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A recent project “blew” though our shop and had a very short fuse. The client “bleeds” blue with offices in Lexington and Louisville so PMS 300 (PMS=Pantone Matching System) made perfect sense for all his corporate identity materials.

We went to press with everything and were moving very fast to meet our deadlines. Our most pressing need was for letterhead and envelopes and our design incorporated a solid blue flap on the #10 envelope.

We never dreamed we would have the drying challenges we were met with in using this particular color. In fact we had no idea that “blue never really dries,” according to our printer. It was a disturbing discovery given our time crunch and one I wish we would have known about when we first started talking with the client about color. Bottom line: The solid flap on the #10 took a few days to get dry enough to laser and machine seal. And we got the job out the door—on time.

At the same time we were dealing with 100% coverage of PMS 300 blue on the pocket folders.  The printer determined that drying agents needed to be added to the ink. When that didn’t accelerate the drying time, the printer had to put the sheets back on press to add an aqueous coating.

Then, we discovered the drying agent made the sheets too dry so we had to place the press sheets back out on the floor to re-absorb some moisture. After a few more days, the print representative said he could definitely feel the difference in the stock and we were finally able to make the die cuts and deliver the folder to our client. This project took much longer than we had planned for and thankfully, our client was very patient with the process.

Our printer told us that in 25 years he had never been challenged like this. In the end, the materials looked awesome and the client was ecstatic. Who knew about PMS 300 Blue?

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