Matching Color Ideals to Reality

Engraved ink.

Read more in PRINT magazine about dealing with printing single color ink(s) on color paper and matching to your digital, on-screen ideals. Its tough remembering that ink and paper reflect light differently and they reflect each other. This is why hand engraved stationery presents unique printing issues when working with color papers and inks.

Color ink engraved on paper.
From the soon to be announced Curated Collection of Hand Engraved Stationery, here are examples of single color inks hand engraved on different color papers.

In this final article about color management, Mrs. Collins discusses differences, and challenges, of evaluating color on the screen of our devices versus literally going on press with the printer to watch what happens when ink meets paper. The series is in three segments:

  1. The first article introduces the notion of color matching systems for print, specifically for one-color jobs in low-tech processes such as stationery engraving. This article goes into the history of color matching systems, too.
  2. The second article talks about color responsibility and explains some of the best practices summed up in the final article…
  3. The final article elaborates best practices and lists them. Here is the resulting compilation for clients, designers, stationers and printers:
  • Assume color responsibility.
  • Get printing specifications from you printer and make your art to those specifications.
  • Pay attention to lighting conditions in which you, your client, and printer specify and evaluate color.
  • Keep your color library current and provide vendors with samples from your library.
  • Understand expectations about color and how exact a color needs to be.
  • Go on press.
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