Re: Railroad colors and the demise of Floquil

Tony Thompson

Dennis Storzek wrote:
As one who shelled out $100 or so twenty years ago for a Pantone color swatch book, I couldn't agree with Randy more. Attempting to use it to develop color matches for covered hoppers (admittedly post 1960 covered hoppers) no matter how many shades of gray the Pantone book contained, the prototype had many more. I'm sure there are at least as much variety in shades of freightcar red. Telling someone that a car matches Pantone 485C is hardly more precise than just telling them it's bright red.
But Dennis, note what the Pantone panels say, in the Process Color guide. They give a set of numbers for percentage C, M, Y, and K. Any color professional can look at a particular color and say, it needs another 2% cyan. The Pantone number really only tells a printer what to mix and what to match. You are NOT limited to just the exact Pantone colors. Having watched advertising professionals do what I'm describing (when they have to match an existing commercial color, say, Campbell's Soup red), I know this works. We have done it also in some of our book work.
I don't dispute what Dennis and Ron Parisi are saying, and they are right about DIFFICULTIES, but they are leaving the impression that NOTHING can be done. Tain't so.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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