Brand Color Reproduction Using Expanded Gamut Technology with Offset Printing


Document ID: 
Reem El Asaleh, Ph.D., Dr. Martin Habekost, and Emilija Biga


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


Expanded gamut printing is a very interesting and exciting concept for printing Pantone(r) colors without having to use a dedicated printing unit for that color. Expanded gamut printing increases the color gamut of CMYK through the addition of Orange, Green and Violet or OGV to expand the color space gamut of a printing press beyond standard color spaces such as GRACoL and FOGRA for the goal of increasing efficiency and printing quality and reduced expenses.
Many brand owners and packaging buyers depend on Pantone(r) colors to increase the aesthetic of their products. Also, maintaining the consistency and the accuracy of the reproduced colors are considered to be an essential step for brand owners as it would affect their brand's identity. With the existence of various digital workflow solutions, the accuracy of Pantone(r) color reproduction might be affected and thus, the main goal of this project is to investigate how color accurate these different workflow solutions are when a Pantone(r) brand color is reproduced with expanded gamut technology.
In this project 10-15 brand colors that use a Pantone(r) color were chosen. The selected colors cover all aspects of the color wheel. A test form was created and printed with an offset printing process. The test form was then processed for expanded gamut printing with the two different expanded gamut premedia workflow solutions that are available for this project. There will be at least four press runs needed for this project. Since the School of Graphic Communications Management only has a four-color offset press the press sheet has to be sent twice through the press. The color sequence that was used for printing the seven colors was selected based on the recommendation of the providers of the premedia workflow solutions.
Once the test sheets have been printed the selected colors will be measured for the L*a*b* color coordinates and compared to the L*a*b* values of those Pantone(r) colors provided by Pantone(r) itself.
A pilot project was conducted previously testing one digital workflow that showed some inconsistencies with the accuracy of the color reproduction. After consulting with the workflow solution provider changes were made in the initial setup of the workflow solution. Also, a second digital workflow will be used, and a similar evaluation will be conducted. The composition of the tested Pantone(r) colors will also be compared to see if the two digital workflows "create" the same Pantone(r) color differently.
Some of the chosen colors resulted in a lower DE-value than the same color build from CMYK and some resulted in larger DE-values. It was also seen that some of the chosen test colors were outside of the gamut of the printing inks used in this study. Overall this was a very interesting project to conduct and increased the knowledge about expanded gamut printing.

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