STAMFORD, Conn. (March 18, 2003) - MeadWestvaco Corp.’s Packaging Resources Group (PRG) has significantly enhanced the aesthetic characteristics of its popular Tango family of coated cover stocks. Most prominent among the enhancements is a revolutionary new styling that gives each Tango product absolute whiteness, making them the first and only commercially available papers without color shading.
“To achieve superior color reproduction on press, the most desirable sheet is one with no color value,” says Dr. Bryan J. Ortman, MeadWestvaco’s Global Graphics Segment Manager. “The absolute-white styling of enhanced Tango results in more-vivid colors and helps printers achieve greater precision in their color reproduction. It also reflects the maximum amount of light possible, which helps to create superior brightness for higher-quality printing results and increased customer satisfaction.”
According to Ortman, the paper industry defines paper shades using the CIE L-a-b, a three-dimensional model of the visual light spectrum. “L” represents whiteness, or the total amount of white light reflected off the paper’s surface; “a” represents the red-green axis of the space; and “b” represents the blue-yellow axis.
Paper manufacturers typically control the “b” value, because the blue-yellow ratio has come to characterize a paper’s styling. Sheets with a “b” value of less than zero exhibit a blue shade and are described as “blue-white,” while those with a “b” value greater than zero exhibit a yellow shade and are characterized as “warm-white” or “cream white.”
“Blue-white” papers, however, also exhibit red hues, while “warm-white” papers exhibit shades of green. A printer must compensate for these shades to achieve accurate color reproduction, because most ink is transparent. Ink from a blue magic marker, for example, appears green on yellow construction paper.
Tango, which was engineered to reflect all colors at equal intensity, does not display any color characteristics. This absolute whiteness results in faster make-ready times, because it reduces the need for printers to make color corrections on press.
To achieve Tango’s absolute-white styling, MeadWestvaco controls both the blue-yellow “b” axis and red-green “a” axis to values that do not yield blue, red, yellow or green shading. This is a significantly different approach from other paperboard manufacturers, who control the “b” value of their products but allow the “a” value to float, which results in the same paper exhibiting slightly different shading characteristics each time it is produced. By comparison, every enhanced Tango production run results in a consistent absolute-white color value.
Another benefit of the new manufacturing process is that it achieves an extremely high brightness level (GE 90) without Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs). This improves the color stability of printed images in a number of ways. For example, enhanced Tango exhibits the same brightness under different lighting conditions. It also will have less fading or yellowing over time, which not only maintains color fidelity but enhances the look of printed pieces.
“Tango’s brightness is achieved in a much more customer-friendly way than through the use of OBAs, which are found in most of today’s bright, blue-white papers,” says Ortman. “When sheets containing OBAs are viewed under typical office conditions, they don’t seem to achieve the same brightness level as they do under natural light. Because Tango looks the same under different lights and has reduced discoloration over time, familiar corporate identity colors will always look the same, which is important to maintaining a consistent and recognizable brand.”
As an added benefit, Tango also satisfies Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for direct-food contact. In addition, proprietary coatings provide Tango with a degree of opacity that is uncommon among sheets with its high level of brightness.
Still “Always Performing”
Over the years, Tango has become well-known as a high-performance printing grade that delivers an extremely smooth surface and trouble-free runnability for bread-and-butter commercial printing jobs, such as folders, postcards, posters, greeting cards and lottery tickets. Tango was carefully engineered to uphold the brand’s reputation for providing superior consistency and reliability in nearly every type of commercial printing application.
“Printers can still depend on Tango as a forgiving sheet that will keep them out of trouble, day after day, on-press and in scoring, folding and other finishing operations,” says H. Todd Walton, MeadWestvaco’s Global Market Manager-Graphics. “And with the enhancements we’re now introducing, we expect Tango to become even more indispensable as a trusted house sheet.”
The Tango family of coated cover papers includes C1S, Performance Plus (C1½S), C2S, C1S blanks, as well as heat-set web and tag options. Stock sizes of Tango range from 19" x 25" to 28" x 40", with available weights ranging from 8 pt. (112 lb.) to 24 pt. (286 lb.). Tango is available for immediate delivery directly from MeadWestvaco and through leading paper merchants.
To receive additional information or product samples, please contact Dr. Bryan J. Ortman, at 203 461 7651 or [email protected]
Information and samples are also available at www.tangopaper.com.