If you print in CMYK ink on uncoated stock, consider investing in Galaxy Gauge‘s affordable, truly useful set of “color maps” (coated or uncoated). This $14.95 set includes one large color map, two pocket-sized color maps, and six Press Ranger cards to share with printers to help them set their ink densities to match your color maps.
The color maps show gradients of each process color, as well as gradients of combinations of the colors, grayscale ramps, color tints, and much more.
As with all Galaxy Gauge products, they’ve taken extreme care to be accurate and aesthetically pleasing.
Here’s what they say on their website:
There are two ways to find and spec CMYK colors. You can flip through one of those expensive ‘fan books’ or you can look on the Map, the Color Map Pro.
We think the map is better for one main reason; you can see the entire gamut of CMYK instantly, and quickly zero-in on the range you want. From there, the Galaxy Color Map Pro gives you a variety of tools to further hone your color selection, including a color wheel, emotional color guide, pastel chart and color directory.
This tool has improved considerably since the last version … more colors on the main color chart, the light tones chart and the new Emotional Color Mixer, which shows the color in which you’re interested, and then helps you find compliments in two, three or four color combinations.
The Color Map Pro goes beyond the standard ‘Fan Book’ because we understand what deadlines and executives can do a designer’s color sense. The Color Directory has been expanded, for all those times you need to communicate color with the “CMYK-impaired.” For example, you can tell your client you’re using Emerald, instead of expecting them to know that 100/0/50/25 is the perfect green for their job. We’ve also added neutrals, and rich black color charts.
You’ll get three Galaxy Press Ranger cards with your Color Map Pro, so when you send your job to press, your press-operator can match the ink densities to your Color Map System, and get closer to the density you expect. The Color Map System is UV-laminated for extra-long wear and color-integrity. (Store your tools away from bright light, and replace them if you suspect they may have faded.)
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.