Print colour management
Packaging printing is dominated by the offset printing, gravure and flexo printing processes. There are hardly any industry standards due to the huge range of substrates, colour systems and refinement processes. Instead there are “house standards”, which occasionally differ from each other substantially. Colour-binding proofs can only be produced if the colour space is identified in advance and is defined with the help of a digital profile. This profiling process, which includes all the usual house standards in relevant process parameters, is labelled as print colour management. In this case, up to 70 variables and their interplay have to be taken into account e.g. printing inks (manufacturer, solvent, pigment, further processability), Printing form (screen, angle, linearisation, process, cutting etc.), printing press (final proof printing, speed, etc.) or substrate (topography, colour acceptance behaviour, further processing, etc.). The most varied printing colour systems are used in packaging printing. This is determined through the special demands on the packaging and the various characteristics of the individual materials. This does not just begin with sealibility, heat resistance and barrier characteristics and ends with laminability, UV/ light resistance, foodstuff tolerance and abrasiveness. As these characteristics are stipulated and cannot be changed at will, the inks often have to be equipped with additives etc., which change or improve the printing behaviour. In turn this has an effect on the reproducible colour space. Fingerprinting is a reliable process for print colour management.