What is happening in the packaging and branding world: News from IDEAlliance, Pantone, CGS and GMG.
Packaging Advisory Council
IDEAlliance, the organization that owns the GRACoL and SWOP specifications, has initiated a push for standardizing color in the packaging value chain. This effort will be coordinated by the new Packaging Advisory Council. More information and registration info is available here.
Designers have access to the Pantone libraries in most premedia applications today. Even in Microsoft Office, if you export libraries from the Pantone Color Manager application. What they do not have is realistic simulations of how these Pantone inks will look on a variety of substrates. That is what the new PantoneLIVE service is about. In PantoneLIVE, all PMS+ and additional customized brand colors are available in both idealized form as the CIELAB or spectral targets, and as actual rendered colors as they have been measured with real inks and substrates in a number of print processes.
PantoneLIVE is built on Sun Chemical’s SmartColour database, which is a vast library of measurements of real world inks and printing substrates. The substrates include paper, corrugated boards, film and plastics. Sun Chemical’s technology is now integrated in the PantoneLIVE solution, and Sun Chemical will continue as the preferred ink supplier for PantoneLIVE.
The ink and color database will be available as a subscription service, going live on June 15th. Esko is also a launch partner, having plugins available for Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and their own workflow applications.
CGS: 3D Visualizer
CGS is introducing an interesting add-on to their color management software. The new RealVue 3D Packager is an extended visualization and soft proofing tool. The application imports die line data from Illustrator or CAD files and then applies Illustrator artwork to them. This enables a 3D visualization of the artwork. Special effects like metallic inks, glossy coatings and embossing can also be visualized on the monitor through an advanced soft proof.
Prototypes can be emailed to clients as an animation that can be viewed with a free plugin.
GMG: Improved spot color simulation
Most proofing RIPs today can simulate solid spot colors to tight tolerances. The real challenge is tints and combinations, such as areas where you mix both spot and process colors in the artwork. GMG has promised to show a new tool at Drupa that lets their FlexoProof users simulate mixed spot and process color overprints with the help of a new color profiling tool. The details on how this works will be available at Drupa in May.