Colour Management Using Coated and Uncoated Stock

How does it effect colour management?

Recently a client asked, “Why did you send us proofs on coated stock when our final job will be on uncoated bond, won’t this effect our colour management outcomes?”  This is an excellent colour management question, but before answering it, I would like to explain about the three ways we can supply a proof to our clients:

1. PDF: These electronic proofs are the most commonly used because they are fast, efficient and cost little or nothing to send.  PDFs are best suited for checking content, spelling, grammar and layout issues and less effective accurately seeing the true colours of the final printing.  This is because PDFs on a computer screen can only display RGB (red, green and blue).

2. Physical Proof:  Even when your job is to be produced on uncoated stock by offset machinery, physical proofs are always printed on coated stock by digital machinery.  You’ll never receive a physical proof on the exact stock you ordered.  Because a physical proof uses CMYB (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and ink sits on top of coated stock. This makes the colours appear more vibrant.

Although the exact inks are used in both cases, a colour variation occurs on uncoated stock because ink absorbs into the paper rendering the colours a bit duller and earthier.  So even though the physical proof will have a slightly different tonal and colour effect in the final printing, we can assure you that your physical proof will be 100% accurate in every other way.

3. Completed Job Runs: In order to produce a proof that is 100% accurate in terms of colour, the proof must be run on the actual stock.  To do this we must set the presses and inks to completely run the print job.  Once you approve the colour-accurate proof, we must rerun the job a second time. This is quite an expensive undertaking and therefore not an approach we normally suggest to our customers.

Approach No. 1 is the most common way we send proofs to you for approval.  Depending on the outcome desired, Barney’s will be happy to discuss different papers and ink colour options with you, so please contact our friendly team here at Barney’s on 1300 663 812 for more information.