Fun with Matching
It’s never fun matching another printer’s work, specifically with full color prints. You are kind of screwed in these situations because without provided seps and reliable engineering forms or without intimate knowledge of the other printer’s methods you are just making an educated guesses and if you say forget it and simply aim to improve the print or better match the original art the customer is typically unhappy with the mismatch (no matter how much you stress the point that “your dots are so much cleaner”).
In this recent case of the “Lost Cat” design the previous printer used a traditional CMYK print method. Not going there. And yes, I had the chance to see multiple samples from the prior print run and the expected dramatic variances from print-to-print were oh so evident (we’re not all Andy Anderson). We decided to go with a standard simulated process method, manually separated. Our first attempt was pretty damn close to matching the other printer’s approved sample, a couple of adjustments and we would have been pretty much spot on. The customer decided to take the opportunity to make some changes to contrast and removing color from the highlights to give the tiger more “pop”. The changes ultimately moved the print in another direction thus making our job easier.