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Farrow & Ball Digital Colour Match Challenge

Consistent Colour Every Time

The development team at Amberley had to work hard to overcome Farrow & Ball’s concerns about the colour matching capability of digital print but the potential benefits to the customer were so enticing that a sustained collaborative approach was agreed. They are now receiving a high quality consistent product as well as reaping many other significant supply chain benefits that digital printing offers.

Farrow & Ball the leading manufacturer of heritage, fine quality paints, set Amberley one of their toughest challenges to-date when they took the decision to move their colour match labels from conventional to digital print.

Farrow & Ball sells a wide range of 100ml samples pots of their signature Estate Emulsion finish, to allow their consumers the opportunity to see how a colour looks throughout the day in the room they intend to paint. Each sample pot features a colour matched label to guide them as to the paint colour contained within each tin.

Until recently each of the sample pot labels were printed separately on a conventional press with each variant requiring individual plates and ink mixes.

Many of the run lengths were short, resulting in very high “make ready” costs and material wastage.

Colour Match Challenges

A move to digital printing would overcome many of these issues, but colour matching was critical to the customer and this needed resolving, as Graham Backhouse, Sales & Marketing Director, explains, “As none of the paint colours matched to pantone references, we took the customer’s high quality paint cards and scanned the colours using a spectrophotometer. We created and adjusted the colour profiles for each paint colour and then using our high quality digital press produced a pantone style colour book before submitting to the customer for evaluation and approval.”

But another significant hurdle had to be negotiated by the team at Amberley. The special tinplate design used by Farrow & Ball was having a negative show through impact on colour reproduction, so a high gauge 120 micron PP self-adhesive substrate was recommended and used as a “block-out barrier” to eliminate this problem.

Graham continues “From the outset we made every effort to demonstrate the potential and characteristics of the digital printing process and to allay any initial concerns. The team here worked in close partnership with the client throughout the process and achieved a first class result. By using the latest HP Digital printing technology colour consistency is greatly improved and because of the perfect colour to colour register of the digital press the label actually has a cleaner look.”

Achieving Consistent Colour

Farrow & Ball commented “Our paints are rigorously tested to the highest standards to ensure uncompromising accuracy of colour. This assurance would have been be compromised if the paint colour could not be replicated on the label. Our initial concerns about the colour matching capability of digital print were quickly dispelled by the team at Amberley and we are now receiving a high quality consistent product as well as reaping many other significant supply chain benefits that digital printing offers us.”

 

 

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  • “The customer is now able to order much smaller quantities to reach the same price point and we can run several colours side by side and vary the combination each time we print thereby reducing both make-ready time, inventory and material usage significantly.”