By David Callif, President of BCM INKS
What do family reunions, sustainable business practices, and color communication management have in common? Quite a lot if you happen to be a member of my family or a reader of this newsletter.
This summer my family held its annual family reunion in Columbus, Ohio. This is where I was born and spent the first 22 years of my life. This year’s family reunion was different from previous years. The reason? My brother, Steve, who is a professional comedian and singer/songwriter did not perform and my first cousin brought her new boyfriend.
My cousin’s boyfriend is an interesting individual. He’s an amateur motorsport racer and happens to be in charge of quality, R&D, and technical services for a Fortune 1000 company. He was easy to talk to and in the course of our conversation he mentioned that his company was having difficulty getting consistent color from their various corrugated box suppliers. He wanted to know the answers to several questions. They were:
- What is a reasonable color standard deviation? I said a Delta E of 1.5-2.0.
- How could he make his boxes more “green”? I offered various suggestions from lightweighting to using BCM’s Eekoflex inks.
- What corrugated printers would I recommend in their geographical region? If you receive a call, you’ll know you were recommended!
This encounter got me thinking about our industry. We need to do a better job of education – education about sustainable business practices and color communication management. Therefore, this issue of BCM’s “Ink Link” addresses sustainability and color communication management. We, as an industry, are fortunate to have two distinguished contributors in this newsletter to speak on these topics.
The first is Wendy Jedlicka, president of Jedlicka Design, Ltd. and author/contributing editor of two books on sustainability: Packaging Sustainability and the upcoming Sustainable Graphic Design (with my son, Rob Callif, as a contributing author). She also contributes the regular “Sustainable Update” feature for “Package Design” magazine.
Wendy’s “Ink Link” article entitled “Why Bother?” speaks to the benefits of a sustainable business model.
The second distinguished contributor is BCM’s own Sales/Technical Director, Scott Miller.
Scott has over 20 years color prepress and graphic design experience. His article is entitled “Color Communication Management”.
This year’s family reunion was memorable. Besides my 50 year old cousin Jeff announcing his basketball retirement for 2015, I left the reunion feeling good that I was able to help pass along some knowledge. In my opinion, this is how we should look at “sustainable” initiatives. They’re good for business, socially correct, and can make you feel better. For example, a recent “Packaging Digest” news blurb stated that a recent study by DuPont anticipates sustainable packaging to grow 25-30% annually compared
with the overall packaging industry’s growth rate of 4%. Based upon business potential alone, why wouldn’t everyone want to make an effort to become “green”?
BCM Inks can help in this endeavor. We have the ink products and processes. Recent ways BCM has followed a green path are:
- BCM developed a fast dry version of Eekoflex ink with extremely low VOCs.
- BCM formulated a UV varnish that contains approximately 50% renewable
resources and is ITX & Benzophenone free.
- BCM became the first ink company to become a SGP Patron (Sustainable Green
Printing Partnership). To learn more about SGP and the positive work they are
doing for the industry, visit their website at www.sgppartnership.org.
- BCM installed energy efficient lights throughout the plant and offices. The
installation will reduce energy usage by approximately 33%.
Have a great summer,
By Wendy Jedlicka, CPP
The old ways of popping-out this week’s brilliant idea and then churning them out by the container-load in spite of the consequences, still works great, so why bother changing? Manufacturers, their creative service vendors, and the consumer all play a part in this scene, and fear is one of the key factors in why change is slow to arrive. Fear felt by the consumer that the unfamiliar product isn’t as good (or what they’re used to) — coupled with fear of wasting their ever-stretched dollar. Fear felt by the manufacturer that the consumer won’t accept the new product. And fear by the manufacturer’s creative service vendors of loosing the account for stepping too far out of the norm. Yet innovation is about embracing fear and using it to motivate change.
In the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP / 2002 Sustainability Survey Report, the idea that NOT adopting green business practices was the thing to fear, as that inaction would have an adverse effect on consumer perception — negatively impacting their market share. One of the not so quietly mumbled fears within industry is that if it does NOT adopt sustainable business practices, they will be legislated into action any way — and certainly
not in any way that they would like. We’re already seeing this happening not only on a government level in markets that buy US goods. But in the US, companies like Wal-Mart have launched initiatives to track and disclose environmental impact information — in effect pushing out the shortsighted to make room for vendors that share their goals to improve environmental performance both in their operations and on their store shelves.
The farsighted, it must be noted, have already recognized these trends and work hard to stay ahead of this curve to be best positioned as change advantages and technologies evolve.
One of the things that’s been a surprising bonus in the move toward a more sustainable business model and market, is that sustainability is quickly becoming the common language for business. The tower of babble that was the norm of conference rooms everywhere, with each corner of a company speaking their own language and pressing for their own needs — is now becoming united in some sort of vision, with shared goals and ethics. Forward thinking companies too, are recognizing the advantages found in
including all stakeholders in the start of the product design process-creating products that are much more producible, and require significantly less one-off fixes, or energy and logistics inefficiencies that quickly compound to become huge cost overruns — AND increasing employee satisfaction, reducing turnover and all the costly training time that goes with loosing good people and constantly having to bring new ones up-to-speed.
Today, we have the opportunity to “get it right this time,” rather than just stumble along —every new project is an opportunity for innovation, increased market share, or a chance to add to natural capital (putting back resources we’ve blasted through) — redefining the way we will live over the next hundred years and beyond. Sustainability is hope, it’s exciting,
and it’s a complete paradigm shift. For those willing to get in there and go for it, there has never been a better time to create real, lasting, and positive change.
To understand more about how the shift toward sustainability works on a variety of levels (business, marketing, production), here are two new books written in plain language, filled with case studies and resources to help frame-up action plans to deal with these increasingly complex and important issues…
Packaging Sustainability: Tools, Systems and Strategies for Innovative Package Design
Sustainable Graphic Design: Tools, Systems and Strategies for Innovative Print Design
Color Communication Management
By Scott Miller, Sales/Technical Director of BCM INKS
Pantone Formula Guides are commonly used to communicate color. Although these guides are widely used in concept, design and manufacturing, you should be aware of some inherent issues, as it relates to flexographic printing.
First and foremost, the Pantone Formula Guides are printed with an offset press, so there will be differences in appearance, when comparing to flexographic print. In many cases,the colors printed in the Pantone Formula Guide will not be achievable. Flexographic printing has many variables that may limit the amount of ink that is applied to thesubstrate. Chroma or saturation of a desired color may, in many cases, be out of reach.
Substrate also plays a major roll in matching color. The Pantone Formula Guides are printed on a high-hold out, white opaque paper. Again, the chroma or saturation of color
may not be achievable with a substrate that is more absorbent and less white.
The fact that these Pantone Formula Guides are printed will result in some fluctuation from guide-to-guide (due to normal print variation). In addition, the guides age and versions have been updated. Ensuring you are using the latest version and replacing your guides annually is extremely important. Which brings up another point…make sure you’re talking apples-to-apples. If communicating color with others, make sure their Pantone Formula
Guide’s are current. Otherwise matching colors may be quite difficult, considering the fact that referenced colors are not in alignment with an outdated book.
Keep in mind Pantone Formula Guides are just that…GUIDES. They are very useful tools, but understanding the limitations is important when communicating color accurately.
Using these guides press side can be quite costly, if some of these issues have not been dealt with accordingly. Costs associated with loss press time and wasted materials attempting to print a color that is unachievable can be avoided. Making sure your colors are formulated with the proper anilox roll and substrate is essential. In addition, the costs related to an unhappy customer can not be measured. Make certain your customer understands what they are going to get before you go to press. Providing your customer
with accurate draw downs explaining why their original target is unachievable, ensures they will not have false expectations press side. Having your customer sign off on the draw downs and having those draw downs press side will eliminate any chance of miscommunication. Measuring the signed off draw down with a spectrophotometer and
utilizing a spectrophotometer during the press run(s) will allow you to quickly and accurately match the desired color each and every time. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about color communication management.