Thursday, 12 December 2013

Pop art in our kitchen cupboards

Technically, these symbols are known as 'printers colour blocks', or 'process control patches'. They are a tool used to provide information about printing conditions which allows the printer to make quick adjustments. So if something looks too red, then the colour blocks will help to determine if it’s the yellow that is too weak, or if it’s the magenta that is too heavy...

For decades now, these images have appeared in a vast range of shapes and colours - and often accompanied by complex-looking numerical codes. The colour blocks are usually tucked-away within a product's packaging, so not detracting from the all-important branded logos and text. Very often out of sight of the consumer - until you begin to inspect the packaging a little more closely, or fully open up to flatten for recycling.

They are uncatalogued, everyday, ordinary - and are unheralded. Pop art in our kitchen cupboards.

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The cross-hairs that appear on the inside flaps of cereal boxes and the like are used as register marks - and are known as 'cross-marks' or 'position marks' - which help to make sure that the colours are aligned...

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