THE PROCESS INDUSTRIES- GRAPHIC ARTS, PAINT, PLASTICS, AND TEXTILES: ALL COUSINS UNDER THE SKIN By Frederick T. Simon, Clemson University Introduction Color is the common denominator in the process industries but it is accomplished in somewhat different ways. There are distinctions among the industries in the manner in which color is applied to the products that are manufactured. Furthermore the relation of the creative aspect of how colors are selected varies; on one hand, art work is used to establish colors and designs and on the other the ultimate consumer selects a color from a display of paint chips. One of the main differences among the industries is the colorants that they use. Textiles for the most part uses water soluble dyes rather than pigments that are not soluble in water. The printing industry (Graphic Arts) consumes a variety of pigments that are not common to either paint or plastics. Further differences come about on how colors are selected by an artist who is the creator of designs, patterns and colored objects.\ Dependence of color by industry The choice of color of dyed and printed textiles is different than other process industries because it is defined by the materials (fibers) used to make the particular textile fabric or yarn. Chemical differences among the fibers will define the type of dye that can be used. The pigments that are used by other process industries generally do not interact with the carrier or matrix in which they are used. In paint and plastics, a major criterion for pigment selection is color fastness. Additionally, the molding temperature of plastic materials limits pigments and thus the color that can be achieved. Color in graphic arts can be thought of being divided into two types: process colors and spot colors. Process colors are used to make printed images by (light) additivity through the half-tone process where the individual dots of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black are mixed in the eye of the observer. Reds are achieved by dots of magenta and yellow; greens are accomplished with cyan and yellow; blues are with cyan and magenta. Spot colors that are used in logos and special effects are mixtures of several colored inks to match the desired color and in this sense are similar to paints and plastics.. Role of the designer The artist or designer is an important to the choice of colors in graphic arts and textiles but is not as crucial in paint and plastics. Printed advertising originates with the graphic artist who conceives the ideas and is frequently involved with an advertising agency. Packaging of products depend on the graphic artist who creates a design as well as the mechanics of the package itself. Textiles are divided into two categories as far as design is concerned: woven or printed.fabrics. Colored patterns are achieved by the designer who selects dyed yarns and arranges them in a fabric in many different and varied patterns. Printed textiles originate with an artist’s design which is ultimately transferred to a fabric through the printing process. Except for automotive paint colors and other industrial applications, the household consumer is the one who determines the choice of color from the palette that the paint manufacturer has to offer. Plastics color is intimately tied with the design of the object whether it be molded or extruded. Color determined by process Some of the brightest colors known to man are obtained in certain dyed textiles. Despite the fact that some dyes are not applicable to all fibers, dyes in general notwithstanding fastness requirements can be brighter than pigments. Automotive paints and plastics together with spatial effect pigments achieve some overall startling results that are not common to other segments of the process world. Printed paper and film have been known to use special effect inks such as metallics or fluorescent pigments but that is not common for most graphic arts. Color control Process industries by their very nature are mindful of the responsibility to produce the same color throughout a run or between runs. The obvious answer to control is color measurement. Paint, plastics and textiles were early adopters of instrumental control and match prediction. Most of their effort was centered in the laboratory for color matching and later in the production environment. Graphic arts was slower to recognize the opportunity until the computer became the means to convert art work into the printed piece. Although it is not unknown to other industries, the mechanics to realize an artists rendition into its final form, the printing process must go through several steps to accomplish this. The overall term that is used to describe this is “pre-press”. An image is brought into the system with a scanner and is displayed on a computer monitor. After adjusting the image that is now in digital form, it is converted to the printing primaries and put through an image setter to produce photographic films from which printing plates are made and the image is printed on a press. The requirement of the graphic arts for measuring very small areas led instrument manufacturers to provide small and hand-held instruments which aid in process control of printing. Conclusion The kinship among the process industries is especially close since developments in one segment frequently find their way into others. When a new method of affecting the appearance of marketable materials is found in one industry, it frequently is imitated in others. It is believed that the leader in color is the fashion industry which sets a trend that is soon found in other commodities. Thus color is the common language that speaks to the consumer in many forms in an effort to satisfy his needs.