Slough-based All Print Suppliers (APS) has developed a free-to-use online colour swatch enabling signmakers to match a coated pantone number to a self-adhesive colour vinyl.
The digital swatch, which will be followed by the launch of a physical version retailing at £40, is available on the APS website, where sign and display printers can enter a pantone code.
They will be presented with a product code for the best-available vinyl match, a quality star-rating, a description of the film, adhesive and its outdoor performance. Users can order a sample, which will be delivered the next working day.
The Vinyl Colour Formula Guide’s rating system ranges from one star for a fair-to-poor match, to three stars for an excellent-to-good match.
APS said that it estimates 2,000 hours have been invested in developing the service.
APS managing director Kevin Wallace said: "This has never been done before and, until now, signmakers trying to match colours for vinyl lettering and displays would need a colour swatch from each manufacturer in every range.
"That could be up to 30 swatches, which they would then have to go through manually to find the nearest standard vinyl shade to the pantone number.
"A near impossible task and entirely dependant on the signmaker having a good eye for colour; and even with a strong understanding of colour, generally the match would be made under ambient lighting conditions, which can be very misleading."
Rather than relying on human colour perception, the system was designed by measuring every pantone colour and vinyl colour with a high-speed spectrophotometer, which compared the Delta E colour difference (distance between the two colours in three-dimensional colour space).
This was used as the basis of a visual colour match conducted by two colour technicians in a pantone viewing laboratory.Tweet
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