Building Color Made Reliable

By Joyce Dalman, Tintbooks

Tint Book One of the long-time problems print designers have faced is building reliable color. Many printers and book publishers have offered numerous books on how to do it and what the results will be -- and, while we always say test and test again, you still need a guide. Pantone has carried the ball for so many years, most designers just bite the bullet and pay substantial sums of cash for the PMS color-build books. Well, Tintbooks now has a new solution for building color.

Building Color

First, some may ask what do you mean by building color? Built color is when the designer, illustrator or artist actually designates colors from solids or tints of the four process colors or solid, flat PMS colors. If you've attended any of my "Creative Layout Techniques" classes, you learned some things you can do with colors without printing process color. Let's say you have a 2-color or 3-color budget. By building those colors together through tints you can achieve a multi-color project that looks like many more colors were used. Additionally, there are times when you cannot fully rely on colors you "invent" or those displayed on the monitor in RGB. The printed results may be very different -- and in many cases very bad.

So you need some kind of aid to accurately predict, and implement color. One of my favorite aspects of building color is the fact that when you know what you'll get, then you no longer have to agonize over the results you'll be getting. In the old days we used to build color using rubylith or stripping additional tint films into the negatives of a print job. One of the projects I remember clearly was a 14-color job I created back in the early 1980s, before computers. It was a tedious and painstaking process to mask and hand-cut rubylith to build the colors properly.

In the early years of Macintosh, once Illustrator was released, and the more powerful Macintosh SE came out, (2.5 megs ram, 10 megabyte hard drive) the first service bureaus began to appear in the major metropolitan areas. Sprint-Out was one of the first firms to appear on the scene offering Linotronic film output. I was eager to test the new technology, so I built a client brochure arriving at more than 40 built colors. My only guide was the PMS 4c specifier. There was no separated full color subjects in the project -- only flat, graphic, built color objects and typography. The results were stunning, and that year the project won the national PIA print award. Little did they know it was all produced and built on that Macintosh SE with a 9-inch black and white monitor.

But that's the point. I was able to build the color confidently, and print it reliably because I was "building" the color based on a model and I really didn't have to see the color to know how it would print.

tintbook tinting color pages

With TINTBOOK, you can achieve wonderful results, and know they'll work. TintBook is the most accurate, printed, color-reference guide we've seen for taking the guesswork out of color matching when preparing art files for printing projects.

You can literally predict color at the design concept stage, using the TINTBOOK'S 25,000 CMYK process screen tint combinations. A special Pastel section is included showing even the most subtle colors you wouldn't dare predict on the screen! The color charts are presented in a well-organized, user-friendly manner -- complete with color management tips and valuable printing information are also defined in uncomplicated terms. TINTBOOK is indispensable to everyone in the graphic design industry.

Archie Boston, Jr., Professor of Visual Communications & Design at California State University Long Beach says:

quoting TINTBOOK is the most up-to-date color rendering from digital file to plate to press. It is already a student-required book for all of our majors. end quote

With technology changes in the printing industry, color matching has become a major hurdle for all of us. From the computer screen, to laser printouts, followed by printer's digital proofs that are produced on a variety of substrates using multiple chemical compounds, true color results are often confusing and disappointing. Only a printed sheet will produce accurate results. That is what TINTBOOK is all about.

If you build color -- you'll really appreciate the leaps in creativity and confidence you can gain with Tintbook.

Brown without the Blues Visit for all the details and lots of sample pages.
Brown without the Blues Brown without the Blues
Building Colors Building Colors on Uncoated Stock
Color Made Reliable Building Color Made Reliable 25,000 CMYK process screen tint combinations
Predict CMYK Color Predict CMYK Color with Confidence
building CMYK Pastels Pastel Colors of Spring

quoting The Tintbook is probably one of the most valuable assets a print designer can rely on... end quote

thanks for reading

Fred Showker

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