What Are Those Colors On The Side of Cereal Boxes?

If you're not paying attention you'll probably miss it, but if you've ever got bored while eating cereal and decided to peruse around the box your cereal came from, you may have stumbled upon a series of dots, squares, or boxes of color. What are they? Well, they actually have a purpose and are basically used universally by companies that package their products.

Those dots are called Process Control Patches, or printer's color blocks, and they're used to control the quality of the colors printed on the packaging. General Mills explained why these patches are so important.

The color blocks are essentially a tool used to understand how a printer is printing at any moment in time to ensure consistency. The blocks provide very technical information about printing conditions that allow printers to quickly adjust. For example, if something looks too red, the color blocks can help to determine if it’s the Yellow that is too weak or if it’s the Magenta that is too heavy. This keeps printing quality high. 

But what about the packages that don't have any of these patches? Keep in mind that the portion of the packaging could have been cut off before it was shipped out.

The more you know (bum, bum, bum, bum!)

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