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Frequently Asked Questions about TRUMATCH®

Q: What makes the TRUMATCH 4-color matching system unique?

A: TRUMATCH stands out for its patented logical organization of 4-color families which simplifies 4-color selection. TRUMATCH divides the spectrum into 50 hue families with 40 tints and shades of each hue, plus a selection of 4-color greys. The smooth, precisely proportioned steps take the guesswork out of 4-color selection and matching. With TRUMATCH, designers can confidently select lighter or darker colors without shifting color cast.

The logic and organization of the TRUMATCH 4-color matching system also applies to the numbering code, which uses numbers from 1 to 50 for the hue families, letters "a" through "h" for the saturation steps, and numbers 1 to 7 for the amount of black. Unlike other color systems, TRUMATCH handles black separately from cyan, magenta, yellow (CMY).

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Q: Will TRUMATCH replace my solid-ink matching system?

A: No. TRUMATCH and solid-ink color systems have different applications. If you are working in 4-color process, select in 4-color using TRUMATCH as your accurate guide to achievable colors. However, if your printing job is a 2-color job, you should use a solid-ink system for matching. The same is true for the fifth (accent) color on a 5-color press; use a solid color swatch for the extra printing frame.

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Q: Will TRUMATCH help me to match Pantone solid colors better?

A: No. Each solid ink color is made up of mixed opaque inks, the same way that wall paints are mixed at the paint store. Solid colors are not made up of process color dots (using standard CMYK inks). About half of the Pantone solid-ink colors cannot be accurately simulated in 4-color process. Pantone publishes the closest 4-color simulations to their solid colors, and you can see how far off the colors are. That's because those solid ink colors fall outside the 4-color process gamut.

The TRUMATCH Colorfinder displays only colors achievable in 4-color, all logically organized with smooth gradations.

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Q: How is TRUMATCH different from the Pantone process color system?

A: TRUMATCH stands out for its patented, logical organization of 4-color families which simplifies 4-color selection. Only TRUMATCH handles black separately from CMY to provide smooth, perfectly proportioned process color steps without shifting color cast. The logic and organization of TRUMATCH is also in the numbering code, which uses numbers 1 to 50 for the hue families of CMY, letters "a" through "h" for the saturation steps (tints of hues), and numbers 1 to 7 for the steps of black (shades).

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Q: How will TRUMATCH help me work more effectively and efficiently?

A: With TRUMATCH, the color you want to print is the color you get! By getting the precise tint and shade of the hue you want, you save yourself and your client time and, ultimately, money. You get your job done right. TRUMATCH is the only process color matching system based upon the fundamental principles adopted by Color Management Systems to yield more accurate, more cost effective printing.

You are selecting color from a printed TRUMATCH Colorfinder, and not relying on your monitor which often does not accurately represent printed results. (Even with a calibrated monitor, many CMYK colors are not accurately reproducible in RGB, and vice versa.) When you enter TRUMATCH colors using the TRUMATCH 4-color palette in your software application, your monitor display may not match your TRUMATCH Colorfinder, but the Colorfinder will show you how your colors will look on the printing press, where it really counts.

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Q: Will my electronic color printer match the TRUMATCH Colorfinder?

A: Not always. Your electronic color printer's results are dependent upon the engine (the way it produces dots) and its pigments, and may not accurately match all TRUMATCH colors which are created on a 4-color printing press under standard conditions.

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Q: Why are TRUMATCH colors made with "odd" percentages?

A: The hallmark of the TRUMATCH System is the smooth gradations of color. In order to achieve these accurate, balanced proportions of yellow, magenta, cyan and black, the system uses the ability of digital devices to round-off to 1%.

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Q: Can my commercial printer be expected to print TRUMATCH percentage tints?

A: Yes. They do it all the time. Every process halftone and every color blend has dots of every size. TRUMATCH uses the ability of digital systems to round-off to 1%, giving you smooth, even color gradations. These are the accurate, balanced proportions you see only in the TRUMATCH System. (When you think about it... it's just as easy, or difficult, to print a 6% or 7% screen as a 5% screen. Both are targets, and both will vary plus or minus the very same tolerance.)

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Q: Will different printers or lithographers get different results?

A: Maybe. As with any printing job, results differ from press to press within a plant, and depending upon conditions, can be different from day to day on the very same press. However, with the TRUMATCH 4-color system, the number of iterations will be reduced to successfully match a color. That's the beauty of the TRUMATCH System. TRUMATCH colors are achievable targets, whereas half of the solid-ink colors are unachievable in 4-color.

The TRUMATCH Colorfinder is printed Computer-To-Plate (CTP) using industry averages for press dot gain and ink densities, and was also controlled for color balance. The TRUMATCH System is endorsed by the leaders in electronic pre-press, Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

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