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How to color match a PMS color using HP cmyk latex printer

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by depps74, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. depps74

    depps74 Member

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    I need to color match 2 pms colors using a cmyk printer. I have the cmyk formulas, but the prints colors are not close enough to submit to the client.

    2 questions:

    Does the profile matter in these cases? The material I am using does not have a profile for the rip software I use. Phototex material RIP software is FLEXI photo

    What is the best way to hack away or calculate CMYK to match a PMS color?

    Dave
     
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  2. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    These posts usually devolve into a lot of people talking about color theory and color spaces etc. The simple answer is, yes the profile means everything in this type of situation. What you are using is called a boxed profile which is included with your RIP so you can print out of the box without having to make your own profile. Boxed profiles will never be perfect and are just there to get you started. So with a boxed profile your best option is to print a Pantone chart out using the profile you have and then use a Pantone swatch book to compare the colors and choose the one that looks the closest. It's not perfect but it's the best you can do without making your own profile. The best way is to make your own profile but just note that even when you make your own profile, some Pantone colors just can't be recreated with CMYK. Also, no one can really give you a CMYK value because what works for them might not work for you but they can get you close enough to have a starting point.
     
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  3. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    With Flexi can you control the CMYK output values that are sent to the printer? And can you print color patches with slightly different CMYK values to evaluate the best combination to get the closet match to the PMS spot color you want to match?

    I know with ONYX, Caldera and ColorGate RIPs you can do this. Once those values are determined then you can assign those in a spot color library or just use replace color to assign the output values. These output values bypass the color conversion of the output profile. Yes it is important to have a good output profile (and it might get you close for some spot colors) for everything else your printing but the best spot color matches are most often achieved by using specific CMYK output values for the media in use.
     
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  4. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    Good call. Forgot about this. And yes, Flexi has a color replacement tool that allows you to override the profile.
     
  5. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    in your case, id print a pantone chart and hand match. easiest way.
     
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  6. depps74

    depps74 Member

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    Any way you could walk me through how to use that color replacement tool in Flexi. I can not seem to find it ?
     
  7. Fechin

    Fechin New Member

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    My best solution, I print out a color chart of what my printer puts out at that setting. I have an HP latex as well, with the attached I've been able to ballpark things quite well. And this can go two ways, one is with the profile. What color value you set in Illustrator or whatever, is the value on the chart adjusted by the RIP software. The other is with the profile off, since I spot match a lot, especially things with big specific color fills, I have my RIP software use the face value or override with a spot match.
    its handy to have this on hand, especially as a sizable poster, so you can see what your printer's gamut is and share with customers what kind of color they may be looking for or expecting.
     

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  8. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    I almost forgot this. If you have an HP certified RIP than you should have a HP CMYK library for spot colors. This makes a great starting point to determine you CMYK output values when printing a chart/book/atlas of slight variations.
     
  9. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Onyx has an option for printing a series of swatches when trying to get a color nailed down when it is already close. I used to run back to corel, enter the closest cmyk values for a large background swatch, then make two transparent fills over the background swatch running perpendicular to each other with one doing black and the other would depend on what I thought the color would need more or less of. Only problem with transparencies is the file for a simple swatch could hit half a gig or so.
     
  10. AKwrapguy

    AKwrapguy Active Member

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    Flexi has color mapping that is great for this if you take the time and material to set it up.
     
  11. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    From my experience so far, if you just specify the PMS color in your file, and your material is calibrated correctly, you should get it pretty close (I'm speaking as a Latex 560 user). Converting PMS colors to CMYK formulas on your own leads to bad results. Let the machine do the work.....If you want PMS 437, make that the fill color. Don't convert it.
     
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  12. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    Your right, converting PMS named Spot Colors to CMYK input values is a waste of time and shows that one has no clue how to get the best color gamut out of a printer. What you want to do is adjust your CMYK output values that are sent to the printer and that is what printing a chart/book/atlas with slight output value variations is for. Than you can assign those numbers by using a spot color library if it is a named spot color or you can use the replace color tool to replace any output color no matter how it is inputed.

    But getting pretty close can be a big stretch sometimes with proper calibrated and profile media. If you look at the HP provided Pantone output library that should come with your RIP you will often find the dE to be much less with it then what you get with your Pantone provided LAB values that get converted to output values with your output profile.
     
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