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OBSERVATIONS ON THE WORKINGS OF COLOUR – IN THE EYE, THE BRAIN AND IN PRINT

Monday, 19 October 2015 | By Gerry Mulvaney

 

By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

My wife does not have a great regard for my driving, despite my ability to cover over 30,000 miles a year in the past, relatively trouble and accident free. In fact when I have her beside me in the passenger seat I am amazed that I ever reach a destination unscathed given her views on my capability.

I decided to check out her observations, which is why I found myself I at the optometrist getting my eyes tested. Now it is an interesting experience having a young lady up close with a magnifying glass staring through my pupils, checking my ability to read letters and numbers on a red and green screen in front of her.

As a sort of distraction strategy I got into conversation about the way eyes work and as you might imagine she knew rather a lot about them. We have three receptors at the back of the eyeball which sense the light coming in through the iris and separate them into red, green and blue. We apparently can only recognise these three colours in our eyeballs but our brains then do amazing things to recreate the colour spectrum in the world at large.

As she explained it, our brains will pick up the elements of red, green and blue in the world around us and process the information. This is the reason that television screens create all the colours we see from red green and blue pixels. Where none are present we see black and where all are present we see white.

Now being in print, I couldn’t help but mention that we do things slightly differently in order to get an extended colour gamut and use the colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black to pull off the same trick, blending the elements together to create the results.

She was by now staring into my left eye while the conversation was in full swing, when I let drop that of course magenta was not a real colour, since purple was not in the rainbow. She was a bit taken aback at my proposition and we got onto how yellow is a mix of red and green, cyan is a mix of blue and green and magenta is a mix of red and blue but only works when there is an absence of green and our brains invent the colour magenta to compensate.

Landa’s extended colour gamut

Landa’s CMYKOVG colour gamut covers 85% more colours than CMYK offset
and covers about 75% of all Pantone® colours

The Extreme Printing Capabilities of Landa’s NanoInk® Colourants

I was about to expound further about how Landa’s Nanography® process and the depth of colour in NanoInk® colourants can broaden the range of colours created by CMYK, when I noticed she had lost interest and just wanted me out of the consulting room.

On the upside, my eye test showed that my eyesight was still very good – that of a man twenty years younger apparently. On the downside – I don’t suppose she will want to have me back for my re-test in two years. And in any case I expect my wife won’t really trust the results and will continue to berate my driving ability.


Sources
Lobby image: http://www.signs.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Seeing-Color.jpg

Landa S10 - Printing Press