WTP News and Info - 2 Things About ‘Dot Gain’ That Can Make or Break a Printing Company

There are two things about ‘dot gain’ that can make or break a printing business:
  1. Understanding the subject
  2. Having the correct processes in place to manage it.
Printers who don’t understand it and take steps to manage it will lose clients as their jobs repeatedly miss on color expectations. Those clients end up with companies who know how to systematically manage this complex issue.
So what is dot gain?
Dot gain is a measure of the difference between the actual ink dot size of the printed piece and the ink dot size specified by the source file.
The term refers to ink dots appearing larger on the printed piece due to either a mechanical or optical effect.
Dot gain is neither good nor bad.
It is simply a normal result of the printing process that must be taken into consideration during the creation of the source file, the choice of papers, the selection of inks, and the printing process.
When these factors are not considered, the result is a printed image that looks darker than intended.
And that’s a surefire way to lose repeat business and drive customers to the competition.
You can read more details about dot gain here.
Some printers used to think you could ask a designer to compensate for dot gain and that all would be well. The problem with that approach is it’s impossible to compensate in advance for all the variables that cause dot gain during the print process.
It’s the printer’s job to manage dot gain to an industry standard such as G7 methodology or Gracol standards.
Here at Western Trade Printing, we follow a strict G7 methodology. We use the right software, calibration tools and production processes to manage dot gain so the results match precisely what the client expects.
If you have (or have had) a critical job where you think dot gain might be a problem, talk to us. Or if you have a question about the topic, call me direct at 559-251-8595 ext. 411. Or hit Reply to this email with your question.