Pad print ink color matching is a hugely important aspect of pad print decoration.
Brands from nearly every industry rely on color to properly convey instructions and indication marking as well as to reinforce their brand presence. Color variations, even slight ones, from product to product undermine brand consistency and impact.
Proper pad print decoration requires a high-precision color match from batch to batch to batch.
Previously, it was common practice to rely on the human eye to measure color matching. This approach was highly unreliable as the perception of color could change due to environmental factors (such as the amount of light available in different locations or different times of day) as well as human factors (like the fact that people do not all perceive color the same way so different team members could have different perceptions of a color).
Advancements in computer technology and spectrophotometers have allowed pad print ink color matching to become much more precise. Numerical values and tolerance limits can be set and measured.
For over 25 years, Trans Tech has invested in the latest cutting-edge spectrophotometer technology. We currently use two spectrophotometers to ensure our customers receive a precise color performance batch after batch with the highest accuracy.
All color batches are kept to within a delta E color variance of 2 or less!
Another key benefit of digital color matching is that custom color formulas are kept on file, ready for next time – ensuring absolute color consistency from batch to batch.
A spectrophotometer measures the light reflectance at many points on a visual spectrum. The result of a spectrophotometer measurement is called a color curve. Each color has its own unique curve based on chroma, hue, and value. Chroma is the vividness or dullness of the color. Hue refers to how color is perceived by the human eye. Value is the degree of lightness or intensity of the color. Taken together, these three attributes make possible precise color categorization and matching.
Precision color matching requires careful consideration of a large number of factors, including:
1. Substrate Characteristics
Characteristics such as substrate texture/finish and base color play a key role in color matching.
2. Ink Composition
This includes additives such as hardeners or thinners used in the ink.
3. Desired Opacity
Desired opacity may require a single print hit or multiple hits to achieve. Because a very small amount of ink is used in the pad printing process, decorating (particularly on darker substrates) may require several hits to achieve. Ink professionals balance your desired opacity with the additives required for your durability and other performance requirements to recommend an optimal ink solution.
4. Color Match Process
What process was used (for example – offset, screen printing, pad printing) to produce the color master (color swatch) being matched?
For decades, Trans Tech has been a global market leader in high-precision pad print ink color matching. The experts in the Trans Tech Ink Lab can take a close look at both your color matching and other ink performance requirements. They can produce not only a high-precision color match but an ink that combines this color match with all your other performance requirements (like chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, etc.)
Please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.