4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2015 9:05 PM by IdamIndia

    UK FOGRA39 vs U.S. Web Coated Swap v2

    MDFB

      Hello everyone, I think I'm really close to understanding colour profiles and need a little more of your support in my conclusions.

       

      Story in brief. I'm a Marketing Manager in the UK and have come into a role not knowing the values of the corporate blue. I finally contacted the litho print company who told me the values were:

       

      C = 100

      Y = 70

      Y = 0

      K = 10


      So I set about creating a large number of illustrations but using CMYK Coated FOGRA39 (ISO 12647-2:2004) because, according to everything I've read, this is the correct profile setting for UK.


      I then noticed there was a small colour variance compared with previous artwork..so I checked with the printer who looked up the profile and it was set a U.S. Web Coated Swap v2.


      Now, I've asked the printer the following questions and he admitted that it's too complicated a question for him - and that he didn't know.

       

      (A) Should I be using FOGRA39 (ISO 12647-2:2004) in the UK. From what I read this is 100% best practise in the UK because it is correct and most people mistakenly end up using US SWOP because it's default in the Adobe Suite.

       

      (B) Here's what I did next. I created the blue 100,70,0,10 under U.S. Web Coated Swap v2, I then copied it into a FOGRA39 (ISO 12647-2:2004) profile document preserving colours and the resulting CMYK values were:

       

      C = 100

      M = 67

      Y = 6

      K = 0

       

      So, it's my understanding that if I use FOGRA..then 100,67,6,0 will produce the same results compared to if I used SWOP...100,70,0,10.

       

      Am I right? On screen the colours are indentical.

       

      (C) A general question here re style guides. Am I right in saying that unless the colour values/numbers are supplied with the profile in which they were created  then it's impossible to know whether a colour will be correct or not.

       

      I feel like I've come a long way on this...hopefully I'm bang on.

       

      Many thanks,

       

      Matthew.

        • 1. Re: UK FOGRA39 vs U.S. Web Coated Swap v2
          jdanek Level 4

          CMYK color is vulnerable to many variables.  The comparison between FOGRA and SWOP illustrates this perfectly.  Here are my thoughts...

           

          (A) Should I be using FOGRA39 (ISO 12647-2:2004) in the UK. From what I read this is 100% best practise in the UK because it is correct and most people mistakenly end up using US SWOP because it's default in the Adobe Suite.


          - Use whatever the print vendor requests because their RIP, their computer-to-plate equipment, and their printing press will determine which is more appropriate.  If they want FOGRA, give it to them.

           

          (B) Here's what I did next. I created the blue 100,70,0,10 under U.S. Web Coated Swap v2, I then copied it into a FOGRA39 (ISO 12647-2:2004) profile document preserving colours and the resulting CMYK values were:

           

          C = 100

          M = 67

          Y = 6

          K = 0

           

          So, it's my understanding that if I use FOGRA..then 100,67,6,0 will produce the same results compared to if I used SWOP...100,70,0,10.

           

          Am I right? On screen the colours are indentical.

           

          - No.  Because one CMYK has no Black and one does.  If you do not see a difference on-screen, then something is wrong.  The 100C, 67M, 6Y, 0K is lighter and a bit more Yellow ( because of the 6%Y ) vs. the 100C, 70M, 0Y, and 10K is going to be darker and cooler.  These two colors will definitely print differently on press.  Have you determined your company's Blue Spot Color? 

           

          (C) A general question here re style guides. Am I right in saying that unless the colour values/numbers are supplied with theprofile in which they were created  then it's impossible to know whether a colour will be correct or not.

           

          I feel like I've come a long way on this...hopefully I'm bang on.

           

          - You have the responsibility to inform the style guide user what profile you are using and what CMYK percentages are to be used on press.  You should also determine a Spot Color to be used because most corporate identity is based on Spot Color, not CMYK percentages.  I used your 100C, 70M, 0Y, and 10K values to determine a Spot Color 653C.  However, my version of Photoshop uses SWOP Coated v2 as its working CMYK profile.  In a way, you are correct when you say " it's impossible to know whether a colour will be correct or not", but consistency works in your favor.  If you determine that a large amount of vendors are now using SWOP v2 as their working CMYK profile, then use it in your applications and style guide.  If they don't, then follow their lead and stay with FOGRA.  You can always apply a vendor's profile requirement in your application when creating the document.

          • 2. Re: UK FOGRA39 vs U.S. Web Coated Swap v2
            Dominik Sourcé

            No.  Because one CMYK has no Black and one does.  If you do not see a difference on-screen, then something is wrong.

             

            That’s not quite true. If you test this yourself you will see that the OP was absolutely right. I can confirm those values (with rel. col. RI and BPC turned on) and they look exactly the same on screen. Thankfully, because this is what colormanagement is all about.

            These two colors will definitely print differently on press.

             

            This is probably true, allthough in plain theory they shouldn’t. But as we all know, things often are a bit different in the real world compared to theory.

            Anyway, from a colorimetric point of view this (100,67,6,0) is the best possible conversion.

             

            @MDFB

            So, it's my understanding that if I use FOGRA..then 100,67,6,0 will produce the same results compared to if I used SWOP...100,70,0,10.

            Yes. You definitely understood the concept. But as I said, this is what happens in theory.

            • 3. Re: UK FOGRA39 vs U.S. Web Coated Swap v2
              thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              Just because two colors look the same on-screen, doesn't mean they will necessarily match on print.

              The correct numbers are those whoever printing the job has designed and hopefully described by an ICC profile. Get the profile, convert the data, no ambiguity.

              • 4. Re: UK FOGRA39 vs U.S. Web Coated Swap v2
                IdamIndia

                You are a vicitim of brand color being happily defined by just some values, being printed with an output profile, and people being happy with the color they saw on the print.

                 

                Numbers give a sense of absoluteness. Not knowing color management, color defined as numbers gives most people a feel of certainty.

                I often come accross colors defined as numbers R G B. And they "seem" happy. Without the gamut these numbers dont mean anything real (=inconsistent color).

                 

                I suggest:

                1. Set a 2 docs with different output profiles (SWOP and FOGRA)

                2. In each doc, create blues swatches:

                - using CMYK (100, 67, 6, 0)

                - using (100, 70, 0, 10)

                - a spot color (Pantone colors?)

                you can add more colros from Pantone if you like.

                3. Print these docs and settle on your "blue" and make it your brand blue.