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Dancing around a 3M color

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by letterman7, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Hi all,
    Has anyone been able to successfully match (or close) to 3M vinyl colors with a solvent ink? Specifically, the gold reflective. I know reflective has it's own issues with white points and all, but I'm trying for my own edification to get as close as I can to this particular gold. Yes, I can use the roll vinyl, in this particular instance the gold is part of a 3 color stripe, and I'd rather not layer the 4 colors of reflective if I can avoid it. I'm attempting to match an existing vehicle with a printed stripe - and I think it was printed with a foil, not an inkjet.. but even with a foil I can't figure how they got the correct color - unless 3M provides specific foils for various machines.

    Anyone?

    Rick
     
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  2. eahicks

    eahicks Very Active Member

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    Well.....you're not gonna match reflective anything. You can get close to the hue of those vinyls, but that's about it. You can print on white reflective though, and get colors that should be close. Would take a lot of trial and error. We do lots of reflective printing, and have had decent luck matching standard blue, red and greens for traffic and parking signs.
     
  3. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Well, that's the point of the exercise - print on white reflective to obtain a standard reflective color. I've been "trial and error-ing" all afternoon and can't even get something close.. blue, red and greens are somewhat easy.. the golds are the pain in the a$$!
     
  4. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

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    The Flexi Sign swatch for 580, 680-64 gives an RGB value of 166,119,59. Give it a shot.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Excellent... I'll give that a test over the weekend. Thanks, Joe!

    Oh.. and I do use Flexi, albeit a very, very old version.. my 3M palette doesn't even include reflective. But the FDC section does.. I'll have to play with that. Just never though about looking through those swatch sections - my colors rarely match what is there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  6. Kentucky Wraps

    Kentucky Wraps Kentucky Wraps

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    Matching CMYK to a Pre-pigmented product is tough enough...without adding the reflective element to it.
     
  7. SellersSign&Design

    SellersSign&Design Premium Subscriber

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    I’ve actually been working on matching 3M gold also. I have both a Gerber Edge and an HP Latex. Some of the 3M reflective colors can be matched using the transparent foils on the Edge, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the gold. Pierce has it figured out apparently, I’ve noticed a lot of their trucks that used to have 3M gold reflective now have printed white reflective that looks very close. I would say we could compare notes, but there probably won’t be much that is the same between latex and solvent. I am also using Flexi though.
     
  8. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Yep, it's a Pierce stripe I'm trying to duplicate. The blue isn't an issue, it's that weird gold. There isn't even a decent PMS match to start from. I don't think it may be possible with a solvent machine; the pre-loaded profiles for FDC's gold wasn't even close. But then, I've never really properly profiled my machine, either. Once I hit a color through trial and error I add that to the swatch tablet..
     
  9. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

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    We don't color match existing colors or paint. It's the biggest nightmare, and so are the clients who want it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Well... when it's a fire department that has to have consistency, you have to do what you can to the best of your abilities. I've been very fortunate to find alternatives to some problems that turned out better than the originals - and those departments are now valued clients.
     
  11. SellersSign&Design

    SellersSign&Design Premium Subscriber

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    Harrisburg, NC
    B5403B68-D5A4-46F0-99A4-20B8EC1230D5.jpeg

    You’re dead on about fire departments. I’m a fireman who also happens to own a graphics business. There is nothing we hate worse than having a truck in the fleet that doesn’t match the others. Pierce has an amazing graphics department, the trouble with it is the rest of us have to work hard to match their work. I know for a fact they use eco solvent large format machines and Gerber Edges. I found a PMS reference for 3M reflective, it is close for the other colors but like you said the gold was way off when I tried it. If I make it back into the shop tomorrow I’ll post some print samples that I have.
     
  12. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

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    So, if it's for a fire department that demands color continuity, why not just get the Gold reflective and price the job according the materials and labor involved in doing it the right way?
     
  13. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    The right way? Which way is that, Joe? Matching the printed stripe as they have on their other vehicles, or since I can't do that, layer the three colors that are in the stripe with the appropriate colors (which I am doing)? I've let the department know that I cannot match what they have exactly with a printed version, so they are ok with a layered stripe. I'd just rather, if I can, find a way to print and emulate the look of the existing vehicles. Since I can't (at the moment), they'll have to settle for another method. I don't like to have my customers "settle" for anything - in this case there is no choice.
     
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