Colour in manufacturing

As Fascia Graphics, the UK’s leading manufacturer of graphic overlays and membrane keypads recently invested in a one click colour matching solution, Instrumentation spoke with Paul Bennett, Fascia’s Managing Director, about the importance of faster and more accurate colour matching during the manufacturing process.

Specifically, Fascia Graphics has invested in two spectrophotometers’, which will play slightly different roles, with the X-Rite eXact Standard ensuring accurate printing of both CMYK and spot colours, and the X-Rite eXact Advanced designed to support quality control. In addition, Fascia has invested in the eXact Colour iQC Professional quality assurance software, which connects with the spectrophotometers to provide the industry’s most complete sector of quality control features, streamlining colour management, reporting, and recording to maintain a centralised, cost efficient process.

 

1.    Why did you make this investment?

In short, because the colour of a product or brand is becoming increasingly important across the industry, and our customers are now more aware than ever of the importance of colour in influencing buying decisions.

The new eXact technology will also take any potential for human error when matching colours completely out of the equation – so that prior and during production – we get the colour right first time, every time. For instance, a leading medical equipment manufacturer recently approached us as they were having problems with their incumbent overlay and membrane keypad supplier – specifically with the graduation and colour registration of an overlay.

We had a close look at the problem overlay, quoted in the correct material and adhesive combination, then did some trials on the ‘graduations’. We also used our colour matching facility and technologies to replicate the colours exactly. The medical company has now placed all their business with Fascia Graphics.  

 

2.    What are the other benefits of the eXact spectrophotometers?

The eXact’s BestMatch function will help our press operators keep colour on target even before colour shifts are visible with recommendations for ink adjustments to achieve the best match, reducing waste during press runs.

The eXact is also the only instrument on the market that can capture M0, M2 and M3 measurements in a single pass, and measure true M1 Part One as specified in ISO-3664.

 

3.    How important is colour to a product?

Research has proven that we all associate colours with different emotions and actions. Red attracts danger and aggression but can also induce excitement and desire. Blue has a strong connotation with intelligence and confidence, but can also be related to coldness and depression if in the wrong hue. Thus, it is imperative to get the colour right for your brand or product, and while you may want to stand out from your competitors, you don’t want your brand to be seen as detrimental.

 

4.    What should customer consider when choosing particular colours for their brand or product?

I break this down into three key areas. First, it is important to understand the market that you will be selling/manufacturing into. For instance, in the United States, the colour white represents purity and cleanliness; however in some parts of Asia white represents mourning and sadness. Therefore, when choosing the colour, it is important to know who your target audience are, and what they care about.

Then, you need to decide on the colour that best conveys the values of your brand or product, whilst also distinguishing it from your competition. For example, if one of the attributes of your brand is independence or power, then the colour purple would be an ideal choice. However, if you want to convey a sense of creativity or joy then perhaps the colour orange would be more suited.

Thirdly, once you have decided on the colour, logo, shape and message of your brand or product you can then move on to production. At Fascia Graphics, we can advise on how your brand colour and character can be translated into a physical product. We can match to any colour system (Pantone, RAL, BS etc), or a corporate hybrid, ensuring that when printed, your labels, graphic overlays, or keypads are of the finest representation of your brand and product values.

 

5.    Finally, is colour matching to these exacting standards common in your industry?

With this investment, we have taken colour management and measurement to the next level, but it remains to be seen whether the rest of the industry will use these more buoyant times to invest in this type of market leading technology. It really has been a game changer for our business and our customers.

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