Tom Kubinski
Printing Consultant
Direct: (651) 255-1225
Fax: (651) 457-7040
Cell: (612) 760-3700

Mary Albers
Customer Service
Direct: (651) 255-1255
250 East Lothenbach Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55118
Phone: (651) 457-9255
Fax: (651) 457-7040
Toll Free: (800) 388-2914

Ink Tour
Why Work With TK?
What Sets Sexton Apart?
PDF Info and Quark vs. InDesign
In House Mailing Capabilities
Mailing Requirements
Picking the Right Paper
Press Check Tips
Ways to Save $
Creative Coating Techniques
Desktop Techniques
Top File Issues
Prepress Workflow
2002 Paper Mill Tour

June 2004 TK's Korner

UV Burn
"Karen ask's why do I have a hard time matching color on some family member pieces? What can I do to control this better?"

That is a great question and the answer may be what we call Ink Burnout or Chemical Burn or UV Burn. Burnout can cause some colored inks to fade prematurely. In this issue we will discuss Why some PMS colors fade, How Burnout happens, Which of the 15 base colors are most likely to be effected and How to prevent Ink Burnout.

Why do some PMS colors fade while others keep their hues?
The fading is due to ink burnout. I recently saw the effects of ink burnout. During the bidding stage, I asked a client whether we needed to match any paper types or PMS ink colors to family pieces. The client said no. When we were on press, the client brought in a family piece from another printer, and we found that some of the PMS ink colors did not match the PMS book. Nor did they match the piece we were running, which did match the PMS book. Their prior piece had burned out significantly.

The client decided to have us match the previously printed piece, so we used the same paper, ink, and aqueous coating. Although the new pieces differ from the company color pallet and the PMS book, all family pieces match each other.

How does ink burnout happen?
Ink burnout happens when certain PMS colors are exposed to chemicals, or amines, in aqueous or UV coatings. All PMS colors are made up of a combination of base colors, and 15 base colors make up all the colors in the PMS book.

Seven of the 15 base colors are prone to burnout if they are exposed to chemicals called amines, which occur in aqueous and UV coatings. These seven base colors are Warm Red, Rhodamine Red, 032 Red, Reflex Blue, Violet, Purple, and 072 Blue. Pantone Yellow has also been known to burn out under some circumstances.

How can I prevent ink burnout?
To prevent burnout on aqueous- or UV-coated jobs, you can use an HP (high performance) ink. In some cases, HP colors can appear dirtier, weaker, and flatter in hue than normal PMS colors. The difference is due to the specialized pigments that are used to make the ink resistant to ink burnout. The HP inks that contain more Pantone Black base color match PMS colors better than those that contain more Transparent White base color. To get an idea of how much color variation could occur in the inks you want to use, you can request an ink drawdown. You may get more or less of a burnout effect once you run the ink and coating on press.

What I need to remember about ink Burnout
It is very important to remember the seven base colors that are prone to burnout. If your PMS colors contain any of these base colors and you want to match family pieces, be sure to take note of the percentages of these colors and the type of coating you use. It could mean the difference between completing a very successful project and having a project where family piece colors don't match.

How can I learn more?
If you would like to learn more about ink burnout, if have any questions or concerns, or if you want to view the ink burnout sample, please contact me at or call me at 651-255-1225.

Referrals are greatly appreciated. If you know someone who I should contact, please let me know.

If you would like to join me on one of our upcoming tours, if there is something that you would like me to address, or if you know of someone who might like to receive TK's Korner, please let me know via e-mail at or phone. Take care and have a great day.

Tom Kubinski-Printing Consultant