What are Colour Bars…?

What are Colour Bars…?

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So following on from the registration post I thought I’d sort some info on what the other items on a printed sheet are. Today we’ll look at what colour bars are and what they’re used for…

Colour Bars
Trimmed Colour Bars from a printed sheet

Colour bars are used on the printed sheet as a quality control mechanism. They are printed outside of the trim area so will be cut off after the job has been printed – but are useful for the press minder to maintain accurate and consistent colours throughout not only the run, but also the many ink ducts across each sheet.

The press minder uses a handy little tool to check the small boxes of colour that are printed to maintain the specified colour density – whether that be 4 colour process or any included spot colours/Pantone colours.

Semi Automatic Colour Scanning
Semi Automatic Colour Scanning

More often than not nowadays – the press is fitted with automatic calibration for colour checking and scanners installed in the press maintain these according to specific instructions sent by a central computer – a very important process nowadays in quality control and many printers are accredited with specific ISO standards for colour management.

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