3. Color communication is subjective
You want your printer to create “spring colors” for your carton. How do you know their idea of a spring color is the same as yours?
Using a small handheld color-matching tool, we measured the color of bright spring flowers and found the closest Pantone Color match for each (see photo above).
Then we used the color data to mix yellow, orange and red dye baths for the eggs.
What did we learn?
It’s common for designers to use colors around them for inspiration, then describe them to the printer in a subjective language the printer doesn’t understand. Sunny, peachy, fresh and springy are not colors that can be found in an ink can. Not establishing clear expectations will most likely result in rework when the “spring color” your printer creates isn’t the same sunny shade you had in mind.
Of course, we know there’s a lot more to specifying, communicating, and printing accurate color than what we learned in kindergarten. But sometimes going back to the basics can help us understand a lot of what we need to know.
Shoshana Burgett is the director of corporate strategy and customer insights for X-Rite, responsible for leading the company’s voice of the customer (VOC) initiative across all industries, identifying market trends and helping the company create innovative products that support emerging customer needs, now and into the future. Burgett has served in a variety of roles related to print, packaging and color management since 1986. She previously held senior management roles at Xerox and has a master’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in variable data technology and international business, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts.
Learn more about packaging design trends at EastPack 2016, June 14-16, in New York City.