Replicating color for printing is always a hassle in graphic design. Most design schools these days preach the wonders of Pantone, and how it is predictable on press. The reality is that unless you have a budget for 5 or more colors, Pantone is not always the best solution for color. In comes the TRUMATCH color matching system. TRUMATCH? you say… “never heard of it.” or “Yeah, I saw that name in the color swatch options of [place your favorite design program here.]

So what is TRUMATCH? It is 4-color process based on hue, saturation and brightness turned into a 3-dimensional space. Sure all color is based off of these three attributes, but TRUMATCH makes a usable and reproducible swatch system out of it. All colors are reproducible to 1% of the target color tint. This makes press-check all that much less problematic and your pieces all that much more color accurate. This is unlike Pantone’s Solid-to-Process which is not always close to the Pantone original.

TRUMATCH has given me more accuracy in the past few months than I ever thought I would have with color. It is not an answer to custom colors that Pantone can handle, but it is a great tool to start using in your color arsenal. Give it a try. Swatch books are $85 ($US) for Coated or Uncoated, and will provide you some color freedom in return!

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