Graphics - Facts about On-Demand Prints

FACTS ABOUT ON-DEMAND PRINTS

Sheet Features

Available as coated simulations for any of our On-Demand Print products are 2,007 Pantone Matching System®(PMS®) Colors, digitally printed onto Epson Proofing Paper White Semi-matte with an Epson SureColor.

The total 2,007 PMS colors include 1,853 from our Pantone Formula Guide Coated and 154 Pastel colors from our Pantone Pastels & Neons Coated fan decks.

Pantone Simulator Prints offer either 35, 1”x 1-3/8” adhesive chips or five rows of your chosen PMS Solid Coated color(s) shown digitally simulated on up to five different most popular packaging substrates.

Pantone Sticker Chips offer 35, 1”x 1-3/8” adhesive chips of up to five different PMS Solid Coated color(s).

Pantone Super Swatches offer one large 8”x7” color block of your choice of PMS Solid Coated colors.

Pantone Super Chips allow your choice of up to six of the same or different PMS colors as 2.5”w x 3-7/8” removable chips in the order you like so they are easily compared side-by-side.

To ensure the best results in color communication and reproduction, always use PantoneLIVE digital color data and share actual Simulator print paper color chips with stakeholders and throughout your supply chain.

Technical Notes

What Does “Out of Gamut” Mean For On-Demand Prints?

On-Demand Print products are printed using an Epson SureColor P7000 printer driven by Esko Pack Proof with an achievability goal of ~1.0 Delta-E 2000 or less. We continually strive to improve overall performance, not only in this product but also in everything we provide to our customers, by leveraging advances in technology and expertise.

However, digital printer gamut limitations combined with particular color characteristics can sometimes limit accurate reproductions. Highly chromatic colors, very light, or dark colors, that are achievable using a specific printing process, may not be reproducible on a digital printer. These colors are more sensitive to the limitations of printer calibration, characterization, and performance.

Please note, our selected tolerance goal aims for the most ideal color matching possible. However, sometimes values produced are slightly higher than our target Delta-E range. Although there may be a slight visible variance, they are still ¬useful for color guidance and inspiration.

  • Paper – On-Demand Print products are printed using Epson Proofing Paper White Semimatte, an optical brightener–free 10mil naturally bright white base.
  • Pantone Color definition – Each Pantone color is defined as spectral data from PantoneLIVE added as a spot color to the Pantone Simulator job file, and rendered using Esko Pack Proof.
  • Calibration – Performed according to Esko’s recommended calibration procedures to maintain accuracy.
  • Print Specifications – Aim to target full gamut of Epson SureColor P7000, with Epson Proofing Paper White Semi-matte, and the Epson UltraChrome® HDX ten-color pigmented ink set.

Within the 1,867 PMS Colors, (as found in our Pantone Formula Guide Coated), 14 are metallic and neon. These colors cannot be reproduced accurately using a ten-color process.

On-Demand Print products are currently available for coated simulations – uncoated is not yet supported.

Variables

There are many variables in the digital print process that can affect color reproduction. Some factors that can contribute to variability include:

  • Type of Pantone Color
  • Calibration
  • RIP
  • Viewing conditions (simulated D50 light booth recommended)
  • Age of printed proof/sample
  • Type of inks
  • Type and age of paper

Which Colors Are "Out of Gamut" For On-Demand Prints?

Out of gamut colors are shown on product page order forms with accompanying warning icons, in gray color print, and inability to be selected and purchased at this time due to unavoidable limitations of digital printing. As Pantone strives to offer our customers only the best, closest possible achievable colors, out of gamut colors over Delta-E 2000 > 2.0 are considered too far from target and not the best user experience. As technology is ever-improving, these colors may become available in the future as adaptation of digital printing variables become more favorable.

COLOR NAME
Δ-E 2000
COLOR NAME
Δ-E 2000
COLOR NAME
Δ-E 2000
PANTONE Purple C
4.57
PANTONE 246 C
3.61
PANTONE 3517 C
3.58
PANTONE 252 C
3.49
PANTONE Violet C
3.36
PANTONE 2727 C
3.08
PANTONE 226 C
3.04
PANTONE Rubine Red C
2.98
PANTONE 3564 C
2.79
PANTONE 2083 C
2.71
PANTONE 245 C
2.64
PANTONE 238 C
2.52
PANTONE 2385 C
2.49
PANTONE 410 C
2.49
PANTONE 2375 C
2.47
PANTONE 2184 C
2.44
PANTONE 404 C
2.4
PANTONE Warm Gray 9 C
2.38
PANTONE 409 C
2.37
PANTONE 239 C
2.35
PANTONE Warm Gray 10 C
2.3
PANTONE 3005 C
2.25
PANTONE 1265 C
2.21
PANTONE 439 C
2.21
PANTONE 2361 C
2.19
PANTONE 285 C
2.17
PANTONE 436 C
2.17
PANTONE 2195 C
2.15
PANTONE 2194 C
2.14
PANTONE 528 C
2.11
PANTONE 438 C
2.09
PANTONE 2395 C
2.07
PANTONE Black 6 C
2.05
PANTONE 7544 C
2.03

On-Demand Prints: When Should You Use Them Over Guides or Paper Chips?

  • Guides and paper chips give you all of our colors to easily reference and share, but remember, due to handling, fading and aging your guide colors will appear inaccurate over time and size and format can be limiting
  • Color is shipped within hours of printing and ensured to measure within <1 Delta-E 2000 of the Master Standards

SIMULATOR PRINTS

  • See how your color can change when printed using different processes and on various substrates (by selecting an appropriate dependent standard printing condition) so you can make adjustments before sending files out for production
  • Set color shift expectations by sharing Pantone Simulator Prints with your production partners
  • Pantone Simulator Prints allow availability of any PMS Color as a sheet of adhesive sticker chips

STICKER CHIPS

  • Order just the specific PMS Solid Coated colors you need - either 35 chips of a single color or up to 5 different colors per sheet (not including neons or metallics)
  • Sticker Chips are available at 1”x 1-3/8” sizes – larger than current Solid Chips and also adhesive
  • Sticker Chips are perfect for adhering color into sketchbooks and onto presentations

SUPER SWATCHES

  • Super Swatches offer the largest amount of single PMS Solid Coated reference color areas – 8”x7” - available today
  • Use for better visualization of your specific color onto packaging and large printed projects
  • Use for understanding lighting and contrast effects when compared in different environments and alongside other colors
  • Use to optimize color communication for brand colors and color palettes in meetings and with stakeholders

SUPER CHIPS

  • Ultra fine perforation for easy chip separation and removal from page
  • Provides ample color space for easy color, contrast, and light effects evaluation
  • Ideal larger format promotes easier communication in meetings, on mood boards, and in presentations
  • Chips are perfect for sharing, shipping, and leaving behind

Why Doesn’t My Guide Color Match My Digital Print Color?

On-Demand Prints and our printed guides are produced from the same master digital data, although some variance in the color can sometimes be expected for the following reasons:

  1. On-Demand Prints and our printed guides are printed on different substrates, different inks, and using different printing processes
  2. Over time, due to specific pigment types, exposure, and paper yellowing, printed colors can fade or lose quality. Make sure you are only comparing publications under 12 months of age
  3. Always consider the possibility of metameric effects and review color under proper lighting and viewing conditions

To achieve best consistency throughout the color management process and among supply chain partners, Pantone recommends using the digital data as a standard as it never changes. However, a visual reference is usually necessary and used in the approval process.

Consider using as your visual reference the output that best replicates your intended media and printing process for final production and then continue with that reference through the entire workflow.

When in doubt, default to the Simulator print as they ship within 24-48 hours of production and are within minimal Delta-E 2000 variance of the master digital data. Digital data is readily available at anytime, anywhere in the world with PantoneLIVE.

Note: Colors with significant deviations are disabled for the Simulator prints product.

What is a Substrate?

A substrate is a term that generally describes any base material onto which print ink will be applied, such as paper, film/plastic, cardstock, etc.

What is a Delta-E (dE or ΔE)?

Delta-E is a measurement of the visual distance between two given colors as they appear to the human eye. As a quick rule of thumb:

< 1dE = color variance not visually perceptible

1 – 2dE = barely noticeable color variance can be detected through close observation

2 – 10dE = color variance can be noticed at a glance

However, those rules are just suggestions. There are some colors that are so sensitive to change that even a Delta-E of 1 will visibly show a difference. This is why the industry (and Pantone) has moved to a newer ∆E method called ∆E2000. While still not perfect, the math of ∆E2000 does a better job of matching the way the human vision sees differences in color.

What is a Master Standard?

Master standards are digital data points (color DNA) that were determined and set at the initial printing of each PMS Color when we relaunched the Pantone Matching System in 2010. These targets do not change and are based on the 1,867 colors from the Pantone Formula Guide on coated paper stock. Master standards are developed considering only one type of substrate, printing method and specific ink set, using specific press settings and methodologies. The data ensures that the color is consistently reproduced according to its original intent.

Why Only Coated Master Standard Colors?

Currently, our On-Demand Prints are only available on coated stock. Pantone is working on expanding the product offerings to include uncoated stock options as well.

What is a Dependent Standard?

Dependent standards are what Master standard colors can look like when printed on various relevant substrates and through different processes. These give more realistic visuals of how achievable color can look and remove subjectivity. Currently, there are 34 different dependent standard libraries available through PantoneLIVE and Simulator Prints that are most important and most widely used in the packaging industry. All libraries include spectral color data for both solid colors and tints.

To easily see how different dependent standards will change your design files within your digital workflow, check out our PantoneLIVE Visualizer.

How Do I Know Which Dependent Standard to Use?

Our PantoneLIVE dependent standards cover over 80% of all packaging applications. We’ve created a simple reference chart that will help guide you to choose the most suitable for your intended packaging structure, type, and printing process.

PACKAGING MATERIAL (DEPENDENT STANDARDS) GUIDE

Use this guide for quick reference when choosing your intended packaging material and printing method.

FSCC

Clear Label - Flexo

FSCT

Clear Label on White - Flexo

FSCW

Opaque Film Label - Flexo

FSRC

Clear Plastic Pack - Flexo

FSGB

Thick Premium Box - Flexo

FSWF

White Film Wrapper - Flexo

FUCV

Coated Paper Label - Flexo

FUWF

UV Coated White Film Label - Flexo

FVWF

White Film Label - Flexo

FWCP

Coated Paper Display - Flexo

FYBK

Brown Paper Carton - Flexo

FYWK

White Paper Bag - Flexo

FYWT

Recycled White Paper Carton - Flexo

GVCC

Clear Film Label - Gravure

GVCW

White Film Wrapper - Gravure

GVWF

White Film Bag - Gravure

LPCV

Coated Paper Label - Offset

LPEB

Recycled Paper Carton - Offset

LPGB

White Paper Box - Offset

LUCV

Coated Paper Label - Offset

LUEB

Recycled Paper Box - Offset

LUGB

Cardstock Tag - Offset

GVAH

Silver Wrapper with White Ink Base - Gravure

GVCH

Clear Wrap with White Ink Base - Gravure

GVCV

Coated Paper Label - Gravure

GVCT

Clear Wrapper with White Ink Base - Gravure

GVCA

Clear Label - Gravure

GVAE

Silver Film Pack with White Ink Base - Gravure

FUAH

Metallized Paper Label with White Ink - Flexo

FURC

Clear Film on Clear Plastic Bag - Flexo

FUCA

Clear Film with Varnish - Flexo

FUCT

Clear Film on White Base - Flexo

FUCH

Clear Film with Base White Print - Flexo

FUEB

Recycled Carton Board - Flexo

What Are the Differences Between Gravure, Offset and Flexo Printing?

Gravure Printing (Rotogravure) applies images to a substrate by way of engraving them into metal plates mounted onto cylinders. The inked cylinders transfer the images to the substrate. This is a high quality, fast method of printing but with high, one-time set up costs, so it is used primarily for long runs. Plates can be used over and over, so set-up cost can amortize if multiple runs are planned.

Offset Printing (Lithographic) transfers an inked image from a plate (usually aluminum) to a rubber blanket and then printed onto a substrate. Substrates used in offset printing must have flat surfaces. Offset requires time associated with producing plates and set-up which can become costly.

Flexographic (Flexo) Printing is a technique that uses rubber or soft plastic plates and a simple fast-drying inking system. This type of printing works well for many different substrates and is the most “flexible” process. It is suggested for most low quantity, short print runs but is also known for its ability to control and repeat at high speeds which allows for greater production volume. Set up costs will incur for each separate production run.

How Long Will My Prints Last?

Pantone On-Demand Prints are produced using high quality Epson UltraChrome HDX inks with improved light stability and extended print permanence. As per independent lightfast testing results, slight variations in color may appear over time. For optimal print longevity, Pantone recommends proper storage of your Simulator Print which should maintain color accuracy within 24 months upon receipt.

Summary

Get fast, visual reference prints to manage your color expectations when printing, developing packaging, or specifying color.

Shop Pantone On-Demand Products

PANTONE® and other Pantone trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pantone LLC in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.



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