Red is red right?! Well not always. How many times printers all over the world have listened their customers’ complaints about the reds that were supposed to be more “whinish” that actually red?  Depending on the technology being used or the material being printed on, colours can appear differently from one job to the next.

The new ISO standard relating to CMYK printing, ISO 15339, could be a solution to these problems. This new standardised set of printing definitions allow CMYK printing to be done anywhere in the world and using any technology, all to the same standards. Another standard has been introduced, ISO 17972 part 4, which applies to colour exchange format.

Colour management is a complicated aspect of printing and an area that is vital to producing high quality products and meeting customer expectations.The colour definition of these new standards help both the printers and the print buyers as it allows buyers to clearly communicate their expectations to the printer and it gives the printer a set of standards to follow, making it easier for them to meet these expectations. Having your colours defined with these specifications also allows any stage of your workflow to recognise the colour and be able to achieve the correct standard of colour in the final product.

Previously, the type and colour of the substrate being printed on would affect the appearance of the colour, but ISO 15339 uses a tool that adjusts the substrate, whether you’re printing on paper, plastic or metal, so that a common appearance can be achieved. These standards are really important in print these days due to an increasingly global supply chain. ISO 15339 and ISO 17972-4 allow printers all over the world to achieve exactly the same standards and for single, unified colours to be agreed upon.

It’s important that printers everywhere embrace these standards. Certain software and practices will be required for printers to fully adopt this standardisation; Elie Khoury of Alwan Color Expertise names the McDowell Software Suite as software that allows these new standards to be recognised by all systems in your workflow. Calibrated monitors are also recommended so that what the printer sees on the screen matches with the colour that is produced in actual fact.

The improvements that ISO 15339 and ISO 17972-4 will bring to cross-process colour standardisation will make it much easier for printers and print buyers to communicate with each other and complete the process more easily and to a higher quality. Adhering to these standards is recommended for any printer or buyer, but it is an absolute necessity for anyone who requires matching colours across several processes.

Source: What they think