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When to Buy New Color Charts and Print Tools

Print buying tools such as PMS swatch books and paper samples donít last forever. If youíve ever seen or handled an old newspaper (dig around a bit through your closet, attic or garage and youíre sure to find a few good examples) you know that a few years of aging turns the newspaper yellow and fragile. The effects on swatch books arenít as dramatic, as they are printed on thicker and more durable paper, but the idea is the same. A color swatch book that is a few years old will have faded due to its exposure to light. This can cause major problems if you base the color choices you provide to your printer on what you see on your faded swatch book.

Paper samples are also vulnerable to aging. In fact, they can go extinct. Paper mills periodically discontinue certain brands and styles in favor of newer and more popular options. If you have old samples and choose a brand that is no longer available, you will have to spend extra time finding a suitable alternative. It is a good idea to replace your swatch books on a relatively regular basis. Every year, or at least every few years would be advisable.

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