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Discussion: RGB/CMYK Orienteering map colours

in: Orienteering; General

Aug 17, 2016 2:31 PM # 
Im looking for a list of RGB or CMYK colours to add to my mapping system for an orienteering legend. Anybody know where these are or can be found?

Aug 17, 2016 3:31 PM # 
Why? The colors are defined as pantones, and mixes of pantones. Any use of the map is probably going to be printed using CMYK though, so just stick to that system. Look up the CMYK pantone equivalents from the color bridge and use them.
Aug 17, 2016 4:29 PM # 
Josh, The CMYK colours are defined on page 6 of the ISOM.
Aug 17, 2016 4:47 PM # 
Ah i overlooked page 6 somehow! But as regards to the terrain types, like Yellow 50% (rough open land), does that mean the yellow is 50% transparent or the yellow values (Magenta=27% and Yellow=79%) are divided in 2 to give a new yellow?
Aug 17, 2016 8:22 PM # 
Uncle JiM:
Divided in 2
Aug 17, 2016 8:49 PM # 
In OCAD the colours are defined in both Spot colour definition (i.e. mixes of Pantones) for spot printing and CMYK percentages for 'regular' printing. If you go into the colours panel you can find all the predefined colour definitions in there.
Aug 18, 2016 3:09 AM # 
Pantone colors are only directly relevant for offset printing, The spot color definitions in ocadare just cmyk approximations of pantone colors. Same goes for the isom cmyk settings.

The real 'standard' of colors that you are trying to match is not a set of cmyk values - it is best defined by the iof print tech project test sheet. You can download the ocad file and print it out but that doesn't help much - since in reality the colors you get on the printed map can vary considerably depending on what printer/software/paper you are using. Eg printing a mp directly from ocad gives very different colors to rpitning the same map via condes. What you really need is to get hold of one of the offset print copies of that test print and try to match those colors on your prints. If you can't get hold of an offset printed iof test print (hard to get these days I imagine) just pick a printed map that seems to you (or ask some experienced mappers) to have about the right colors and try to match those. You could assume that woc jwoc wc etc maps have the right colors - but you need an original print of that map - not a printout of a version you find online.

Think of the isom and ocad cmyk values as suggestions only - take them as a starting point and do a test print. Then adjust the cmyk values and re print and continue that process until you get a result that looks right. If you can't get hold of an offset printed iof test print (hard to get these days I imagine) just pick a printed map that seems to you (or ask some experienced mappers) to have about the right colors and try to match those.

Remember it is the colors on the printed page that matter. Not the colors on your screen - they are often a very poor match to the actual printed colors.
Aug 18, 2016 4:33 AM # 
It sounds like you people are mostly splitting hairs more than Joshosh needs. Sounds like page 6 pretty much had the info he was looking for, and he's just trying to get reasonably close, not to print maps for an international championship.
Aug 18, 2016 9:21 AM # 
Thanks, the aim is to create the potential for semi-automated map generation based on satellie imagery so a rough value is good enough for me. Ill work with the CMYK from OCAD, maybe in the future id go into more depth as regards the colours.
Aug 18, 2016 1:15 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I can only confirm the fact that currently available color laser printers seem to provide pretty bad Pantone matching. Personally I spent two months tweaking the CMYK combinations for each of the specified ISOM Pantone colors in order to get to a point where Håvard Tveite was satisfied.

Brown in particular is quite hard to get right: I had to modify all 4 CMYK elements to get something that looks right, including a dash of blacK, the OCAD default results in obviously red-tinted contours.

As robplow says, color calibration is still something that needs to be done for any given combination of printer and paper.

BTW, I found a set of German (Swiss?) OCAD sample sheets to be very useful: This is a set of full page OCAD files which defines up to 30+ different patches with shades of a single color so that you can print it out and pick the sample that looks closest to the solid color patches on the IOF Printech offset test print.
Aug 18, 2016 6:05 PM # 
@Terje---I would love a link to those color sheets.
Aug 19, 2016 2:27 AM # 
I was thinking about that this morning. I was imagining taking the IOF test print and cutting a hole in each color patch, then sliding it around on the sample sheet until the color showing through the hole matches, then putting a dot on it.
Aug 19, 2016 6:14 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@cedarcreek: The color patches you want are German, they can be found at the bottom of this page:

@jjcote: I did my calibration in a similar way, by folding my official IOF test print over the solid color patches, and then sliding the fold over the test printouts.

PS. I'll be at the IOF mapping meeting next Friday in Strömstad, as well as most of the public races. I might see some of you there?
Aug 19, 2016 6:30 AM # 
Such extreme color matching leads to cmyk values with all tones thrown in. IMHO thats not good, that makes line look less sharp, contour brown is plenty of tiny blobs here and there, nothing solid. In a perfect world with ├╝ber high resolution printers that would be no problem for contours still being sharp, but with most printers today the resolution isn't quite there. And in practice best quality printouts are made by trying to maximize one of the components an using others smartly to make still acceptable close to desired tone (at least for solid brown or what ever color is used for mapping intricate details, that tone needs to be sharp). Like that one of the components is almost 100% solid making edges look sharp. Making it more legible and less pressure to blow it up to 1:7500.
Aug 19, 2016 6:35 AM # 
For the true pedant. If you compare an old and a recent offset print of the iof print tech sheet you may find they are somewhat different.
Aug 19, 2016 8:10 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@jagge: I agree that it would always be best if I could use a simpler brown definition, without needing all 4 CMYK components, but for both areas and thin lines I seem to get the best results from a (18:55:100:20) CMYK mix, i.e. only the Yellow component is 100% and the rest are scaled from that.

I have done some high-res scans (4800 DPI) of test prints and they show that my HP 4700 tries to sharpen lines by moving toner dots away from the center of the line and closer to the edge, i.e. a typical sharpen filter.

The problem is of course that with a base resolution of 600 DPI you only get 23.6 dots per mm which corresponds to just 3.3 dots across a 0.14 mm contour line. This makes it very hard to create nicely smooth curved lines with sharp edges and no staircase effect: Anti-aliasing will tend to make the edges less sharp and/or the lines a bit too thick.
Sep 20, 2016 9:52 AM # 
Just to say thank you to everyone who helped me out with my research in this thread and also related to the survey. Completed and submitted at this stage. If anyone has any interest in the findings feel free to contact me.

This discussion thread is closed.