Five Tips for Creating Your Color Bar
- Evaluate all of your presses so you have complete information on the manufacturer, print width, number of keys, and individual key width. This will allow you to map a color bar that will work for each of your presses.
- Be sure that each ink zone has at least one solid patch per ink used on press, so you know how to control the keys based on density or dE readings.
- If the color bar does not align with the ink keys on press, be sure to figure out the mapping between the color patch location and its corresponding ink keys to adjust. When the color bar does not align with the ink keys, the operator has to make an educated guess on which key to adjust based on a visual evaluation. Also note that if there are missing solid patches of ink used on press for some ink keys, there is no way to monitor and control that ink in those keys.
- Consider simplifying your workflow by using a universal color bar for one press or even all of the presses in your facility. Also, consider using one color bar that includes enough solids for the press with the most print units, and don’t just impose the extra colors if another press or job does not have the max number of colors.
- If the live image in the job you are printing has a coating, be sure to also put the same coating on the color bar so the measured result reflects the impact from the coating. Also note that you might need to make density adjustments to compensate. Also, make sure the coating covers the color bar completely (or does not cover at all). Do not coat ½ of the color bar with the coating. There are a few studies that have been conducted on how the varnish/coating or lamination might change the appearance of printed products. IDEAlliance did a webinar on July 26th on this topic entitled: Coating & Lamination: Finishing Processes and the Effect on Color.