With MOOTONE, Printing In Color Gets Seriously Accurate

Behold 763 hues in full, unaltered glory.

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Mootone color swatches. Courtesy Jonathan Bobrow.

Color inconsistencies that result from standard printing has long been the bane of every designer, artist, and general perfectionist's creative process. But thanks to Jonathan Bobrow, the MIT Lab-graduate behind the Move38 gaming company, this problem may have finally been resolved–at least when it comes to business cards.

In a stroke of spontaneity, Bobrow developed a color-matching system that runs compatibly with MOO's printing service. All a user has to do is select the color of their choice and send the corresponding code to MOO. 

"Before pressing the dreaded order button, I printed out copy after copy on the office color printers to see if I could understand how my colors on screen would translate to the colors in print," Bobrow recalls in his campaign statement. "Then I thought, what if I had a simple tool, much like the other color-matching swatches I used to use back in the day while I made a buck or two painting prototypes for Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter figurines?"

Bobrow took the idea to Kickstarter, and in just three days of posting the proposal, funders met his target of $1,000. Now, with four days left on the clock, sixty backers have brought that pledge up to $4,740.

Animation of the original 50 color selections. Courtesy Jonathan Bobrow.

The color codes are drawn from both the web-optimal RGB and the print-preferred CMYK color models. Together, the total number of colors available in the deck count 763 hues, culled from millions of possible color combinations. 

 "With modern-day technology, one way to print colors is to look at the colors numerically and simply increment evenly to represent the entire color gamut," Bobrow explains in the project's timeline. "This seems methodical, and logical, but color and perception are not so simple and the printed colors might not reflect a linear nature as your computer suggests."

Move38's business cards. Courtesy Jonathan Bobrow.

Fans of the existing swatches pictured above, however, might need to curb their excitement. According to Bobrow, the project's design encountered some IP issues along the way, but he reassured his campaign backers that the new redesigns "will still be as functional, if not more functional than ever before."

"My current sketches for the new design actually includes more of a handy tool on the back of the card to show all of the shades of gray," Bobrow said. "[I'm] looking forward to presenting a new design soon."