Posts tagged ‘International Coating’

Creating Pantone Formulas Part 1

How2Pantone 1

How Do You Create A Pantone® Color Formula? A Behind-the-Scenes Look

This article was recently published on Impressions magazine’s February 2018 edition.

How do we develop the most exact Pantone® color matches?  The short answer is that it’s not as easy as it seems and a lot of effort is involved in getting it done.  Most printers already know that Pantone® is the main color standard key used worldwide. The system consists of color catalogs containing different shades of various colors.  Each color shade is identified with a unique number, often referred to as the Pantone® or PMS color. Having such a standard makes it easy to reference a color exactly and eliminates mistakes or misunderstandings. A customer’s “lavender blue” may not correspond to a printer’s idea of “lavender blue,” but when both are referencing Pantone®7451C, the chance that the printer’s color choice matches the customer’s color vision, increases.

Colors may also look different printed on different types of substrates, so the Pantone® color catalogs are separated into coated (C), uncoated (U) and matte (M) guides to give the user as much accuracy as possible.  Most printers use the coated or uncoated values, often to simulate either shiny plastisol (coated) or matte water-base inks (uncoated).

Another important point to note is to never match a color against a color swatch online. Each monitor is different and a color image viewed on one monitor will be vastly different when viewed on another monitor.  Be sure to invest in an actual Pantone® catalog instead.

It’s not uncommon for customers to request their designs be printed in specific colors. For example, some customers ask for their logo or art to be matched to specific Pantone® colors. Rather than trying to mix and match the ink colors on their own, printers have the option of using a color matching system.

How2Pantone 2

International Coatings offers a number of color matching systems in its UltraMix® line, most notably the 7500 Series Color Mixing System.  These systems consist of a number of ‘primary’ colors that when mixed according to a formula, will produce a fairly close Pantone® color simulation.  The formulas for the various color mixing systems we carry are published on our Formulation Calculator website ( Obviously, these formulas are specific to our color systems and would not match if other ink systems were used.

So how is the formula developed?  Well, we start by getting a new Pantone® book every year and then meticulously go through every color, one-by-one.  Considering there are over 1,867 existing colors, it’s a monumental task.  To complicate things, Pantone® releases over 100 new colors around March of each year!  For example in 2016 alone, Pantone® added 112 new colors.

PMS 263 C (1)-REV

Difference in PMS colors between two Pantone® books, each supposedly with the same color value

Aside from the number of colors that we need to match and manage, we also watch for color shifts in the Pantone® colors.  Many don’t realize that colors in the Pantone® booklets tend to shift with age or exposure to harsh lighting or operating conditions.  (It’s important to store the books in a protected environment and switch them out on a regular basis.)  In addition, Pantone®’s “standard” colors often do not match exactly from year to year.  This may be due to their printing process or changes in the paper they print on; but colors from a book printed last year or a couple of years ago, may be different from the book coming out this year. This may be true on only certain shades or colorways, but may present a significant shift nevertheless.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the article.

Mark Brouillard is International Coatings’ product manager and has considerable experience in formulating and manufacturing industrial compounds.  For the past 16 years, his focus has been on the formulation and product development of textile screen printing inks.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at



February 15, 2018 at 5:17 am 1 comment

See What We’re So Excited About!

Come by booth #1219 at ISS Long Beach, January 19-21, 2018 at the Long Beach Convention Center!

We’ll be showcasing our new AXEON™ Non-PVC UltraMix® 1200 Series Color Mixing inks. See why printers are wowed by our AXEON™ inks’ performance.

Here’s a sample of the accolades we’ve received from several large U.S. and international printers:

“Wow, these inks are easier to print than regular plastisol. So creamy and easy to print. Amazing.”

“Now this is what I call a true evolution in inks. No additives, no fussing with screens, no drying on screens. I hate the current system we’re using. This ink even prints wet-on-wet just like regular plastisol. I don’t have to change the set-up and flash after every color. Truly great inks!”

“I really like these inks; much better than [the competition’s]. These inks perform great!”

AXEON™ 1200 Series non-PVC inks are groundbreaking in that they print just like regular plastisol inks, including printing wet-on-wet. AXEON™ UltraMix® 1200 Series consists of 19 non-PVC, non-phthalate high performance primary colors, plus an extender base. Together, they create vibrant Pantone® color simulations with optimum color strength.  International Coatings’ UltraMix® online Pantone® color matching software makes it easy to mix any Pantone® color.

Part I – Comparison test between plastisol and our new AXEON™ non-PVC inks. Here we are printing with our UltraMix® 7500 Color Mixing System inks.

Part II – Printing design with the Axeon™ UltraMix® 1200 non-PVC inks using the same print parameters as in Part I.

Come see what AXEON™ non-PVC inks can do for you at the booth!  Click here for a FREE pass – promo code INTERCOAT.  We’ll see you there.

International Coatings | +1 562.926.1010 | |

December 26, 2017 at 7:12 am 1 comment

HCS 2012 (GHS) is in Full Effect – Are you Prepared?


Presentation1The GHS regulations are now in full effect – how are you impacted?  Here’s an article from Steve Kahane, International Coatings’ President, recently published in the September/October ’17 SGIA Journal:

You may not readily recognize its name, but the 2012 Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012) is a regulation that has a profound day-to-day impact on your business and businesses worldwide.  It touches everyone, not just chemical manufacturers. After a multi-year phase in, HCS 2012 requires compliance with strict new Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and label requirements, and broadens the definitions of manufacturers and products that fall under its purview.

HCS 2012 significantly modifies previous chemical hazard communication requirements, most notably Material Data Safety Sheets (MSDS).  Communications must now conform to the United Nations’ (UN) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  HCS 2012 is more detailed and encompassing in its hazard evaluation and labeling of chemicals than previous OSHA and MSDS requirements, and is designed to harmonize our safety and labeling communication processes with international standards (making it easier for importers and exporters).

Here are the three major elements of the Hazard Communication Standard that you need to be familiar with:

  1. Hazard classifications: HCS 2012 provides specific hazard definitions and criteria for hazard classification.  These go well beyond those used previously.  They are designed to ensure that hazard evaluations are consistent across manufacturers, and that labels and safety data sheets are more accurate as a result.
  2. Labels: Labels must now include new additional information – a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided. It’s not just the end products that need to be labeled and tracked.  Product intermediates (in-house color mixes, additive premixes…) may need to be labeled and tracked as well.
  3. Safety Data Sheets (SDS): Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been replaced with a new SDS format that follows a specified 16-section format.

If you’re just engaging with HCS 2012, here’s what you should be doing now:

  • Understand the law.  SGIA is an excellent resource for HCS 2012 and its application to the print industry.  Start at You can find additional information on OSHA’s web site,
  • Be sure all of your safety information is up to date, you have current and compliant SDS’ from all of your suppliers, and you in turn are providing compliant information to your employees and customers.
  • Familiarize yourself with the information on the new labels.  Not only do the labels contain much more information, some of that information is new and different from what was previously provided.  In particular, the new hazard ‘pictograms’ and hazard classification system are very different from the old HMIS system.
  • If you are a distributor or reseller, there are now certain new requirements and obligations with which you will need to comply. For example, if you repackage, blend or mix inks (or any other chemicals), HCS 2012 considers you a manufacturer.  That in turn requires you to generate SDS and labeling for any products from the original manufacturers that you’ve opened and handled.
  • If you are an exporter, be sure to confirm that your hazard classifications and labeling conform to the requirements of countries importing your products.  While the law is intended to ‘harmonize’ with other global standards, HCS 2012 may not follow that same hazard classification system protocols as those in other countries.

HCS 2012 may seem overwhelming, but help is available.  Your suppliers are usually excellent sources of technical support.   Take advantage of SGIA’s regulatory expertise on HCS 2012 and other regulatory issues affecting the print community – Marci Kinter,, or Allison Lundy,  And finally, feel free to direct questions to the SGIA Ink and Chemicals Committee (representing the print supplier community) through Joyia Marshall at SGIA,

November 21, 2017 at 5:36 am 1 comment

“The Dawn Of A New Era” – AXEON™ UltraMix® 1200 Series Color Mixing System

The Next Evolution!

International Coatings Company™ proudly announces the release of its new AXEON™ UltraMix® 1200 Series Non-PVC Pantone® Color System. AXEON™ UltraMix® 1200 Series is ground breaking in that it prints just like regular plastisol inks, including printing wet-on-wet. AXEON™ UltraMix® 1200 Series consists of 19 non-PVC, non-phthalate high performance primary colors, plus an extender base. Together, they create vibrant Pantone® color simulations with optimum color strength.  International Coatings’ UltraMix® online Pantone® color matching software makes it easy to mix any Pantone® color.

AXEON™ UltraMix® 1200 Series inks are creamy and smooth, and formulated for ultra-high speed wet-on-wet automatic printing through standard and fine mesh counts. This allows printers to boost production speeds and overall efficiency without sacrificing quality.

Axeon Colors 4


“We took particular care to develop this first of its kind non-PVC color matching system” stated Mark Brouillard, International Coatings’ Print Product Manager. “This new system has plastisol-like functionality and doesn’t require the printer to compromise performance and appearance.”

AXEON™ UltraMix® 1200 Series Non-PVC Pantone® Color System has been beta-tested by several large U.S. and international printers, and has received rave reviews.  Here is what they had to say:

“I am amazed that this is a non-PVC ink. The best system I’ve tried so far. It’s so easy to print, smooth and soft to the touch.”

“I can’t believe we don’t have to flash after every color! This is the system we’ve been waiting for. We can now offer multi-colors and have room on the printer to include a special effect.”

“Can I give you my order before you leave? This ink is really fantastic.”

DiaDeLosMuertos-AxeonComplete Non-PVC Product Line

AXEON™ UltraMix® 1200 Series is complemented with a Printing Cotton White (1244), Highlight White (1250), Low Bleed White (1248), Guardian Black™ bleed blocker (1240) and 18 special effects inks – all non-PVC, non-Phthalate.

AXEON™ UltraMix® 1200 Series Non-PVC Pantone® Color System is available through International Coatings’ exclusive network of distributor companies. Contact us today for more info!

November 14, 2017 at 5:07 am 1 comment

Celebrate Veteran’s Day!

VeteransDay 2017

In honor of Veteran’s Day, International Coatings would like to give thanks to all the brave veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice and have fought to protect our nation as well as all who are currently serving. We are grateful for your service!


November 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm 1 comment

AXEON™ Glow-in-the-Dark 1808


axeonglow1808-2‘Tis the season…

AXEON™ Glow-in-the-Dark 1808 is a non-PVC screen printing ink that produces a bright, greenish glow when exposed to light and viewed in a darkened area. Incorporating AXEON™ Glow-in-the-Dark 1808 to an artwork and design is an effective way to add flair to any print.

International Coatings’ release of Glow- in-the Dark 1808 comes with the holiday season right around the corner. AXEON™ Glow-in-the-Dark 1808 offers a vibrant phosphorescent glow that draws attention in any nighttime setting. It can be used as a stand-alone ink or in conjunction with other inks to create an intense “glow” effect.

AXEON™ Glow-in-the-Dark 1808 is available through International Coatings’ exclusive network of distributor companies.

For more information, contact International Coatings at 1 (800) 423-4103 (within the U.S. only) or 1 (562) 926-1010, or visit, for more information. 

About International Coatings

 For over 59 years, quality products, innovation and superior customer service have been the hallmarks of International Coatings Company™.  International Coatings is a pioneer in the production of vinyl and urethane plastics, specialty coatings and adhesives, and a leader in the development of textile screen-printing inks.  International Coatings has the product line, formulation capabilities and experience to make your ideas a reality.  For more information, please visit



October 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm 1 comment

What do I need to know about printing on athleisure garments?

7100Performance4This was a question posed by a Printwear Magazine reader, and here is Kieth Stevens’ response:

  1. Plastisol inks are usually stretchy by nature, but adding a little bit of stretch additive can greatly improve its stretch-ability. This is especially true for performance and athletic fabrics, which often contain a high percentage of Lycra. Adding excessive amounts of a stretch additive, however, could reduce the opacity of the ink, so it is important to only add about one to five percent.
  2. There are new inks on the market, such as performance inks, which have been specifically formulated for these next-generation performance fabrics. These inks have great stretch-ability and allow for lower curing temperatures (275 degrees F). The ability to cure at lower temperatures helps to control any potential dye migration issues. [Check out International Coatings’ 7100 Performance Pro™ Ink)

Some of these materials and material colors may require you to print an underbase for your athletic graphics. When printing vibrant colors on black or dark garments it is often necessary to print a white under-base first. This is due to the fact that many plastisol inks do not have the opacity to cover well on dark garments. White is printed first to provide a base for the colored ink to rest on. The under-base is flash cured before the remaining colors are printed.

It’s kind of like using a primer before adding the new color to your kitchen walls. The primer seals the surface which makes it nicer to paint on. Just as important as the ink itself, you also have to select the right screen.

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been screen printing for over 37 years, teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs. Kieth is also the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Golden Image Award Gold Winner, which is given out by SGIA (the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at

October 10, 2017 at 5:41 am 1 comment

Older Posts

Image of the Month

"Gellusion" Atom Print

"Gellusion" Atom Print

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,311 other followers

Recent Posts

Visit us on Facebook


%d bloggers like this: