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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I just produced a few samples for one of my customer and feedback from them is one of the color is not an exact match.

They provided the color code from Patone Uncoated and complained the color on the finished jersey is lighter than the one on the PMS swatch. they wanted a darker hue of that color.


We did a cross referenced of the jersey and the PMS swatch and it's almost a 100% match to the color they selected.

I have already made it clear to them there might be a slight variation of 5% or less in terms of hue which is very unlikely to happen before they place the order.

Now they want me to make adjustment to that particular PMS color so it will be a hundred percent match!

I have never encounter such demand from my other customers and never had a color issue.

May I know what is the industry standard for color tolerance?

Thanks for any help!
 

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The expectation for coloring matching is best set at the beginning of the sales cycle so the customer is very clear on the challenges. It is virtually impossible in dye sub to have exact pantone matches yet that has never been an issue for us. The best example and comparison for us to use is in the BMX market where color matching is important. Many teams will want to match their jerseys to their pants and or helmets. Most of the larger pant manufacture's also sell factory jerseys and helmets as well. If you buy a matching set of pants, jerseys, helmet and even gloves from the manufacturer the colors will vary from item to item. One of the key factors is the color will change depending on the item it is pressed onto. The material of the pants, gloves, helmet and jersey are all different thus the same color will appear slightly different on each item. Going one step further - colors can trick a persons eyes depending on the design. Take a red and surround it with black. Take the exact same red and surround it with white. The red with white around it will look like a much brighter red then the red with black around it even though they are the exact same red. This happens with most colors. Anytime we get an indication a client may be challenging regarding color issues we send out a small sample for them to apporve before printing.
 

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Good thing you stopped at samples. It is but isn't unreasonable on behalf of the customer. Customers always want what they want and are always right, but some are unreasonable. It will never be a 100 percent match to the pantone book unless you are willing to spend a lot more time and experimentation. If the quote is not set, build the extra labor and costs into it. Or you can always tell them, "Sorry this is the closest I can get. Take it or leave it."
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What really pissed me off is that they are also in a industry that works very closely with the print and advertising industry.

Now they are claiming they did not agree to the 5% tolerance level I mentioned before they place the order. Then why did they place an order in the first place? They are twisting their words now in order to push all the blame to me!

I'm even being blamed for their oversight in certain aspects of their design! My business is just to produce what they send to me. I'm not a design firm for goodness sake! They confirmed the artwork before I proceed.

I seriously do not want to make another set of sample for them anymore neither do I want to do their business. :(
 

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You can make a colour atlas, basically print a hundred colours around the target and let them choose the nearest. Your process must be under control, if there is variation nothing is going to work.
Sound advice for all of us. Thanks +Dave!! My theory is the customer is either that picky or they are trying to get a reduced cost...aka they haven't gone anywhere else yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You can make a colour atlas, basically print a hundred colours around the target and let them choose the nearest. Your process must be under control, if there is variation nothing is going to work.
Not worth the time and cost to do that. They aren't even willing to pay for the artwork changes they requested let alone the color atlas.

Anyway, it's difficult doing business with another party who twist and turn their words without even batting their eyelids!
 

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Well, I don't agree that the customer is always right. Most have no expertise in anything outside of their realm. I deal with it all of the time in embroidery. A print design is totally different than an embroidered design. Two dimensional design compared to 3 dimensional that also has to take into effect physics of the thread and fabric. While sublimation is a little different, I never hesitate to send customers like that elsewhere. They will never be happy anyway, nor will they be recurring customers. Just be nice when you tell them to "take a hike" and they will probably learn that you weren't that bad after all, and most will come back.
 

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I will make the first samples for free and then charge for any addtional samples. Depending on the situation, I will try to finish the first order and then when they ceom back for any additional orders, I pretty much double the original prices. If they are willing to pay it, then at least that will cover my time and energy along with the extra aspirin that I have to buy for the headaches that they give me.

Take a deep breathe and remember that you run your business not them and make sure that they do not take advantage of you but do it with a smile.

Good luck.
 

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Hi,
In india for our local (indian customers) we will clearly explain the color variation is from 5 - 10% in dark and up to 5% in light shades. And we clearly mentioned this think in Purchase Order also. In future you try to add this point in your PO. For your present customer explain the real fact. And 100% shade matching is not possible.
Have a good day
Regards
Karthikeyan.g
 

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The expectation for coloring matching is best set at the beginning of the sales cycle so the customer is very clear on the challenges. It is virtually impossible in dye sub to have exact pantone matches yet that has never been an issue for us. The best example and comparison for us to use is in the BMX market where color matching is important. Many teams will want to match their jerseys to their pants and or helmets. Most of the larger pant manufacture's also sell factory jerseys and helmets as well. If you buy a matching set of pants, jerseys, helmet and even gloves from the manufacturer the colors will vary from item to item. One of the key factors is the color will change depending on the item it is pressed onto. The material of the pants, gloves, helmet and jersey are all different thus the same color will appear slightly different on each item. Going one step further - colors can trick a persons eyes depending on the design. Take a red and surround it with black. Take the exact same red and surround it with white. The red with white around it will look like a much brighter red then the red with black around it even though they are the exact same red. This happens with most colors. Anytime we get an indication a client may be challenging regarding color issues we send out a small sample for them to apporve before printing.
Fantastic post! The comparison of a color being surrounded by different colors is so incredibly dead on! One of my clients is USC and their cardinal looks maroon against white, but, cardinal against the gold, yet, put both cardinals against each other and the match is DEAD ON!
 

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You can make a colour atlas, basically print a hundred colours around the target and let them choose the nearest. Your process must be under control, if there is variation nothing is going to work.
Great advise and puts the client in the position that THEY selected the color and that is what you used.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi,
In india for our local (indian customers) we will clearly explain the color variation is from 5 - 10% in dark and up to 5% in light shades. And we clearly mentioned this think in Purchase Order also. In future you try to add this point in your PO. For your present customer explain the real fact. And 100% shade matching is not possible.
Have a good day
Regards
Karthikeyan.g
I'll add that to my order forms from now on. Thanks!:)
 
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