Print.  We discuss it almost weekly.  Having reviewed print in its general sense, that is it’s evolution, the cause of a revolution, and some solutions, we are now tasked with getting down to the nitty gritty.  We must discuss print in detail in order for you to really appreciate its broader capacities.  Today we will be reviewing one such capability, high fidelity process printing and its varying methods. 

When it comes to color printing, there are various ways to go about getting the job done.  Sure, you can just hit, “Control “P” and not think about it, but what fun is that?  A lot goes into the process and the colors that run across the page you just created.  There are a few different color printing methods that are used in the print industry.  The standard process has been discussed in previous blogs and is that of the 4 color process.  The four colors being CMYK,  “A scheme for combining primary pigments. The C stands for cyan (aqua), M stands for magenta (pink), Y for yellow, and K for Key. The key color in today’s printing world is black.”  (https://www.lifewire.com/4-6-8-color-process-printing-1077448)

If one wants to really make the page jump (pop) or stand out, Hi-Fi Color Printing can be used.  This method is defined as, “Any process that increases the color gamut of an output imaging device (printer).  Usually refers to adding extra inks and plates to the traditional CMYK set to improve the color gamut of offset lithography.”  (http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/Hi-Fi_Color) Whenever offset printing is used, one can be assured that the printer is spending a greater amount of time on the project when compared to conventional printing.  Offset printing uses metal plates to press onto the paper as opposed to the drum or rollers that apply toner to paper in digital prints.  This time can make all the difference in the world when it comes to large Hi-Fi color runs.  But what are the different types of Hi-Fi Color printing, you ask?  We go to the answers found on lifewire.com for definitions and details.

6C Hexachrome

The digital Hexachrome printing process uses CMYK inks plus Orange and Green inks. With Hexachrome, you have a wider color gamut and it may produce better, more vibrant images than 4C alone.

6C Dark/Light

This six-color digital color printing process uses CMYK inks plus a lighter shade of cyan (LC) and magenta (LM) to create more photorealistic images.

8C Dark/Light

In addition to CMYK, LC, and LM this process adds a diluted yellow (LY) and black (LK) for even more photo-realism, less graininess, and smoother gradients.

So, is 8 color process printing the best out there?  Not quite! There have been even further advancements in the color printing field.  There are now 12-color printers.  In comparison to the others, “12-color printing is the most photorealistic choice, especially for large-format printing. The 12-color procedure takes the CcMmYK process and includes a shiny black (in contrast to the K black, which is matte) and an unique color “enhancer” (which is usually a kind of gloss) to enhance the look of every print. The staying colors differ depending upon the manufacturer, however in all, 12-color printing broadens on the CcMmYK color gamut by over 80%!”  (https://medium.com/@cesrprinting/6-color-vs-8-color-vs-12-color-printing-19e90fce8117)

Clearly, it is evident that there are now numerous ways to get the most out of colored prints.  If you are currently looking to have a specified piece copied, shipped, and posted all about town, it is crucial that your product look it’s best.  Being well versed on the various color printing techniques available will help you and your print expert decide which option is best suited to meet your needs.