Extended Color Gamut for Flexographic Printing


Document ID: 
G.D. Sheth , V. Lovell, Alexandra Pekarovicova, Paul D. Fleming III


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The advancement in technology and the necessity to satisfy the increasing quality requirements has aroused the need for use of extended color gamut in flexographic printing. The information about extended gamut inks and ink systems is not easily available, therefore it is essential to find ink sets and color sequences that will produce optimal results in the flexographic printing process. The project includes the study of water based single-pigmented and dual pigmented ink sets used to develop extended color gamut. A test chart was created with the process color inks and three additional inks - Orange, Violet and Green with the help of ProfileMaker 5.0.8. The test chart was printed on an AL20L3 Mark Andy flexographic press on a semigloss litho substrate. Multiple press setups and various ink sequences were used in order to understand the nature and performance of these specially designed water based color ink sets. The transparency/opacity of the inks and trapping of the single and two pigmented inks were studied in relation to color gamut development. In addition, the print sequence effects on overprinting spot color and color gamut were studied. It was observed that the ultimate performance of the inks is dependent on many of the studied factors. The transparency, opacity and color properties of the inks can dictate the most appropriate ink sequence, which can then lead to even larger enhancement of the color gamut of a specified ink set. The use of different ink systems like mono and dual pigmented; offer various advantages, such as coverage of unusual areas of the color space and better control of the ink hues. Different ink sequences can lead to huge enhancement in the measured color gamut, which in this case was provided by the YOMGCVK (Yellow-Orange-Magenta-Green-Cyan-Violet-Black) print sequence. The transparency and opacity play a key role in the outcome of the gamut. The chroma values calculated from the overprint of the different ink sequences printed on K-proofer confirmed that certain ink sequences produce higher color saturation as compared to their counterparts.

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