Epson Insights

Extended Color Gamut in Digital Label Printing

EpsonMay 17, 2021

Color is critical in label printing. The right tones reflect a brand’s identity, provide a sense of familiarity, and can suggest a level of product quality. While many printers employ a four-color CMYK — that is, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black — ink set, and add custom spot colors, an extended color gamut (ECG) comes with serious advantages. 

An ECG expands the color palette you can print, usually by adding orange, green, and violet. Orange is often the first addition of choice, as it helps hit flesh tones, reds, and browns. And while achieving color accuracy may be an ECG’s most immediate benefit, in the background, it’s also quietly powering greater efficiencies.

Staying true to color

CMYK works for most applications, but it has limitations. Four inks can only capture about 60% Pantone colors within a standard tolerance. Compare that to an ECG, which can print more than 90% within the same tolerance. Instead of trying to bridge that gap through customized spot colors, printing with an ECG means being confident that the print run output will accurately reflect the proof colors. Plus, by pre-setting and standardizing colors, you can get them right — every time.

Some may argue that mixing custom ink spots comes with a greater degree of control. However, it’s far outweighed by the other key benefit that ECG provides: a boost in productivity.

Turbocharging productivity

In ECG, the inks are digitally premixed in the prepress, so there’s no need to physically mix custom inks. That means that you don’t need spot ink inventory, need to change the inks, or clean the presses before every job. Especially if you have a lot of shorter or mid-size print runs, changeover time can be drastically cut down. Overall, the process saves time, energy, and costs, all while reducing waste from sampling. 

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