Color excellence by understanding white backing

David Hunter, owner and founder of Pilot Marketing Group Inc and Chromachecker Corp and has 30 plus years of experience in a graphic arts and printing industry.

When it comes to accuracy and color measurements, many people know all about measurement technologies, but it’s often the little things that easily are forgotten.
Let’s talk about white backing. David. What is white backing? What do we have to pay attention to?

What is white backing?
The purpose for the proper white backing is that every paper has a certain amount of translucency, meaning that if light hits the paper, it’s going to shine through the paper and an instrument has a light in it, so when an instrument shines on the paper, what’s behind the paper greatly affects what’s returned into the instrument measurement head.

And when you’re taking multiple prints on different printers, on different substrates, and you want to know that the prints are close to one another, the effect of the backing, what’s behind the print that you’re measuring is critical to get a consistent result out of the measurement device.

What do we have to pay attention to?

It’s critical that companies follow the ISO guidelines and use a white backing in most cases in our industry for a large format. And it can’t just be any white backing. It’s got to be the ISO white backing, which is defined in the spectral curve. It’s not just a L*a*b* value, it’s literally 32 points along the spectral curve defining what that white value has to be in order for a uniform and consistent and precise value.

Having the right white backing, no matter the situation, is imperative to get color consistency across your shop as well as across the supply chain. It cannot be underestimated.

David, thank you for shining a light on the white backing topic. We understood how important the white backing is and what do we have to pay attention to!
Now it’s your turn to become a top performer with measurement technologies from Barbieri.