Each year we enjoy looking back to see which blogs captured the most attention. Some make the top 10 list ever year, while others are a surprise.  Here's what our readers found most interesting in 2020. Top 10 Blogs of 2020 #1   L*a*b* Color Values   Like geographic coordinates – longitude, latitude, and altitude – L*a*b* color values give us a way to locate and communicate colors. Learn the history and uses of this popular color space.   #2  &nbs...

Posted December 29, 2020 by X-Rite Color

Black Friday. Not only is it the much anticipated start to holiday shopping, it’s also a day manufacturers have been preparing for all year long. Whether mass-producing holiday cards, candy canes, plastic toys, or festive clothing, accurate color is a must. Manufacturers can’t ship two of the same toy if they won’t match on the showroom floor, and holiday sweaters that are a shade off will end up at a discount store instead of a fashion boutique. Perfection is especially import...

Posted November 25, 2020 by X-Rite Color

The color of liquid is one of the most difficult things to control during production. But it’s important. Would you choose a bottle of juice or cleaner that is lighter in color than the other bottles on the shelf? What about cough syrup?     Liquid is hard to measure because it can range in transparency from translucent to opaque. It’s also hard to hold, and the measurement device can’t touch it or the optics and the sample will both be contaminated.   Today&rsq...

Posted October 27, 2020 by Tim Mouw

As brand owners compete to make packaging stand out, commercial and flexible packaging converters and label printers are charged with achieving accurate color – on unique substrates – with shorter print runs. Many spend a lot of time mixing ink, then end up throwing it away when the color isn’t right. Others mix ink, store it, and spend way too much time trying to reuse it for future print runs.  If you’re stuck in this cycle, you’re essentially paying for ink...

Posted August 13, 2020 by Rich Knapp

Whether you’re producing textiles, automotive parts, or plastic pieces, color needs to remain consistent or the final product will be rejected. Unfortunately, there are many ways for color errors to creep in during manufacturing. Creating and using accurate digital color standards is one way to combat these errors. Digital color standards can be used in software to specify and communicate color, formulate colorants and raw materials, and control color quality. They give brand owners peac...

Posted August 03, 2020 by Tim Mouw

Whether you work with plastics, coatings or textiles, you must consistently achieve in-tolerance color or your product could be rejected before it even makes it to the shelf or showroom.     This is especially true for brands that rely on off-site suppliers and manufacturers for raw materials and parts that come together at assembly, such as the plastic dashboard, fabric seats, and coated interior panels of a car. Even if each site produces in-tolerance color, it must be monitored an...

Posted June 12, 2020 by Tim Mouw

In a highly competitive marketplace, brands and packaging designers are looking for ways to differentiate their products on the shelf. This increasingly goes beyond color to include embellishment options such as foils, special varnishes, soft touch finishes, and more. Designers are also using more intense solid colors, fluorescents and iridescents, and not just with conventional print. Digital solutions allow more variation in packaging and the ability to address shorter runs and faster cycle ti...

Posted June 04, 2020 by Ray Cheydleur

Reflective surfaces and metallic inks are very popular for printing and packaging applications. Consumers love the look; but for printers, these substrates and inks are expensive and make color control a challenge. Today we’re taking a look at the measurement options available for controlling these very marketable print and packaging applications to help printers and converters meet brand owner expectations and maintain the highest possible quality output. Sphere vs. 45°:0° - W...

Posted May 07, 2020 by Mark Gundlach

There are different levels of process control that are used for print. While visual comparisons can be used to provide a rudimentary judgment of a match, they can be very subjective, and thus not very accurate, or repeatable.    Using a densitometer can provide quantitative actionable feedback for the press operator. This can include measurements of solid ink density, tone value increase (also known as dot gain), Ink Trap, and other print characteristics. These are known as mechanical ...

Posted May 06, 2020 by Mark Gundlach

Spectrophotometers (“spectros” for short) are color measurement devices used to capture and evaluate color. As part of a color control program, brand owners and designers use them to specify and communicate color, and manufacturers use them to monitor color accuracy throughout production. Spectrophotometers can measure just about anything, including liquids, plastics, paper, metal and fabrics, and help ensure that color remains consistent from conception to delivery.   &nb...

Posted March 27, 2020 by X-Rite Color

Color has always been a critical factor for our customers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many are now trying to design, specify, communicate and ultimately achieve accurate color from remote locations or with less staff and fewer resources. Are you having trouble maintaining your color program in this unprecedented time?  We've compiled our most popular resources – blogs, videos, whitepapers, webinars, and case studies – to help you connect with your supply chain and ...

Posted March 27, 2020 by X-Rite Color

As with everything we touch, our color measurement instruments are prone to contamination from germs and viruses. Our Hardware Team consulted CDC advice and put together steps to disinfect your benchtop and handheld devices. Disinfection Warnings Do not immerse your device in liquid or apply any type of liquid directly on the instrument. Refrain from spraying disinfecting product directly onto the instrument surface, including foam disinfectants. Do not use product...

Posted March 25, 2020 by X-Rite Color

Appearance is more than just color. It’s an all-inclusive look at everything inherent to an object, including texture, gloss, transparency, translucency, and special effects like sparkle and shimmer. When viewed from different angles or under different lighting conditions, appearance effects can change our perception of color. That's why it’s important to control both color and appearance throughout design and development.  Durable goods brands use appearance effects to captur...

Posted February 20, 2020 by X-Rite Color

Managing color throughout production is always a challenge, but advances in color technology, like the metallic, shimmer, and pearlescence effects designed to capture consumer attention, are taking the frustration to a whole new level for quality control managers. This is especially true when producing parts that must match at assembly, such as the metal panels for a home appliance or the painted side mirrors for a vehicle.  Special effects are tricky to control because our perception can c...

Posted January 14, 2020 by Tim Mouw

During this holiday season, let's pause to do more than give thanks. Let's also consider the role color plays on the food choices we make when we fill our Thanksgiving plates. Traditional holiday foods like turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie always look the same... we know what to expect when we take our first bite. But what if the mashed potatoes were green this year? Would they taste different? Would you even try them? There has been a lot of research about the role color plays in how w...

Posted November 22, 2019 by X-Rite Color

Colorimeters and spectrophotometers are color measurement devices that 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 basicall...

Posted October 07, 2019 by Tim Mouw

Inter-instrument agreement is a very important consideration when selecting color measurement devices for your workflow. Unfortunately, it’s such a technical topic that it leads to a lot of confusion about what it means and why it’s important. The Ci7860 sphere benchtop spectrophotomter is has an inter-instrument agreement specification of 0.06 average Delta E*, enabling brands to create the most precise master color standards. Today we’re making it as simple as possibl...

Posted October 03, 2019 by Mike Huda

Although plastics professionals have been managing color issues in the production workflow for many years, the dynamics are once again changing. From consumer electronics to automotive parts and flexible packaging, a growing number of brands are incorporating special effect finishes into their products. While metallics, pearlescents, and other complex finishes are beautiful and help brands stand out on the shelf, they also introduce new color management challenges into the manufacturing pro...

Posted October 03, 2019 by Thomas Meeker

Spectrophotometers are excellent tools for measuring samples against their color standards to compare differences, but it can be difficult to achieve color accuracy for irregularly shaped products like liquids, plastics, cans, and powders. We design a variety of parts and accessories - also called “rigs & jigs” - for many of our instruments to help measure odd shapes and sizes.  Parts & Accessories for Benchtop Spectrophotometers Liquids are notoriously difficult ...

Posted October 02, 2019 by Mike Huda

Spectrophotometers are color measurement devices that measure color to ensure it remains consistent from the time it’s specified until final quality check. They can be used to measure everything from liquids and plastics to paper, metal, and fabrics for just about every industry.   Here Are Our Top Spectrophotometer Picks for 2019.   Best Spectrophotometer to Create Digital Standards Using a digital standard is the most accurate way to specify and communicate color, des...

Posted August 16, 2019 by X-Rite Color
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