Own your color data for superior consistency

By Garren Parker, Vice President 3D Color

For mass brands — particularly those with global reach — ensuring color consistency is among a brand owner’s most important priorities. Color speaks directly to the eye, establishing a brand impression more powerfully than words ever could. Flawless color execution amplifies this power on a global scale, while poor execution does the opposite, degrading equity and eroding the perception of value.

Given the technical complexity of color management on press, brand owners must entrust this critical responsibility to specialized partners — traditionally, the color separators and print technicians at large-scale production houses. These partners translate a provided color target into a spectrophotometric data set or “recipe” for accurately reproducing the color on their specific equipment and substrate. 

Accurate color data is the golden ticket to flawless scaled execution. Yet maintaining this accuracy on a large-scale initiative can be a challenge, with dozens of printers around the country (or around the world) iterating and experimenting independently in pursuit of the same target. 

At 3D Color, we approach this process in a different way. Rather than leave print production companies to solve color data independently, we help by taking responsibility  for color consistency far upstream, at the prototyping phase. In addition to delivering world-class comps that realize our clients’ creative packaging vision, we also deliver a complete color data package built with the Pantone ColorCert system, specifically designed to ensure flawless fidelity from original design through scaled production.

In our unique model, brand owners enter the print production process with far more than a subjective creative design target; they’re armed with a comprehensive, data-rich package of “color recipes” for success. Rather than starting from scratch, printers begin with established quantitative color targets already in hand. Multiple print partners can work to a single unified standard, driving efficiency, consistency and accountability into the critical “last mile” of packaging realization. The result: faster speed to press, less churn, and higher quality finished output.

In comparison to sourcing color data through printers, upstream color data control with 3D Color brings three main advantages:

1. Precision is our specialty. Scaled production printers are in the business of speed and volume. While color matching is their obligation, it’s not their primary competency — and indeed, every extra hour spent on nuanced color refinement cuts into their bottom line. As a prototyping house, 3D Color is fully dedicated to the discipline of precision color execution. Excellence in this area is baked into our business model and our customer value proposition. 

2. We are advocates for Design. Too often, we’ve seen clients invest months of research and hundreds of thousands of dollars in creative development, only to see the vision falter at the eleventh hour on press because a particular design treatment was deemed “impossible” to replicate at scale. By solving issues of consistency and scalability way upstream, and providing documented recipes for success, we remove these barriers and eliminate these risks, helping printers produce on-target work within the financial constraints of the project .

3. Our clients own their color data. By delivering a complete color data package with every comp, we give our clients greater influence over their press outcomes, increasing the likelihood of successful scaled execution regardless of variations in printers and substrates. 

Our team includes some of the industry’s best designers, engineers and print technicians, all dedicated to one thing: helping brands realize their unique creative vision. If you’d like to learn more about how our approach to color data can elevate your packaging, please reach out to me at garren.p@3dcolor.com or clientsuccess@3dcolor.com.

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