Spot Color Matching for Digital Package Prototyping


Document ID: 
Yu-Ju Wu


Digital, Non-Member: 
Photo, Member: 
Photo, Non-Member: 


Packaging printing is a huge market, both domestically and globally; it touches every aspect of consumers' lives. Nearly everything consumed requires some form of a package that serves practical purposes, like portability and protection, as well as marketing purposes - to catch the attention of shoppers and to distinguish a product from its competitors. Recently, the trend in the packaging industry includes shorter run lengths and work with fast turnaround times. Digital packaging breaks away from the traditional print technologies for package production and uses digital equipment to optimize quality, reduce turnaround time, and reduce costs for lower volume products (Franklin, 2010). In packaging printing, specific color inks are often used to meet specific requirements of customers. The main purposes of this experimental study are to (1) examine the quality of spot color reproduction with using Presstek 34DI digital offset printing press for digital package prototyping, and (2) establish printing workflows for digital package production. The Presstek 34DI digital offset printing press was calibrated and linearized before the experiment. Printing was controlled by the Momentum RIP. The plates were imaged at 175 lpi and 300 lpi using Euclidean dot shape. Two C1S paperboards were used in the study: 10-pt and 12-pt. Color management with ICC profiles is used to investigate the reproduction of specific spot colors. It was found that the average DEab values of tested print combination are in the range of 13 to 14. About 20 - 25% of Pantone colors can be reproduced with DEab lower than 8.0. Further investigation will include possible testing on an UV wide-format inkjet printer with a third party RIP to pursue a better spot color matching.

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