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Printing structural colour

Parraman, Carinna

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RGB printing or structural colour printing is an intriguing method that transforms everything we know about CMYK subtractive printing by combining additive print methods and RGB pigments that can radically change the appearance of the printed image. 

There are many opportunities but also many limits in relation to colour gamut and halftoning. Our aim to optimise the printing method and halftone pattern to reproduce particular images that include structural colour content. This paper will present how different structure-aware halftones improve the representation of image structures and details. 

We found that images must be printed on a black substrate, and the pigments present quite an unusual gamut. The image content of the print needs to be chosen carefully, which, erring towards the blue-green area of the spectrum, has a strong correlation with images that exploit some original features such as highly specular materials, feathers and beetle shells. 


Parraman, C. (2023, July). Printing structural colour. Presented at Colour Conference 2023, University of Leeds

Presentation Conference Type Lecture
Conference Name Colour Conference 2023
Conference Location University of Leeds
Start Date Jul 3, 2023
End Date Jul 5, 2023
Deposit Date Aug 9, 2023
Publicly Available Date Aug 9, 2023
Keywords RGB; colour; halftoning; structural colour
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