The Lowdown on Hi-Fi Color
Designs no longer need to be compromised by limitations inherent in four-color printing. An advantage of the enhanced color gamut is that it can better achieve what is displayed on a high-quality computer.
While designers long for a better monitor-print match, adapting to a new color spectrum can be intimidating. "We have to teach our artists not to be afraid of it," says Hill. They have to learn how to read color in a different way.
The learning curve of Hi-Fi color can be daunting. "Separating images into five or more color channels is not what system print professionals are accustomed to, let alone graphic designers," says Dan Reid, senior trainer for Renaissance Photographic Imaging in Tucson, Ariz., an authorized consultant for Pantone's Hexachrome print process.
A Hexachrome digital file consists of six separations with the following separation names:
• Hexachrome Cyan
• Hexachrome Magenta
• Hexachrome Yellow
• Hexachrome Black
• Hexachrome Orange
• Hexachrome Green
Because Pantone Hexachrome is a distinctly unique color space, Hexachrome files must be created using ICC profiles. In late 2004, Pantone Inc. released ColorSuite for Hexachrome 2.5, which supports Adobe Creative Suite for creating Hexachrome colors. ColorSuite provides the separation software and color-reference guides essential to working in the Hexachrome process. ColorSuite comes with Pantone HexWare and two color–guide sets.
Pantone HexWare 2.5.1 is a software plug-in that allows users to easily convert files into Hexachrome color space. It allows users to create and edit color palettes, perform color corrections, and view soft-proof output in Hexachrome. Two plug-ins included in the HexWare set are HexVector and HexImage.
Pantone HexVector 2.5 is an Adobe Illustrator 9.x plug-in used to convert vector graphics and line art to Hexachrome, and can apply Hexachrome colors to any vector illustration. With the three essential Pantone Hexachrome Libraries provided, you can specify colors from the large color palette of Pantone Hexachrome colors. In addition, HexVector lets you save your design as a pre-separated EPS file, colorize graphics using Hexachrome colors, access more than 2,000 Pantone Hexachrome colors on coated stock, create your own Hexachrome colors and more.