Hi-Fi is Hip
Isn't it amazing what a little orange and green can do? When added to the CMYK print process, colors pop as though charged with a jolt of electricity. Still, the CMYKOG printing process—known as Hexachrome and brought to you by the color science folks at Pantone, Carlstadt, NJ—has remained largely untapped by graphic artists. But times are a changin', and Hexachrome is creeping into the publication and commercial print market as content creators become increasingly familiar with the process and its striking results.
When the March cover of Grafika magazine—the Montreal-based, French-language monthly for graphic artists—displayed a 'Printed with Hexachrome' label, it demanded the enthusiastic attention of artists intrigued by its vibrancy.
Grafika is perhaps the first magazine in Canada—and possibly all of North America—to show real interest in hi-fi, CMYKOG printing. But the Hexachrome process is no new kid on the block; it's been around, in fact, for more than five years. So why haven't more publications taken advantage of its vibrant qualities, including a color gamut, according to Pantone, that is approximately 40 percent greater than its CMYK foundation?
Seemed like a good idea ...
The story begins with a creative craving, a desire to make a colorful statement, a need for impact—a need satisfied through a partnership between publisher and vendor.
Patrick Lesort, Grafika's editor-in-chief, recalls how he was first introduced to Hexachrome: After reviewing a brochure prepared by Houston Press, Montreal, that showcased examples of the printer's specialty print capabilities, Lesort notes, "We were so impressed by Hexachrome that we said, 'Why don't we do a special issue?'"
"We were both interested in Hexachrome," recalls Jeff Houston, Houston Press' president, "and we both decided that it would be a nice feature for the magazine."
But publisher and printer soon learned that specialty printing for magazines involves more than just a vendor/client commitment. The magazine's advertisers would be affected, as well. Advertisers that wished to run in Hexachrome-generated signatures would have to reproduce six-color separations.