Clipper Tea benefits from an extended colour range

High-quality printing technology, a first offset application for Extended Gamut, and proven proofing technology come together in Clipper Tea's packaging. The enormous experience of Drukkerij De Vries Vouwkartonnage in Sneek made the sustainability step in offset possible.

There is quite some experience in packaging printing at the table. Robbert Amse, commercial director at Wifac, Corné van der Velden, commercial director of MacManiac, salesmanager Jouke Osinga and general manager Bert Teunissen of Drukkerij De Vries Vouwkartonnage. The conversation is about printing with Extended Gamut as a replacement for Pantone. Clipper Tea, an English brand that is conquering the world, is the first client for this application. The story starts with director Bert Teunissen, who, after his appointment at Drukkerij De Vries Vouwkartonnage in 2020, realized that investment was necessary and was also convinced that Extended Gamut should be viable in offset.

Robbert Amse (commercieel directeur Wifac), Bert Teunissen (algemeen directeur Drukkerij De Vries Vouwkartonnage), Corné van der Velden (commercieel directeur MacManiac) en Jouke Osinga (salesmanager Drukkerij De Vries Vouwkartonnage).

What is Extended Gamut?

Extended Gamut means that you not only print with the basic colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black, but with additional, strong secondary colours. At Drukkerij De Vries, the seven-colour press has the four process colours plus orange, green and violet. Almost all Pantone colours can be built up with those seven colours. The environmental and efficiency benefits are evident: less ink mixing, less stock holding, fewer residual inks, less press cleaning, simpler production planning, simpler proofing, and lower waste. The positive impact is immediately clear. Additional advantage: a shorter time-to-market.

Seven-color press

Bert Teunissen received approval from the shareholders and in January 2021 the seven-colour K&B press was purchased from Wifac. Nine months later the press was operational. 'We quickly contacted the highly experienced specialists at MacManiac to ask if we could start with Extended Gamut. We wanted to print on the back of the board, which is of course an important detail. The reason for this is that our client Clipper Tea wants an organic look to demonstrate their sustainability vision and therefore wanted to print the back of the board.

New in offset

Corné van der Velden of MacManiac: 'We have a lot of experience with Extended Gamut in flexo, gravure and digital production processes. In the offset world it is not yet common practice to print in seven colours, but it is still fairly new and unique. With the help of GMG OpenColour and ColourProof we can generate the best separation and proofing profiles, which optimally provide colour management.' That sounds very technical, but the bottom line is that this system allows the printing result to be predicted exactly. If the customer approves the proof, he can be sure that the printing result will be exactly the same.


Van der Velden emphasizes that everything has first been thoroughly discussed with Drukkerij De Vries, because a lot can go wrong. For example, the press must print stable, and it is important to know which three extra colours De Vries uses to print. 'GMG OpenColour is the heart of your colour management system. As long as the press remains stable, the unique spectral profiles we use for this fit seamlessly. The GMG ColourProof system in combination with the Epson SureColour P5000 printer is becoming increasingly important. It turns the proofing printer at Drukkerij De Vries into a real “printing press simulator”. It is now easier to have changes calculated without having to check this on the press.'

No tolerance

A smart and efficient system that achieves benefits on all kinds of fronts. But printing is ultimately done on the large K&B press, which Drukkerij De Vries was so enthusiastic about since the first two presses were purchased, that another one was ordered. Robbert Amse, commercial director of Wifac: 'K&B presses are very accurate. You see no tolerance in screen and dot expansion. This stability and the high, consistent printing quality are its strong advantages. That's important if you want to print in Extended Gamut. Predictability is also a strong asset. The camera systems on the press continuously monitor the colours and adjust them automatically. But equally important is the knowledge of our people, our service organization and project management. We deliver turnkey and have 24/7 service, which is very important for De Vries Vouwkartonnage, because they work in shifts.'

Sustainable customer

The first customer to benefit from the new printing method is the British tea producer Clipper Tea. Jouke Osinga: 'Our customer Clipper Tea has 200 items if you look at flavours and colour combinations. In total we are dealing with 300 different colours and that is time-consuming if you have to do it all in Pantone. We now have experienced that with Extended Gamut we can print 96% of all colours perfectly without Pantone and that 4% have a very acceptable quality.' General manager Bert Teunissen looks back on the project with satisfaction. 'Our printers are proud that we are the first.' And the customer? They are very satisfied. Sarah Pollard from Ecotone, the parent company of Clipper Tea: 'For Clipper, sustainability is central to everything we do. So, the decision to switch to using extended colour spectrum technology was a natural step for us. We can now reduce ink waste, which helps to minimize our impact on the environment.”