create a rich black as without this doing this the black would appear more like muddy brown colour rather than a true black. RGB (Additive) RGB is an additive colour space that is used to create colour on screen based devices, in which two additive primaries overlap to make a subtractive primary green and red overlap to make yellow. All three additive primaries overlap to make white light. Within CYMK the three subtractive primaries overlap to make black.


Monotone Dutoone Colour Systems & Inks

Monotone A monotone image is an image that has been created using different tones of a single colour to produce an image, any colour can be used with this process however it is more commonly used to produce greyscale images made from black ink. Dutone Duotone is similar to a monotone however two colours are used to create the image which can add more depth to the image than that of single colour monotone. Commonly a black and a secondary colour would be used in a duotone. Using a second colour can enhance the appearance of an image that may more closely resemble a full colour image. A third colour can also be used with this process to create a tri-tone image which has the same effect but even more added detail and depth. Pantone Matching System Pantone matching system is an internationally used system and series of colours which can be used to print specified colours. Each colour within the system has a specific reference code which you used to specify particular colours to a printer. The PMS system has a much varied variety of colour than the colour capable of being produced by the CYMK process. The PMS also has a range of specialist colours such as metallic and fluorescent colours. The PMS colours react different with different print processes and surfaces therefore the colours come in a range of formats such as colours for uncoated and coated stocks. The PMS colours can be specified using swatch booklets which are booklets that contain a swatch of each colour and its reference code, these booklet come in many versions such as Matt, Solid and process colours. Spot Colours Images can also be produced using spot colours, spot colours are specific colours that are applied to specific areas of an image, often these colours are colours that can not be produced using the CYMK printing process. Spot colours are applied using another cylinder and are applied as a separate layer of colour. However spot colours can also be used to print with, as many spot colours as needed could be used to produce an images. Instead of using the process of CYMK a series of specific spot colours could be used to produce an image.

Colour Production




Colour Systems & Inks

Hue Hue is the reference to the unique characteristics of a particular colour which is used to help visually identify and specify a colour from another colour. The hue of a colour is formed by different wave lengths of light. Saturation and Brightness Saturation also referred to as the chroma of a colour is how pure the colour is and how it move towards or away from the colour grey. The brightness of a particular colour is a reference to how light or dark the colour is, the brightness of a colour is changed by adding white to make the colour brighter and adding black to make the colour darker. Colour Calibration When working digitally on a computer screen the RGB colour space is used by the monitor to produce colour, monitors can be colour calibrated so that the monitor more accurately represents the colour space that will used when printed. Most monitors work on sRGB which is the standard for RGB that is device independent which ensure all colour is shown the same though the monitor however when monitors are calibrated the colours produced are changed to better represent how colours will appear when printed. DPI DPI is the acronym for dots per inch and this is the measurement for the printed resolution of images. DPI is the measurement for how many colored dots per inch will make up an image, the higher the DPI the more defined the image or text will become however the industry standard DPI is 300. PPI PPI is the acronym for pixels per inch and is used to measure the pixel density of computer monitors and other screens, PPI is used to describe the resolution of an unprinted image when viewed in a digital format, or when images are taken with a camera of scanned into the computer. The standard PPI for an image is 72, however this is not suitable for printing as it will appear distorted when printed.

Key Terms

Colour Systems & Inks

Colour Systems Inks

Metallic Ink swatches Colour Systems & Inks

Glitter and Metallic Inks These inks are often found in gold and silver varieties, they have good opacity and can used in many traditional printing methods as a spot colour. When making use of this type of ink it should be considered that unless these inks are coated with a top varnish they can easily scratch and also rub off onto other surfaces. They also many require extra drying time which can slow down production time, the inks usually work best when a coated stock is being used as the substrate, this achieves the highest quality results. These inks are not ideal for outdoor applications or fabrics. Pearlescent Inks These inks are available in a range of colours, they are often pastel like shades and tones. These inks are transparent and can be used with processes such as Flexography and rotogravure they are not suitable for offset lithography. These particular inks can be spot printed over non pearlescent colours to enhance there shine similar to a spot varnish. When used alone without a base colour they produce a more subtle tone. These inks also work best when applied to a coated or smooth surfaced stock. Glow-in-the-dark Inks A selection of colours are available when using this type of ink, the common is the traditional green emitting colour, however yellow, orange, rose, green and blue are also available. These inks can be used with most common printing processes, the cost of the inks are dependent on how brightly the ink glows and the life span of the glow effect. Printing the ink over a white base will improve the effectiveness of the glow in the dark effect.

Speciality Inks

Thermochromatic Ink Before temperature change

Colour Systems & Inks

After temperature change

Thermochromatic Inks There are a range of colour available when using thermochromatic inks however they vary between the levels of activation and which colours are available for each, the activation levels come in three categories low-temperature, body-temperature and high-temperature. These inks can be printed with flexography, silkscreen printing or offset lithography. These inks can be effective preventing counterfeiting, however the cost is on average ten times the cost of normal inks. Photochromatics Inks A wide variety of colours are available which normally change from a clear or light shade of a colour to a true, rich colour when exposed to UV light. They are often printed using flexography, screen printing or offset lithography. Again these inks are used the help prevent counterfeiting and as expensive as thermochromatic inks. Food -Safe Inks These are inks that are regulated by the food and drug administration agency which consult with industry professional to ensure these inks are safe to be used when printing packaging for food products. The complete colour range is available within the boundary of this type of ink. They can be used with all printing processes and in particular pad printing for 3D surfaces. Scented Inks Scented ink do not come in a range of colours but they come available as a clear ink which can then be overprinted, as the ink is transparent it does not affect the colour of base print. There are hundreds of different scents available at a standard cost however bespoke scents can also be manufactured at an additional production cost.

Reactive Inks

Print Process Stock Format Ink & Colour Systems Finishing Preproduction & Costing

CYMK & RGB Colour Production Key Terms Speciality Inks Reactive Inks

Inks & Colour Systems PRINT-CIPLES  

Inks & Colour Systems PRINT-CIPLES

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