Elusive "Perfect Proof"
The digital-versus-analog debate continues.
By Terri McConnell
I read your column last month about [color management] and was wondering if you were going to highlight the difficulties we have with digital proofing in the packaging industry. These "difficulties" specifically pertain to spot colors and the use of modified process. With flexo, gravure, and limited offset packaging, we still have a hard time finding a quality digital proofing device that can reproduce good color when mixing the spot colors together with four-color process... . The world of digital proofing would be so much better if there were products [and] materials [available now] to help accomplish all packaging needs... .
Jim Koukol, Account Executive
Jim is absolutely rightthe area of digital proofing is a distinctive technology gap in an industry that has otherwise forged ahead with electronic innovation. To date, analog (or film-based) proofing is still the only method available for accurately representing both four-color process and the wide range of special inks, or spot colors, used in folding carton, flexible packaging, label, and corrugated printing production.
It appears we are in a "compromise" situation. While we continue to rely on film-based systems for contractual approval, we cannot fully utilize the array of color controls available to us in the digital world. On the other hand, if we choose to take the leap into an entirely digital realm, we must create workarounds for devices that are fundamentally unable to reproduce the entire package printing color gamut.
Says Gregg Tashker, global packaging segment manager for DuPont Color Proofing, "There is no single perfect proofing solution for the wide range of printed results we see across the packaging arena." Tashker explains that's why DuPont, one of our industry's leading suppliers, continues to work on enhancing current analog proofing technology, while simultaneously developing new digital solutions.