INX Project Manager Sarah Jacks believes several factors have played a critical role in the growing popularity and success of the INX Color Catalog.
“There are multiple advantages besides the significant cost-saving opportunities for can makers. There are also brand consistency and speed-to-market issues for brand owners and color accuracy considerations for graphic designers,” Jacks said. “Using the INX Color Catalog makes the design-to-market process, from selecting colors to getting on the shelf, much more efficient. It has a positive impact on the entire supply chain knowing you can get faster accurate, consistent and reproducible color for can design and decorating.”
A key component of the INX Color Perfection process, the INX Color Catalog consists of more than 600 removable metal color swatches; access to those colors is via the INX Digital Color Library available for Adobe design programs. Mainstream and craft brewers, wineries, and juice and energy drink brands from around the world understand the value, reliability, and other advantages it provides compared to simple paper-based color matching systems that do not accurately represent color-on-metal substrates.
While many of the books have been purchased by brand owners and can makers around the world, packaging designers – those responsible for turning an aluminum can into a unique brand statement – are another group that is benefitting from the INX system.
“Color accuracy is incredibly important to me as a designer,” said Caleb Blatz, lead graphic designer for craft cider provider 2 Towns Ciderhouse in Oregon. “Knowing exactly how they’ll reproduce has given me a sense of confidence. It has streamlined my workflow, improved our time to market, and resulted in significant savings from not having to travel to pilot runs.”
“Our design team was able to have a better understanding of the printed can colors before the cans went to print,” added Brian Eldridge, senior graphic designer for Seattle-based Blindtiger Design. “It is saving us and the client time for getting their cans printed and ultimately making our process more efficient.”
According to Jacks, paper and cloud-based color matching libraries are not suitable for the metal decorating design process. “You can’t apply standard printing methodologies when you are working with metal decorating,” she said. “There are so many variables that change how a color appears on metal. You can’t visualize on-screen how color palettes will appear in production. Because of this, you have to apply your color on a metal beverage substrate to see a true representation of what it looks like and how it will affect your design.”
Some INX Color Catalog users are utilizing other elements of the INX Color Perfection platform, including the system’s digital proofing capabilities to help streamline and standardize the process. For example, the INX CP800 UV Digital Proofer gives brewers, graphic designers, and printing professionals the option to produce a small number of digital prints for promotional purposes and as sales samples, or in the hundreds for market testing.