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Nuggets From Your Job

Postby DB_Cooper » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:42 am

Maybe you have some very specific jargon in your daily work. Let's hear about it.

I'll go first. Let's say you are eating a bowl of Cheerios. You notice at the very edge of the box-flap is the term "CMYK" printed in colorful letters, possibly accompanied by some colorful little squares. Is this madness? Is it code for the aliens to launch all-out laser war on us poor Earthlings? What does this mean? AND what is K? Also, how do "Rocky Horror" and Ben Franklin fit into this question?

Spoiler: show
Modern offset printing uses four colors called "four color process". The colors are black, blue, red and yellow (not always in that order). 99.9% of the things you see in Time magazine are made with four color process. Once in a while a company will need a special color (PMS) but that's sort of rare. Okay, a bit of delicious minutia, I supervise those who print for a crab-loving Mid Atlantic state. Our flag is made from two families' ancient crests. The red in the state flag might be a color called PMS (Pantone Matching System) 100. The yellow might be PMS 200. But I digress...

The colors at the edge of your cereal box or "People Magazine" should not be there. The fact that you see them means that somebody messed up and possibly got suspended or fired. "CMYK" means "cyan, magenta, yellow, black". Yes, these four colors make almost all colors in the rainbow. The blocks are "color bars". They are little bits of pure color so the pressman can see the true color before it's printed under or over any other colors.

Why is black "K"? I can only guess that if both blue and black were "B" then it would be sheer pandaemonium. And would mess up the aliens' evil plans.

What are cyan and magenta? The exact blue that printers use is usually called "cyan". The red is usually "magenta". Hence, the name of Riff-Raff's alien sister in "Rocky Horror". Ben Franklin would be proud. His actual profession was that of printer.
DB_Cooper
 
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