A few print terms you should know as they relate to color reproduction in the print process are:
- Color Control Bars: Found on a press sheet, usually at the leading edge, this is a strip of solid, percentage and patterned blocks (CMYK) that are used by the press operator as a guide to measure and check ink densities, dot gain, contrast, trapping and registration.
- Take-Off Bars: Found on a press sheet, usually on the leading edge, this is a strips ink colors used to help balance the ink across the sheet to accommodate for varying amounts of ink coverage on the printed sheet. Helps the press and press operator to balance the ink across the sheet.
- Densitometer: Electronic instrument measuring the amount of light transmitted or reflected by placing the "mark" over the ink on the press sheet. There are standard densitometer reading targets for a pressman to achieve to obtain "pleasing color" or target color accuracy.
- Wet and Dry Ink Densities: Readings, as taken by a calibrated densitometer, that indicate the ink density (how much ink is on the sheet) when the ink is wet and when the ink has dried. These readings should be recorded on the press sheet for future reference should the same project be run again in the future, and color matching be critical.
- Gray Balance: Gray balance is the perfect combination of cyan, magenta and yellow dots required to produce a neutral gray at a standard density.