Tricks of the Trade to Get to Color As You Imagined It

Industry leaders are taking advantage of the latest techniques and technologies to ensure the best possible color, from specification and design through production. They want to reduce waste and speed time to market. They want to start with achievable colors and meet expectations across even the most complex supply chains.

Here are the 5 steps leaders in color management employ to meet these objectives:

1
Judge QC

Set up a proper color-managed workflow. This begins with a consistent method of capturing color inspiration and communicating color design intent, all the way through prepress and production to ensure everyone is using the same color language, bolstered by the proper use of instruments, QC and formulating software and controlled lighting.

 
2

Specify colors digitally. Physical color references will always be an important part of a proper color-managed workflow. But these should be used in conjunction with digital color specifications – the DNA of color – in order to make sure that color doesn’t drift along the way. Properly profiled and calibrated instruments and quality control software are used to compare actual color with the original digital specification. Keep in mind that physical color references can deteriorate over time, be viewed under a variety of lighting or be inconsistent from stakeholder to stakeholder so they should not be the only color reference that is relied upon.

 
3

Pay close attention to inks. Incoming ink inventory should be closely monitored, and digital specifications should be the guide to formulating ink colors in-house.InkFormulation InkFormulation Software provides a fast, easy way to manage ink recipes and reduce overall ink inventories, press returns and waste. If ink is formulated incorrectly, it is difficult or even impossible to get to the right color on press!

 
4
eXact Scan

Measure more than just density. A densitometer can be a handy tool for determining ink film thickness or ink strength, but it doesn’t actually see color. Using a spectrophotometer is the best way to check color performance in proofs and on press. Using a solution like X-Rite eXact gives you a densitometer and spectrophotometer in one instrument!

 
5

Establish and follow SOPs. Standard operating procedures are key to ensure everyone is performing color-critical work in the same way, in order to achieve reliable, consistent results. Consider becoming a Pantone Certified Printer. Our color experts will perform an on-site audit of the entire operation, from ink room through production and provide guidance for optimizing performance, including additional tools and software that might help as well as ways to get the most out of current investments. The end result is an improved color workflow and a set of standard operating procedures that will help the operation stay at peak color performance.

 

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