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How much time, paper, and ink do you waste re-printing images because the color isn’t right? Before you blame your printer, consider your monitor. When you work on an un-calibrated monitor, you can’t trust the colors you see on-screen, making it hard to make good editing decisions. Luckily, monitor calibration is a breeze with i1Profiler software. Wizard-based, it walks you through every step in the profiling process. Basic and advanced modes allow you to modify your settin...

Posted October 25, 2016 by Mark Gundlach

Warm weather is just around the corner and spring is in the air!   Fluffy yellow chicks…   Delicate pink tulips…   Soft green sprouts poking through the ground…   And, of course, spring M&M'S®! Advertisers target our springtime emotions through pastel colors. Pastels have a calming effect, and everywhere you look companies are using them to feed our desire to feel a bit of spring. Today we’ll take a look at the psychology of color, how marke...

Posted April 01, 2015 by Shoshana Burgett

To understand how color management works, you need a basic knowledge of the additive and subtractive systems of color reproduction. Both use a small number of primary colors that combine to produce a large number – or gamut – of colors… but the way they do that is quite different. In our Color Perception Part 1: The Effect of Light  post, we explained how the visible color spectrum (we know it as the rainbow) encompasses light wavelengths from approximately 380 to 720 nm....

Posted August 10, 2018 by Tim Mouw

When you think of Albert Munsell, do you think of dirt, food and electrical wires? The United States government does. Munsell Color Standards are used for more than just design and Fine Art. They’re also used to ensure safety and reliability, and to maintain compliance with federal regulations. Today we’ll look at some of the government agencies and trade associations that rely on Munsell’s exacting standard color codes. French Fries, Anyone? From tomatoes to pumpkins, Munse...

Posted April 30, 2019 by Art Schmehling

Color measurement devices are used to capture, communicate, and evaluate color. From cardboard packaging to food, laundry soap, carpeting and small plastic parts, color measurement devices help ensure the color being produced matches the color that was originally specified. They’re used behind the scenes in just about every industry where color is important, including plastics, textiles, paints, coatings, print and packaging. There are basically two types of color measurement instruments:...

Posted October 07, 2019 by Tim Mouw

There are many things that affect our ability to see color. In some cases, it doesn’t matter if the red you see is the same shade I see. A barn is a barn, right? But for those who work in an industry where color evaluation is part of the job, it IS important… VERY important. In our color perception series, we’re discussing the many factors that affect how we see color and what colorists can do to ensure that the color they see is the color they are supposed to see. Today we’ll take a closer look...

Posted April 22, 2015 by Shoshana Burgett

Have you ever walked out of the house wearing two black socks, only to arrive at work and realize one of them is navy blue? If so, you’ve been a victim of metamerism. Metamerism is a phenomenon that occurs when two colors appear to match under one lighting condition, but not when the light changes. Metameric matches are quite common, especially in near neutral colors like grays, whites, and dark colors like these. As colors become lighter or more saturated, the range of possible metameric ...

Posted May 02, 2016 by Bruce Wright

When it comes to the way we see color, our eyes can be deceived. This is partially caused by our humble brain, which is managing vast amount of information and processing it the best it can. It can also be related to genetics and the environment; we all see color a little differently. But above all, LIGHT has biggest impact on the colors we see.  Without getting too technical, here is an introduction to the way light affects our perception of color. RGB Color Circle The temperature of lig...

Posted July 19, 2018 by Shoshana Burgett

No matter what you’re manufacturing, taking spectral measurements will help ensure your color remains accurate and consistent throughout your production run. When choosing the best spectro for your needs, your first consideration should be the type of surface you’ll be measuring. Measuring reflective surfaces poses a challenge because the effect of gloss can actually change the color appearance of a sample. The surface reflection of light is what causes the gloss effec...

Posted April 27, 2016 by Tim Mouw

To control color, you need to be able to compare very small differences, determine their impact and understand how to address that impact. In this series we’ve already looked at the history of color analysis and the role of light in tolerancing. Today we’ll discuss the difference between a color space and a color tolerance and introduce the most common methods. Color Spaces A color space gives us a way to communicate color. Just like we can find any location on planet earth using lo...

Posted March 16, 2018 by Tim Mouw

Density only tells us one thing about a color – how light or dark it is. To compare and communicate accurate color in print and packaging, you also need to measure hue and saturation. Today we’ll take a look at the two most commonly used color models:  CIELAB and L*C*h°, and the tolerancing methods that help us describe color difference. The concept behind CIELAB and L*C*h° is similar to longitude, latitude and altitude … with three coordinates, you can describe the exact location of any place o...

Posted June 15, 2015 by Mark Gundlach

The International Standards Organization has defined ISO 12647 as a set of Graphic Arts standards for printing. Included are eight parts: Part 1:  Print parameters and measurement methods Part 2:  Offset lithographic processes Part 3:  Coldset offset lithography on newsprint Part 4:  Gravure printing Part 5:  Screen printing Part 6:  Flexographic printing Part 7:  Proofing processes working directly from digital data Part 8:  Validation print processes working directly from digital data Differe...

Posted December 17, 2015 by Scott Harig

To achieve predictable, repeatable color on a flexographic press, you need good color management and solid process control. Otherwise, hitting your colors is really just luck. Although it may take a little effort to set up, it’s worth it. Your customers will be more satisfied, and you’ll save time and money through faster make-ready time and fewer reprints. Today we’ll take a look at what’s involved in setting up flexo process control. The X-Rite eXact takes the guesswor...

Posted July 14, 2015 by Scott Harig

Color is a critical factor when selecting cosmetics and skin tone products. Women everywhere venture into stores, compare sample after sample trying to find the closest match, and hope for the best. With hundreds of different options, product lines and color palettes, buying makeup can be an expensive and frustrating process. Color technology to the rescue. Today we’ll look at how the CAPSURE Cosmetic spectrocolorimeter and the CAPSUREme mobile app are revolutionizing the way women buy makeup. ...

Posted December 15, 2015 by Matthew Adby

The Pantone Color Institute just announced PANTONE® 18-3838 Ultra Violet as the Pantone Color of the Year 2018! This news is always exciting because it sets the stage for upcoming trends for everything from housewares to fashion to packaging design. In fact, we have already seen shades of Color of the Year used in packaging and graphic design by forward-looking brands in the CPG, luxury, and beauty worlds as well as by personalities and artists seeking to stand out. Part of butt...

Posted December 11, 2017 by Mark Gundlach

Did you read our blog: Are You Using The Right Tolerancing Method? If not, check it out. Today we’re taking the topic one step further to investigate how tolerances are chosen in different industries. A pass-fail tolerance is the amount of color variation that is considered commercially acceptable. In part, tolerances are driven by customer expectations. While color tolerances are very tight in the automotive, plastics, and paint & coatings worlds, they can be much less strict in other...

Posted May 02, 2017 by Mike Huda

When customers are just getting started with color management, they often ask, "What is the difference between a spectrometer and a spectrophotometer?". With such a minute spelling difference, it's easy to make a quick typo and get the wrong answer for this color question. So...what's the difference? Spectrometers vs. Spectrophotometers    What is a Spectrophotometer? A spectrophotometer is a color measurement device that is used to capture and evaluate color on just about anything, in...

Posted March 05, 2018 by X-Rite Color

The two most common spectrophotometers are the 0:45 and the sphere (aka diffuse/8°). We get a lot of questions about which is the best choice. Here’s the difference in how these two devices measure color, and guidelines for when to use each. 0:45 In a “fixed geometry” or “single angle” device, the first number is the starting point of the light, and the second number is where the light ends up after the reflection off the surface of the sample. In a 0:45 ...

Posted January 18, 2018 by Mike Huda

When visually evaluating color, everyone accepts or rejects color matches based on their color perception skills. In manufacturing, this subjectivity can lead to confusion and frustration between customers, suppliers, vendors, production, and management. Are these acceptable color differences? This is why color measurement devices are important in so many industries. By measuring colors using a spectrophotometer, you can communicate and compare spectral data for exact results. To aid in color d...

Posted June 15, 2016 by Tim Mouw

Did you know that many of the products you use every day contain optical brighteners? Optical brightening agents are chemicals that manufacturers add to products like paper, plastics, and textiles to make them appear whiter and brighter, and to lessen the natural yellowing process that happens over time. They also add these chemicals to cleaning agents to enhance the appearance of materials – primarily textiles – after cleaning. Often unacknowledged by the typical consumer, OBAs trick our eyes i...

Posted April 01, 2016 by X-Rite Color
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