Ink Restrictions and Limits - Oi Vey!

Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere have I found documentation on a reliable method for determining the best ink restrictions for optimum color gamut.

Yes, RIP manufacturers often include their own set of concocted testcharts and tools with suggested methods for setting restrictions and limits.

But, in the end, these methods never seem to help one arrive at a definitive, no-reservations solution.

SWOP standards aren’t really applicable, here.

Total ink limit specs by a media manufacturer is really relative - relative to whatever solid ink density target settings they used (whatever they are…).

Can’t locate HexaChrome density standards in the event that would give me additional clues.

Add to the mix a hand-selected array of 12 individual ink colors from three or four different mainstream ink providers, and I’m practically hanging my butt out in the wind.

I recently tried setting my individual densities according to where the LCh Chroma values peaked, but that didn’t seem to do the trick. Too much Yellow and not enough Cyan and heavy bleeding on violet-blue testchart swatches. (GCR3 - 300% total ink)

Trail and error - educated hit or miss…? There has GOT to be a better way.

What boat am I missing here? Or, am I on the same ferry ride as everyone else?


Hey christOpher,

what I have found really helpful in profiling different sorts of
printers (solvent, sheetfed presses, proofing devices) is a mixture
of measuring linearization tables to define the ink limit per
channel by checking chroma and hue of the tints and the visual

For measuring colors Im using Colorshop x in combination with the
linearization table of Monaco Profiler. The mac version of Profiler
is saving plain Lab values you can import into Colorshop X. Of course
one can build his own, but this one is already there.

Onyx Production House has a really sophisticated ink limiting swatch
I use all the time when building profiles. It is called dark ink
restriction swatch. Do you have a chance to get it?

Kind regards
Karsten Schwarze=
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Thanks for your reply, Karsten.

I have noticed that some inks do change hue angle significantly with density changes. How is one supposed to determine the “best,” or ideal, hue angle for a particular color?

PosterShop is the first RIP I ever used, and I was a loyal user until I ventured into modified ink configurations. Consequently, I’ve had no other choice than to move to Ergosoft’s StudioPrint.

I am familiar with Onyx’s ink limit test charts. However, in my unique situation, those test charts are of minimal use to me.

I could imitate Onyx’s approach and manually construct a test chart for my particular situation, but I’d prefer to find a less labor-intensive solution if one exists.


did I understand you correctly - having read your first post a second
time - that you are setting up Ergosoft Posterprint with 12 different
set of inks? What would that be? Textile printing?


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Actually, this is my configuration:


I’ll be pulling the Red and dropping in Orange in the next couple of weeks.

And no, I’m not engaged in any textile printing.