Thursday, February 4, 2010

Reflex Blueberries

Would you eat blueberries while wearing an expensive white shirt or dress? Sure they may taste great, but they are exceedingly messy and stain everything they come in contact with. This is a characteristic similar to the rubbing results found in the printing of pantone color Reflex Blue. Reflex Blue is very common, as it is used to build a number of different PMS colors. However, the chemical properties of Reflex Blue make it difficult to dry on paper. Some printers will say it never completely dries, but despite this here are a few things you can do to eliminate issues if you must work with Reflex Blue:

• Do not design Reflex Blue where it will come in contact with other white space on your print project. Reflex Blue will rub if not dry and your clean white area will have blue marks all over it.
• If working with a coated sheet, aqueous coat Reflex Blue to help seal and dry it faster.
• Give your printer a few extra days to allow Reflex Blue to properly dry (ironically enough blueberries take longer to dry and dehydrate than almost any other fruit).

Also, before heading to press, be willing to compromise on color. Reflex Blue has been known to look slightly different on every single print run. This is because the chemicals it contains react with other chemicals in the printing and coating process. If you can accept that every single print run might have slightly different factors influencing it, then be willing to accept that Reflex Blue might look slightly different in appearance. Does every blueberry look the same? No, there are subtle differences in shape, color and acidity that distinguish each one you eat. Sometimes when you eat blueberries they appear to be a vibrant blue and sometimes they look bluish-purple. Expect the same with Reflex Blue. Yes, even in printing where color reproduction is a science, a Blue can look Purple!

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