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Need Help Question Software Help What is the best method for color matching Vinyl from a color call out?

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by Colter, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. Colter

    Colter New Member

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    I am looking for the best method for matching color vinyl both opaque and Trans to color call outs? is there some software that shows the product lines of vinyl and their color components (CMYK, RGB, etc...)
     
  2. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    i've had success obtaining RGB values from the ColorMuse, and using that as my starting point for color matching prints to paints/vinyls.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    A lot of vinyl manufacturers will have a chart that matches the color with a Pantone color. You just have to ask them. You probably will still have to do some trial and error to get it right.
     
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  4. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    I'm not sure where some of the manufacturers came up with their conversion formulas from, but some need a lot of tweaking to work. You also have to take your profiles and materials into account.
     
  5. Colter

    Colter New Member

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    Do you find that the color muse works on printed colors in art bundles? or does that throw off the values?
     
  6. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Any valid values you need would be LAB values. What is your method to handle those values?
     
  7. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    Yes and no. Yes, they exist. No, they won't work. There are too many variables to be able to print straight from manufacturer recommendations.

    It's impossible to talk about color management without getting into a crazy amount of details, because it's an incredibly complex subject. The "best" short answer is: get the Lab values of your target color with a spectrophotometer. Print the target color on your printer, then adjust the Lab values until you make a visual match under the same lighting conditions.
     
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  8. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Active Member

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    Pantone is the language most professional designers use for calling out colors. The system is designed around specifying the color of the finished product. The spot color fan decks are most useful, but the "Color Bridge" deck is useful when working with CMYK colors. The formulas are for printing inks on white paper, so it is essential that your printer is calibrated and that you select the right profile. Pantone also makes their spot color palettes available for graphic design software.

    If the designer is calling out CMYK colors you can not be sure of what their final intent is because the same formula will look different depending on the inks and the media. Best practice is to produce a color proof (a cross section or swatches usually is sufficient for spot colors).

    If you are asking about matching opaque and translucent vinyl colors you will need color samples (small pieces cut from the roll or swatch books from your suppliers). You will have a much more limited palette, so you may have to work closely with the designer to achieve acceptable results. A light box is useful for choosing translucent vinyls. Some of the vinyl manufacturers have assigned Pantone values to some of their products. They will be listed on the swatch book, and references are also available online (you might have to do some Google searching).
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    Formula is also dependent upon lighting, as well as the observer. Two colors that look exactly the same in 5500K light could look vastly different in 3000K light. Likewise, a person with more or less types of cone cells will view colors differently than those of us with three (red, green, and blue). Fewer types of cones results in color blindness, more results in tetrachromacy.

    It's a headache inducing nightmare.
     
  10. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    And baseball players with blue eyes have a harder time hitting in daylight games than brown eye players.
     
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  11. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    Is this true? It would make sense, I guess. Less melanin to block light would mean more "glare" from sunlight? Now I'm gonna have to look this up tonight.
     
  12. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    So THAT'S why I was a .200 hitter at best in my little league days. LOL
     
  13. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    I love getting customer supplied files with CMYK values instead of pantones. Most of the time it looks pretty close... But theres always that rare occasion where it comes out slightly purple... so you go and check the pantone... find a CMYK value, then have no idea if it's what they want or not.

    so you can eyeball it... use your color calibrated monitor to get it pretty close... send it to the customer only to find out their monitor is ****, and they wanted it to be a completely different color. The one that shows up on "Their" monitor. It's always real estate people that do that to us...:D

    But generally... yes, if you have the vinyl in hand.. buy a color muse. Its $50.... scan the color, get the LAB value... put it into onyx or flexi and hit print. If you have good profiles it'll generally print pretty close... Then a bit of tweaking and you should be there.

    We just had a vehicle we printed on our solvent printer come back for a whole panel redo from a crash. It was a weird pinkish color... I thought I wasgoing to have a hell of a time matching the color. We didn't have a sample of the pink in our records for some reason... And I wasn't going to cut a piece off to match it with our xrite... So we got a color muse for $50. scanned it in.. hit print... and it was bang on. I thought for something so cheap it'd be off...especially after I got the box and it said "91% accurate". but it worked great. a tool everyone should have.
     
  14. burgmurk

    burgmurk Member

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    my suppliers give me vinyl swatch books, i take those out, plus the pantone book with the twin columns, the pantone & the cmyk 'closest' match (great tool to aid in explaining why we can print metallics & fluros).
     
  15. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Print a Pantone chart. Hang it on your wall. When you need a color find the closest color on your chart that matches what you're looking for a Pantone book. If two colors make the cut, pick the darker.

    What comes out of the printer is the truth, match to that.
     
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