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How can you ensure that your dye sublimation printers print items look as good as they should? The key is proper print color management. Here’s how you can do it.
Red is just red. Blue is just blue. The hues may differ, but if you present the same shade to two separate persons, they will both perceive the same thing. At least, that’s what you might think, but it’s not true. According to research, color is not objective. The same colors are perceived differently by each of us.
For any print manager attempting to deliver a printed banner with colors identical to those seen on the client’s screen or previous banner, the odds are stacked against them. And that’s before you consider that every print job has a variety of elements that can subtly modify the color of the product you print, from color process to print material to printer.
So, what are these factors, and how can you use color management printing procedures to ensure that the colors
Tip One: Print CYMK Colours, not RGB
The RGB color scheme is used to produce the image you see on screen.
RGB (red, green, blue) begins with a black base and adds varying degrees of those three colors to produce a nearly unlimited number of color combinations (red and green to make yellow, blue and red to make magenta and so on). When you add a color to a black background, it makes the darkness appear stronger, which is why the colors on your phone screen appear so bright.
The image you print, on the other hand, is delivered in a different way. CYMK (cyan, magenta, yellow, key (black)) is a subtractive method in this case. Light is withdrawn when a color is added, which is the inverse of RGB. CYMK cannot match the range or brightness of RGB colors. Nonetheless, CYMK is used in almost all large size printing.
When you print RGB colors on a CYMK dye sublimation printer, the result is a ‘best fit,’ with the print management software attempting to print match an incompatible color. Finally, your banner will appear much duller than the version on screen.
The solution is to print in the CYMK color space by first converting from RGB to CYMK. The output will not ‘pop’ as much as the on-screen original, but it will be a far more accurate color match.
Sublimation printing enters the market and quickly becomes popular due to its inexpensive cost. The dye sublimation transfer technology application field is becoming increasingly diverse.
Tip Two: Use Vector Images
It’s not so much a print color management issue as it is an issue with overall image quality, but many image files (files ending in.jpeg,.gif,.tiff, or.png) produce their images using thousands of small pixels. These ‘raster’ photographs appear completely clear when utilized at their original size or lower, but when scaled up, quality is lost and the image becomes pixelated.
Vector pictures (.svg and many.pdf files) retain resolution no matter how much they are scaled up or down. Converting raster to vector graphics with conversion software is required for large format printing.
Tip Three: Use the Same Printing Material
The material on which you print will have a significant impact on the finished outcome in terms of vibrancy and color reproduction. Switching from one grade of vinyl to another in the middle of a run will almost always result in a change in color reproduction between banners.
As a result, before beginning any multi-product print project, make sure you have enough of the same vinyl/canvas/mesh to complete the entire run.
Thermal transfer requires that the heat pressing surface, transfer paper, and substrate surface be tightly bonded with no gaps; otherwise, the transfer image and text may be blurred.
Tip Four: Get A Sample
‘Well, that doesn’t appear to be the banner we had printed the last time…” As previously said, everyone perceives color differently. It’s also possible that the items a client had printed the previous time was totally out of tolerance and they simply didn’t realize it.
You could show them large format printer with the most accurate color reproduction available, and they would still reject it because it is simply different. To avoid such issues (and if possible), request a sample of the most recent piece of print. It could assist you color match if it hasn’t become too faded or damaged.
Tip Five: Use the Same Printer
When you employ numerous printers, large print runs will be finished faster (and thus more affordably). However, the more printers you use on a project, the more variables there are in color matching. It’s often a trade-off between cost and print quality, but use the same big format printer throughout the work if possible.