(Excerpt from SGIA article, Product Weathering Becomes Visual. Full article here.)
Most of the work done in weathering inks and media for screen printing has revolved around the printing of spot or solid colors. This was appropriate for sign painting, but it is less than adequate for modern full color images. Most printed images today are reproduced with CMYK inks. It is uncommon for a full-color image today to have large solid areas of just C, M or Y. We do know that when we weather a tonal ramp with the different dot percentages of C, M, Y or K, that the lighter tones will degrade much faster than the solid areas. Most full-color images have a near infinite number of colors trapping each other in varying degrees. We know that the magenta and yellow degrade much faster than the cyan and black. All this combined means that traditional solid color weathering is not applicable to process color images.
The Nazdar Consulting Group worked to define and prove a solution to this problem. Development of our solution has taken years as the work was done with both real time and accelerated weathering samples. We have used our color management experience to generate accurate GamutBased Image Predictor profiles. This has been collaboration over the course of years. Instead of weathering solid patches of color, we weather the full tonal range of CMYK color in order to create a full color, full tonal range rendering of how color will degrade in all colors, at all different tonal and color build ranges.
Color weathering data is now real and most importantly, visual. The GamutBased Image Predictor (GIPz)is created by applying weathering profiles that have been created from actual weathering data showing one year increments of weathering for a particular ink media combination.
In the art department, a designer can apply a weathering profile to images in the design stages in order to make the best choice of colors in backgrounds, skin tones, foods and product placement that will have the longest lasting acceptable color. Accurate color proofs can be generated prior to approving a job for sales presentations. This can help the sales group to visually sell more durable constructions, or maybe even less durable ones for some applications. Multiple year weathering profiles allow a printer to replace a damaged panel on an older installation with accuracy. Most important, the weathering information can be applied visually to images prior to production.