Drawbacks of Four Color Processing
This website was developed by Geno Jezek,
owner of the online magnet store, www.Custom-Magnets.com. Custom-Magnets has been supplying
magnetic material and custom fridge magnets since 1999.
Four color process printings uses the four subtractive colors – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black or CMYK. It is the most popular form of printing today.
Drawbacks of four color process printing
However, there are several drawbacks to four color process printing. The biggest drawback is that it is difficult to make the colors look as vibrant as they do in an original photo or even on a computer screen. It is also very difficult to get the printed color to match the original.
Reds and violets can be particularly difficult to replicate. Also, with four color process printing any kind of required color correction is very expensive. It is much easier to correct a color problem that is “universal” such as the entire image seeming too green. If a particular section of the image is looking too bright or too dark, it becomes far more difficult and expensive to correct.
Also, the colors of the photo can look very different depending on the quality of the paper being used. A highly reflective white paper showcases the colors to their best. A textured handmade paper on the other hand refracts the light unevenly creating more variance in the perceived color.
To add to the complications, often images that look good in the proof, do not turn out quite so well when printed. Inks are mostly mixed with water. This affects the dot size and the images don’t look crisp. Now making changes at the press stage other than minor color adjustments can require the plates to be pulled off the press. This is bound to cause delay in the completion of the job and add to the expenses considerably.
So how is it that with so many drawbacks four color process printing is still popular within the printing industry.
Advances in the printing industry
The printing industry has made significant advances over the past decade largely thanks to the computer revolution and digitization of images. Digital presses, stochastic screening, waterless inks and hi-fi color have all taken the industry by storm. The time taken to prepare for printing has been considerably decreased. The color quality of reproduction is much improved. And a versatility to printing has been introduced that was previously unimaginable.
Thus, with new advances in technology printing is becoming faster, more efficient and economical as well.
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