Gravure printing—also known as rotogravure printing—is primarily a long-run, high-speed, high-quality printing method. Like engraving, a gravure is a form of intaglio printing that produces fine, detailed images.
At Law Print, we would always recommend using PMS Colour system for Flexography and Rotogravure Printing.
Here are some key things to take away:
Maintaining consistent colour quality across different packaging SKU’s is hard enough with one packaging supplier, let alone multiple suppliers. If those packaging suppliers are located on the other side of the globe, colour management becomes even trickier – assuming you even have the right people and processes in place to manage colour quality and consistency from thousands of miles away.
Paper and film substrates accept ink differently, depending on weight, opacity and surface tension. If your packaging designers and engineers have specified a particular material, one of the challenges of maintaining consistent and repeatable results comes down to whether you’re getting what you paid for.
Up until very recently, colour consistency has remained very challenging to implement. The sheer variety of printing processes, inks and substrates have created a significant challenge for brand owners and converters to achieve colour consistency. Some substrates, such as paperboard and corrugated cardboard, are more absorbent, affecting how the colour of the substrate itself interacts with the ink and affects the colour. The substrate isn’t the only consideration either – there are various printing processes, from offset, flexo and gravure to digital printing, and all use different types of inks.
What are usually called “Special Inks” is referred to as Pantone colours. Pantone is a catalogue of colour for printing. To know what a Pantone colour (called PMS for short) looks like, you need to look at a Pantone book. PMS colours will also look very different whether they are Coated (inks reverse printed on clear film) or Uncoated (inks surface printed on paper). PMS colours are meant to print precisely like a chip on the book.
Manufacturers can access Pantone spectral data in PantoneLIVE Production directly through X-Rite Color iMatch formulation software. These solutions provide an integrated connected colour workflow designed to ensure accurate colour formulation and quality control for PANTONE Colors.
Before you request a quote, you need to ask the printer if they can use Pantone colours, and if so, how many inks total can be printed. Keep in mind large quantities always keep prices low; if you’re going to do a short run, it might not be worth it.
If you’re printing a lot of a specific PMS colour, it’s always a good idea to ask for “ink draw-downs”. These are proofs of colour printed on the actual substrate. This is really important because the natural colour of the substrate will affect colour tonality.
If your brand is looking to invest in quality packaging, we will guide you through the entire print process. Providing recommendations along the way to improve efficiency, reduce costs and add untold value to the end product.