Browsing Tag



Lessons packaging designers can learn by dyeing eggs

It’s been said that everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten. Does this phrase ring true for print and packaging designers?

In the spirit of spring, we attempted to use a simple childhood activity—dyeing eggs—to solve some of the most perplexing color issues facing the packaging designer/printer relationship.

dyeing eggs

Here are three lessons to learn about color in packaging from our annual egg dyeing ritual.

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Beyond CMYK in Color Printing

In our additive vs. subtractive color models post earlier this week, we talked about color models and CMYK printing. However, anyone responsible for printing Halloween goods or packaging knows that that some colors are just too difficult to reproduce using only CMYK inks. And orange can be one of those colors!

A fourth color, black (K, which stands for key) is often added to subtractive color printing applications. Since C+M+Y actually create a muddy brownish color due to ink impurities in C, M and Y, adding a true black ink creates the deep color and tones that CMY alone can’t achieve, plus adds density to the shadows.

This four-color printing is called CMYK. Today we’ll look at other ways printers can extend the gamut of CMY to save ink.

Using gray component replacement (GCR) and spot colors on press can help create a crisper print and more saturated colors.

Using gray component replacement (GCR) and spot colors on press can help create a crisper print and more saturated colors.

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Color Measurement 101

Additive vs. Subtractive Color Models

To understand how color management works, you need a basic knowledge of the additive and subtractive systems of color reproduction. Both use a small number of primary colors that combine to produce a large number – or gamut – of colors… but the way they do that is quite different.

In our Color Perception Part 1: The Effect of Light  post, we explained how the visible color spectrum (we know it as the rainbow) encompasses light wavelengths from approximately 380 to 720 nm. By breaking the visible spectrum into its most dominant regions of red, green, and blue, the human eye can mix these colors to create a spectrum of color.

Spectrum of Color

This is the basis behind the additive and subtractive color models, our topic for today.

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