Nobody’s Perfect in Color Matching
Companies that incorporate color into their branding identity insist that the color is accurate and consistent across all platforms – and rightfully so. But, as ColorCasters LLC’s Jim Raffel and Shelby Sapusek asked in their session during PRINTING United, is that even possible?
In “Do Colors Ever Really Match,” they discussed the “feeling” of color, how to handle expectations from customers and designers, the difference between a perfect match and realistic match, printing with accuracy and precision, and how professionals measure color.
While “how color makes you feel” sounds sort of vague, it’s actually rooted in science. Colors evokes feelings, which is why a company wants to make sure their branding is exact.
Sapusek recalled when Coke used gray labels instead of its classic red for one of its products, confusing the consumer. It’s no secret that consumers internalize colors on branding materials and products, which can subconsciously influence purchasing decisions.
The answer to the color matching problem lies in leveraging tools such as L*a*b* and Delta E. Used correctly, there’s no more subjectivity. It’s all precise and quantified.
Raffel added that there’s essentially no way to match perfectly. But, he said, you can get pretty darn close by using gray balance and properly creating color profiles.
“This is the starting point,” he said. “This is the base of the pyramid.”
With accuracy measurement technology, colors can be compared to check for accuracy.