Using CorelDraw to Match a Specific Colour for Sublimation.
One of the biggest problems that you can encounter when you are doing sublimation is trying to match a customer’s colour. I have to say that I am one of those that had to try and match a colour once or twice. It is not fun especially when you are using sublimation ink. Why is it hard to match a colour – especially when it looks perfect on the screen?
There are usually 7 main reasons why this can happen
1. Your printer is having a bad day
2. Your ink is having issues. It is not printing properly
3. Your material is bad
4. There is something wrong with your press uneven heat
5. Your colour could be outside the colour gamut of the sublimation ink. All ink has its limitations in the colours that it can recreate – for sublimation ink this gamut is smaller than what you see on the screen of your monitor. Thus you could be trying to recreate a colour that is non reproducible on your printer.
6. Your Monitor has not been calibrated. This is probably the main reason that most people fail when it comes to accurate colour reproduction. In a nutshell all monitors do not reproduce colours the same. Thus we need to have a 3rd party calibrating device which can measure the monitor and make adjustments so that the monitor is doing a more accurate job of displaying colours. I use the spyder by colorcal.
7. You have not loaded a ICC profile Okay I have done the first two steps and they are fine. The rest of the steps are out of the question as this job has to get out. How can I give my self a better chance of getting close to my customers colour?
Create a Rectangle and add in numbers
First create a rectangle as per Figure 1. Add in the numbers as per the figure 1 image.
Next Select the rectangle Note: If you have version 10 and 11 you can create the fill using the interactive fill. You can learn more about this feature in the article on the “Interactive Fill”.
Open The Fill Flyout
Now open up the fill fly out and select the fountain fill. See Figure 2.
Fountain Fill Dialogue Box
You will be presented with the fountain fill dialogue box as per Figure 3.
Select a Colour
Make sure that fill type is “linear” and you colour blend needs to be “two colour”.
Now select the pull down arrow in beside the colour in “from” (red box).
Click “other” in the colour chart. Figure 4 shows you the colour selector box.
Make sure that your model is RGB not CMYK – forget what they told you.
I set the hues to “pentagon” and the variation to “lighter”. There are different combinations in the variation pull down menu that allows you to experiment with colour combinations.
Select the blue that you want to start with. For this case it is the darker blue (blue box on the far left).
Now you are back at Figure 3. Select the “To” pull down menu. Repeat the same steps but you now can select a lighter colour which should be on a box that is to the right side in Figure 4.
Select Okay to accept the linear fill.
Now print out the rectangle onto your sublimation paper.
Print it on your substrate.
Take the printed substrate and hold the printed sheet up to the monitor screen and align the numbers up that appear on the printed substrate and the monitor. Now pick a colour that you feel is the right colour on your substrate and find the number it aligns up with on the printed substrate – let us say it is the five to the end of the sheet.
Select The Eye Dropper
Now select your eye dropper tool –see figure 5.
Sample The Colour
Come out and “sample” click on the area – that aligns up with the 5 we picked in our previous step – to get your colour which is displayed in the bottom right hand of your screen – see Figure 6.
You can now write down the numbers and when you do the fill on your image just put in those numbers.
For example delete the fill you created in the first step. Now click on the rectangle to select it.
Click the Fill Box
Now click on the fill box – figure 7.
You will be presented with the following dialogue box. See Figure 8
Make sure your colour model is RGB.
Type in the numbers that you got from the bottom of the screen in CorelDraw figure 6. Type them into the red boxed area in Figure 8.
At a recent seminar I was giving I showed this technique one of the attendees added an easier way of helping the customer pick the proper colour that they wanted and to make it easier for them to convey this to you. Create the fill and numbers the way we did in figure 6
Select The Graph Paper Command
Now what we are going to do is to lay a grid over the blue gradient fill. To create a grid in Corel we need to select the grid tool which is located in toolbar located on the left side of the screen see figure 9
Type In Your Cell Numbers
Once the grid is activated the grid toolbar becomes active. In the toolbar it is possible to tell Corel how many rows and columns to make in the grid. Because we have made 40 numbers across and 10 down (this is different from above and is added to allow for easy identification of the colours location on the grid.
Start Creating a Grid
Next we need to draw the grid. Start by locating the start of your grid at the top left corner – see Figure 11
Create Your Grid
Drag to the bottom right so that you cover the whole box – see Figure 12.
Close Up The Grid
Figure 12 shows the grid covering the whole box. You can now easily have your customer identify the custom colour by counting over and down to locate the box. Figure 13 shows a close up of the grid setup.