I am often in exactly the same boat...
I think all we can realistically do is use traditional measurements:
a smidge of this, a dab of that.
The trick is to start with too little of the dark colors and mix it
into as much of the carrier (transparent white, yellow, or whatever)
as you will need.
The PMS mixing guide will tell you what elements to start with, from
there, you have to work it up. Lots of "ink knife" drawing. That is,
put a edge of the ink knife on a piece of the stock to be printed, and
draw the color across it to make it as thin as possible.
I try to use 'dabs' off the knife, but then, I was mixing one this
weekend which called for 254 parts of transparent white, 3 parts of
process blue, 1 part reflex and 1/8 part of black!
So much for dabs. I put a smidge of black on the knife and waved it
over the rest... ;-)
If I had a situation where I knew I'd be returning to the same set of
colors, of course, I'd just order a can of it.
Finally, philosophically, there's not much reason to worry terribly
about matching PMS colors for letterpress, since they won't match on
press anyway. Use the book as a guide.
On 7 Jul 2008, at 11:08 AM, sylvia chevrier wrote:
> Does anyone have advice for accurately mixing small amounts of ink
> from Pantone formulas? For most projects I rarely need more than an
> ounce of ink, sometimes even half an ounce will do. I find it
> especially difficult to translate formulas with large percentage
> variances (for example-- 1-1/4 part red / 2 parts yellow / 27 parts
> white) accurately into very small amounts. I have a postage scale but
> often just have to make a guess, as the tiny amounts of ink are too
> light to register on the scale. Thanks for any suggestions.
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