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Proof/layout assistance: how much information to include?

Discussion in 'Designs & Layouts' started by TSC1985, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. TSC1985

    TSC1985 Member

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    Well I don't know if the starts were aligned correctly or the universe has it out for us but I had the same issue twice last week with clients and proofing. In booth occasions the client said the colors printed were not the intended color, that what PMS # that was embedded in the file was not accurate and I was the blame for not stating, in text, these colors on the proof.

    It has been our general protocol to provide layouts showing text, size and design in color; emailed to clients. It is up to client to ensure text, and color accuracy in all files. For client provided artwork we do not state any specific colors, generally there are just too many to include. In both cases above each client did not call out any specific colors and we printed directly from the file.

    My question is: am I in the wrong here? Does anyone else include information about all the colors in the files on proof?
     
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  2. Kerning

    Kerning Member

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    I have a disclosure on my proofs that states:

    "Colors represented in this proof may vary from final product.
    If color accuracy is important, please notify us prior to approving the design."


    If color is important, I print a sample and work it out from there. Generally I don't label the colors either... If there is no disclosure about the color issue on your proof, or if your printing colors that you know were going to be way off then you'd be at fault.
     
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  3. VanderJ

    VanderJ Merchant Member - Printer Parts and Sevice

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    If you never talked about specific colors, they approved the proof, and the final product matches the proof, you are in the clear in my opinion. If the final product does not match the color on the proof however, they are in the right. I could go on a rant about using Pantone colors as a standard in CMYK digital printing but I don't feel like starting one of those threads. Let's just say if I ran a shop I would have a disclaimer on all proofs stating that the Pantone color matching system was invented before digital printers even existed, was invented for an entirely different process and therefor is unreliable which means the customer should use the physical proof as an example of what color they will get and not compare it to a Pantone swatch book.
     
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  4. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    Yep, been there done that. Sometimes I'll include a reference to the color within the proof if the request was to use specific pantones. Our paper printed proofs and emailed proofs can vary in color which is explained within the email or verbally to the customer.
     
  5. TSC1985

    TSC1985 Member

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    I probably need to update to add this line as I fear this will become more prevalent moving forward. In both cases only after had we printed did we find out the embedded color was not the desired color from their brand guidelines....given to us after proof approval/print.
     
  6. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Member

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    Seems to be the failure of both parties.

    An experienced prepress operator would have noticed Pantone callouts in the file during preflight. That should have triggered some special attention to, at least, check the result on your in-house print or Pantone chart from your printer.

    An experienced client should have made note of their desires of a Pantone match. They should also realize you are not printing with a Pantone ink process.

    (LATE EDIT TO SAY: You are not printing with a Pantone ink process.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  7. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Member

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    You might fix this as soon as you can.
     
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  8. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Member

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    Completely understand what you're saying but, at the end of the day, the Pantone swatch is still the ubiquitous guide among the industry. Therefore it must be be accommodated. So...

    Profile your printers the best you can, get your operators trained and your workflow tuned, and get your policies in place. When all is good with the shop, what's left are the clients. I find, with wide format work, the most experienced clients are the least particular of an actual Pantone match. They understand the process and expectations. They know the final installation site will likely affect color to its detriment. They know it's not the end of the world because the CEO in color blind anyway.
     
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  9. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    If the colors printed were the same colors as in the proof (of course, you gotta love the differences of color rendering from monitor to monitor), then it's on them. That's the point of the approval sheet.

    Pantone system has been the bane of my existence. The "nice" thing is not all of the colors (at least in thread) have an exact match out there. Madeira has come close with their threads and they even have a Pantone to thread chart, some are still a few shades off, but it depends on how much of a stickler they are going to be.

    If for whatever reason the colors can't be 100% dead on achieved, always have that spelled out in your approvals. That way the client knows (or should have known if they looked at the approval sheet, I've had some that didn't even bother looking at the approval sheet) where their project stands.

    That's the key word right there. There is a significant difference between "guide" and "absolute". I would say "accommodated within reason", but make sure the client is aware before hand.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. TSC1985

    TSC1985 Member

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    Our printer nailed the 541c from the file, upon delivery they noticed the color they actually wanted was completely different. We did as much as we could given the file.
     
  11. TSC1985

    TSC1985 Member

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    We nailed the PMS from the Illustrator file, they wanted to make the change after delivery stating that we should have told them it was XXX color instead of them knowing it was in the file given to us.

    Also on your other post, how do you do your best to calibrate proof color accuracy from RGB computer screen via email and CMYK for printers/paper?
     
  12. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    That's all them. At least in my mind.
     
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  13. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    'Color changes before production are 100% cheaper than color changes after production'
    Please sign here.
     
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  14. 2B

    2B Moderator

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    every design / proof we send out has the following information on it

    Color representation will vary from monitor to monitor and printer to printer.


    If colors are critical, a production color sample is highly suggested prior to confirming the full order.

    Production color samples are an additional cost.

    XXXXXX is not responsible for inaccuracies of color if you do not request a production color sample.


    Your ship/pick-up/delivery date may be subject to change if you request this service and your shipment method may be upgraded to priority shipping at your expense to meet your in hand date.

    You understand and agree that PMS colors cannot be exactly matched with all of our products. If PMS color match is required, you must first verify as being an obtainable option for the desired service/product.

    After the mock-up/ product proof are approved, any errors found will be quickly and willingly corrected, but the correction will be at your expense if production has already started.


    If a color swatch is requested, it will NOT have the exact color code.
    we use our own referencing code system to ID the colors on the samples
     
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  15. I specify Pantone spot colors using Illustrator's Pantone color palettes. I also print out small boxes on the proof with the spot colors named. Who knows how the client's monitor is calibrated, or even worse the desktop printer they might use (our monitors are calibrated). If color is critical, I offer a production proof (usually just a slice or section of the image printed at full size).

    Much of the art I create is printed by a variety of printers for a range of printed products. By using a color calibrated monitor in controlled lighting conditions, the files I create are usually very accurate. Most of the time when there are color output problems, the problem rests with the output device. The service bureaus I use for scanning and printing are very accurate, but the client selected printers sometimes are not. For most jobs, a soft proof is fine (.pdf file). For critical jobs, I always recommend a production proof.

    I don't do it, but a disclaimer is a good idea. I need to write one up.
     
  16. Big Rice Field

    Big Rice Field Electrical/Architectural Sign Designer

    The gamut (color range) of Pantone is way too small. It is better to design in RGB and then convert directly to paint colors using easyRGB.com. Divorce yourself from the "Pantone Prison" and go to the larger color world of RGB or CMYK to Paint using easyRGB.com
     
  17. In general, use RGB for digital output, CMYK when printing (many printers are now preferring RGB files in order to get more accurate conversions; for 4-color process create in CMYK color space then convert to RGB for fewer surprises). They have different color gamuts, and converting RGB to CMYK will convert colors to fit within the CMYK gamut. Different monitors also have color gamut limitations. I use a Dell U2413 (99 percent AdobeRGB and 100 percent sRGB at a deltaE of less than 2, which is barely perceptible). There are better ones. I also use a monitor calibrated to sRGB for creating web graphics (most people do not have a wide gamut monitor). All output devices have their own color profiles, and different gamuts.

    Pantone is an industry standard. Millions of graphic designers world wide use it. I can't see how anyone doing professional client work can ignore it. I use it all the time for my logo and branding work. Sure, the range is limited, but there is usually a color in there that will work. There are a variety of Pantone color systems for different industries and printing processes. Pantone also has an extended gamut guide for printers using 7 color systems (not recommended for designs that will be used for a variety of needs).

    Of course, you can always specify specialty inks and coatings for spot color applications outside the normal CMYK color gamut. These are usually one-off applications for specialty items. Know how your design will be executed before venturing into this (usually screen printing or specialty painting). You'll see a lot of this in sporting goods and the automotive industry.

    Big Rice: good call on easyRGB. A useful site!

    Some good links explaining color gamuts as related to monitors and printing. Time to upgrade your sRGB display!
    https://creativepro.com/how-do-p3-displays-affect-your-workflow/
    https://support.dma.ucla.edu/help/tutorials/print_color_guide.pdf
     
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  18. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Only way that I can see is if they do everything in house and don't accept outside files. Or certainly files that won't have profiles in them and thus clients won't know what is or isn't an exact match (outside of eyeballing it).

    They would have to have as much control of the process from concept to completion as they can in order to be able to use whatever they want to use, how they want to use it. Some industries it's possible (it's easier in mine then it is in the print industry I'm sure).
     
  19. thesignpost

    thesignpost New Member

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    I dont use straight PANTONE coloring, I use it as a reference only, I just use the cmyk values as stated in illustrator. There is so many variables when using files cross software platforms. When I do print cut, I use illustrator and Flexi sign. Everytime I pull a file into flexi the values change. So I adjust accordingly.
     
  20. Andy_warp

    Andy_warp Member

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    We absolutely list each Pantone color...and if there is a mixed bag with cmyk or rgb, we list that on our proof as well. This would have saved you as they would have signed off on it.
    It's just important to disclaim that monitors are not to be used to judge color. We actually require a pms if color is critical...or a go-by.

    In dye sub printing we have a fairly small color gamut, so Pantones are essential in getting to the color tone ballpark.

    We limit our support for Pantone to the solid coated set. We've found that any use of the Uncoated set gives some nasty muted colors due to the rip and profile trying to emulate "uncoated."
    Also...there is no such thing as metallic dye sub ink...so....

    I have built custom profiles, and we get some really decent output but only have about 14% of the PMS solid coated set in gamut.
    The best way to get around this is to have the color bridge fan deck so you can see what is achievable with cmyk vs. pantone ink.

    We are typically much closer to the pantone ink than the cmyk version.
    I always explain it like this:
    I'm asking my printer to make this color derived from 14 possible pantone colors, with cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

    It would be an engineering nightmare but I had the idea of creating an inkjet that has those 14 pantone color channels!

    You can make freinds with pantone or enemies with them. I have found it really is the best way of communicating color, as long as people are using physical samples of them...NOT CHOOSING PANTONE COLORS WITH A MONITOR IN ILLUSTRATOR!!!

    The colors we have the hardest time are the ones with "transparent white" in the mix.
     
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