GMG has announced the commercial availability of OpenColor, a spectral-based technology which creates high-quality multicolour profiles simulating the printing behaviour of diverse printing variables — without the need of ‘proprietary chart based’ press fingerprinting.

While producing accurate colour proofs for most print applications is a relatively easy process — particularly when using GMG ColorProof — creating accurate proofs for packaging is still quite difficult. Package printers are increasingly using multicolour printing. Yet, standardisation does not exist because spot colours and custom ink sets with more than four colours are typically used, along with a wide range of print processes and substrates.

Many times, these sets are comprised of solely spot colours, without CMYK. In addition, brand owners expect tight colour tolerances and reliable results for their brand colours, which require a good understanding of overprinting—the behaviour of inks when printed on top of each other. And, offset doesn’t overprint like gravure—ink film thickness and trapping properties are very different. So printing and packaging companies spend an extraordinary amount of time fingerprinting their presses for all possible job variations, which includes a wide range of substrates, from paper to foils. This process is expensive, cumbersome and unreliable.

Everyone in the packaging supply chain, from brand owners to design firms to package printers deal with a wide range of printing challenges, said Victor Asseiceiro, Director Business Unit Packaging. They have to work with a wide variety of printing conditions with alternating numbers of colours, including CMYK and spots. GMG OpenColor offers an easy-to-use proofing solution. Brand owners have very high colour accuracy expectations, no matter where something is printed. GMG OpenColor is designed to address this complex and error prone problem in package production.

GMG OpenColor offers precise and predicable spot colour simulation and overprinting behavior or colour interplay. It creates high-quality multicolour profiles simulating the printing behaviour of diverse printing technologies and media types—if necessary, without use of ‘proprietary chart based’ press fingerprinting. Its unique, spectral-based colour model results in better colours simulations than any other proofing solution available.

New spectral modeling algorithms are coupled with spectral ink measurements that analyze spectral properties of each ink colour, as well as the substrate’s colourimetric properties. The measurement information is applied to a specific printing process (flexo, offset, gravure). Then process specific information is added (ink rotation, trapping, screening, etc.), and the final press condition is simulated. The process of profile creation is reduced from days to minutes, without expert knowledge. And, if needed, additional accuracy can be attained by taking additional overprint readings to meet the quality requirements of the customer.

The software offers significant time savings and predictable print results. With GMG OpenColor, one single proof can accurately simulate all colours of the design. This reduces the complexity and the number of proofs. It subsequently simplifies the colour communication process between the partners in the supply chain. Colour matching at press is easier and it eliminates test runs at the press and improves customer satisfaction due to predictable results and saves costs.

OpenColor comes with options for different printing technologies, including offset, flexo, or gravure. Each option contains its own specific profile creation algorithm. While selection of one printing technology is required, it is possible to license all options.

GMG OpenColor is available in both a Basic or Plus version. The Plus version offers additional features for even greater quality to meet process control demands. These include:
•    Use of the Create Profile Wizard for full control of the profiling process
•    The ability to manually edit profiles; for example, substrate overprint behaviour or dot gain corrections.
•    Enhanced print charts for even more precise overprint simulations. Spot colours can be characterised with charts that contain overprints.
•    Export of static MXN profiles for offline use or to prevent profiles from dynamically, or unintentionally, changing.