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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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Why your Color Might be Wrong on Press: Standards & Ink

In a perfect world, you should be able to put ink in the press and simply run a job. Unfortunately, every year flexo and gravure printing operations waste ink, substrate and press time trying to get color right. Although advancements in technology have made it easier to achieve color accuracy, the variables that affect color still exist.

In this three-part series, we’re sharing over two dozen reasons your color might be wrong on press. If you missed the first article – Instrumentation – check it out first.

Today we’re looking at how your standards and ink can affect final color.

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Can you bring ink back in tolerance without remixing?

If you use eXact with BestMatch™, the answer might be yes. BestMatch helps you determine if you can achieve a closer match to a specified color by adjusting ink on press.

Formulating ink for a press run can be tricky because there are many things that go into it. The vehicle, colorants, and solvents are just a few of the things that impact ink quality, and whether it comes from your ink supplier or you mix it yourself, ink can vary in thickness or concentration. With BestMatch, you can confirm that the ink you put on press will meet your customer’s color tolerance requirements.

eXact’s BestMatch function also helps press operators keep ink color on target during make-ready and print runs. There are many factors that can affect print quality from one section of the press to the next. Sometimes the ink from one section can even contaminate the next color. If you control the press by density alone, you won’t see these shifts in color. And visual evaluation may not alert you to a problem until the color is considerably out of tolerance.

BestMatch is a predictive color tool that looks at concentration and ink thickness to see if you can get to the right color. Whether you’re trying to determine if you can hit a color using your press inks or need a PANTONE® Spot Color, or wondering if you can achieve a client’s spot color without cleaning the ink fountain and reformulating, BestMatch makes it possible to make go/no-go decisions on the fly. If getting to the right color is not possible, you’ll quickly know you need to go back and reformulate.

Today we’ll show you how to optimize your ink formulation, make-ready, and print workflow using the BestMatch feature available on the X-Rite eXact Standard and Advanced instruments.


This is the color axis for a green sample. The BestMatch point shows the best possible green that can be achieved by adjusting the ink thickness or concentration, so you can quickly determine if rework is necessary.

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