Not too long ago, store shelves used to be lined with pretty generic, simple packaging.
Today, things sure have changed.
While walking down any given store aisle, you’ll find packaging with foil pouches, blister packs, multi-substrate displays, and all sorts of revolutionary packaging features.
But with these new features comes the added difficulty of making sure all your packages are the same, including their color.
This is where color management comes in.
Color management refers to the process used to ensure that colors are replicated perfectly as the label and artwork design moves through the production cycle.
For example, let’s say that an energy drink company is coming out with a new product, and therefore they need a new package design. During the initial design meetings, the new package is sketched and Pantone colors are chosen.
As that design is pushed through to all the different teams — from the graphic designers to the packaging managers all the way to the printers and converters — the color needs to be consistent throughout. Otherwise, by the time the final product package reaches the store-shelf, you may end up with totally different colors than what was originally agreed upon.
Color consistency is a must for brand recognition, as well as perceived quality — especially when it comes to packaging. For example, think about the iconic Coke Red and Tiffany Blue, these colors are instantly recognized across the globe. And if a product package’s color is off, it hinders sales.
According to General Manager of Pantone, Adrián Fernández, “In China and other countries where counterfeiting of products is common, the importance of the color consistency of the product packaging is much higher.”
Consumers often avoid products when the packaging color looks “off” because they think it is counterfeit or expired.
So, to help you stay color consistent from concept to creation, here are three color management tools to help you stay on track.
The PantoneLIVE Family is a series of cloud-based color management tools.
These tools will help your production process with digital specification and communication to help you maintain color consistency.
The PantoneLIVE Family consists of three different tools.
PantoneLIVE Design – With Design, you can give your designers and prepress teams access to Pantone digital color libraries, as well as private brand libraries.
PantoneLIVE Production – Production will allow your team to use spectral values for spot colors during the production process, making sure that everything is accurate no matter what type of print technology or ink is being used.
PantoneLIVE Production (for Plastic, Coatings, and Textiles) – The newest member of the PantoneLIVE Family, this version of the production tool is made for, well, businesses that manufacture plastics, coatings, and textiles.
X-Rite, Pantone’s parent company, has a large number of great products for brand owners looking to keep their color management in check.
ColorCert Suite is one of their many products and allows for digital communication of exact color and print requirements for internal and external stakeholders alike.
You can even produce near-real-time data for every press run with their easy-to-understand Scorecard Server dashboard. In other words, your teams will experience less confusion, and there will be less unnecessary back and forth conversations between brands and manufacturers.
With ColorCert Suite, you’ll be able to incorporate a more strategic approach to their color management.
Color iQC is another X-Rite product that is perfect for brands looking to improve their color management.
Color iQC provides a wide range of functionality, including the ability to define instrument calibration and measurement modes to ensure data integrity and accurate, correct measurement practices.
Using a remote output feature, you can tailor and format any color data in order to seamlessly share consistent information with color partners. With centralized control and management abilities, you’ll be able to move from quality control to quality assurance, analyze performance, identify leading indicators, and adjust processes as necessary.
WebCenter isn’t a standard color management tool like the other platforms on this list. Instead, WebCenter is a packaging management tool and can be integrated with many color management tools.
In addition to housing all your project management needs, WebCenter keeps projects moving efficiently, as well as allows for easy collaboration and visibility across internal departments, external agencies, and suppliers.
With WebCenter, you’ll be more confident in your packaging projects as you manage your entire packaging process in one location – from execution to design.
And, the helpful file management feature and asset library will let you store all the important details of your packaging, including technical keylines, artwork, graphics, logos, and images. That way, your team can find what they need when they need it without wasting time asking for someone else to track it down for them.
To Get Your Color Management in Order, Visit Esko Today
Brand owners, retailers, designers, packaging manufacturers, and print service providers all find value in teaming up with Esko and its sister companies, X-Rite, Pantone and AVT to help streamline their packaging processes across the value chain.