Methods to Calculate the Number of Reproducible Spot Colours for Different Print


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Diondra Filicetti


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This experiment tests the number of PANTONE+ Solid Coated spot colours that are within the printable gamut of different printing processes  represented  by  the  following  ICC  Profiles:  Coated  GRACoL 2006, Coated SWOP 2006 Grade 3, Coated SWOP 2006 Grade 5 and a custom profile for the Heidelberg Printmaster 74-4-P at the School of  Graphic  Communications  Management.  This experiment does this by exploring methods to analyze the number of reproducible spot colours within particular DE allowances, using various measurement programs (Chromix ColorThink, Esko  Color Engine Pilot and Argyll CMS V.1.6.3). By looking at the percentage of spot colours that can be reproduced by different printing processes, one can evaluate how well suited a printing process is to producing various PANTONE+ Solid Coated colours. This provides an easy to understand metric that represents the gamut volume of a device, e.g. "Device X can reproduce 60% of the PANTONE library."

Understanding the methodology behind the process of calculating the number  of  reproducible  spot colours is important in order that this process can be applied to other situations in which the user is trying to determine the reproducible number or percentage of any set  of  colours  in  a  given  profile. Beyond this, this methodology can be used to compare different devices using their ICC profiles to determine which process is best suited to reproducing a specific set of colours for a specific client or job. The comparison of different methods (using different programs) of calculating the number of reproducible spot colours showed that each method returned similar results. Therefore, the choice of measurement method does not significantly impact the results. What then differentiates the programs is the ease of use, cost, and ancillary features.

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