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 August 20, 2020 by Mark Gundlach

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

As digital printing continues to grow, many printmakers are moving beyond traditional media to create artwork on substrates like wood, acrylic, textiles, and backlit materials. While the results can be beautiful, achieving exceptional print quality on these materials can be challenging.   Enter the i1Pro 3 Plus. With its large aperture, polarization and transmissive capabilities, this new member of X-Rite’s i1Pro Family can create color profiles for substrates that are otherwise ...

Posted May 20, 2020 by X-Rite Color

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

All it takes is 2 to 7 seconds. That’s right, a tiny snapshot in time is what a consumer invests in making many purchase decisions about a product. This the much talked about and researched “First Moment of Truth.”      Color is a significant factor in First Moment of Truth, when you considered the reach it has to engage us and communicate to us. This is what can make getting the right color and the color right, the first time, so important in that brand and con...

Posted May 06, 2020 by Cindy Cooperman

Flexible film does a lot more than protect goods on the store shelf. When done right, film packaging design can capture attention and increase product sales. But measuring color on film substrates can be challenging, even for the most sophisticated converter. Here's what you need to know to successfully control color on flexible film. Does your film exhibit interference? When you measure flexible film with a traditional 45°:0° spectrophotometer, the way you position the instrument ...

Posted April 29, 2020 by Ray Cheydleur

G7™ is a proof-to-print process control method that allows you to reliably and efficiently match the visual appearance of the output from multiple printing devices. It works by defining the gray balance and NPDC curves in conjunction with the traditional method of measuring tonal value increase (TVI/dot gain) for each color. G7 can be applied to any type of printing, regardless of the type of ink or printing method, including all types of digital, offset, flexo, gravure printing.   It...

Posted February 27, 2020 by Mark Gundlach

In my recent blog I explained why the demand for printed fabrics is increasing and the challenge this poses for the digital print industry. Today, with help from Digital Imaging Expert Scott Martin of Onsight, I will share tips and tools to help printers profile textiles for a consistent digital workflow.  While smooth textures can often be measured using traditional digital tools, fabrics with texture or specular reflections (like coated canvases) can cause issues. It&...

Posted January 28, 2020 by Ray Cheydleur

Although digital printing has been around for many years, the industry is undergoing dramatic changes. On the plus side, digital print technologies utilize more durable inks and offer higher reliability, longer print life, and overall cost savings and efficiency. But these changes also mean print shops must adjust the way they operate to remain competitive.   According to Allied Market Research, the digital textile printing market is expected to reach almost $4 million globally by 2022...

Posted January 23, 2020 by Ray Cheydleur

Over the last few years, we have heard a lot about the circular economy and omnichannel marketing. While each is a trend in their own right, they are quickly converging on the print industry. To be successful in 2020, commercial printers will need to offer a wide range of print capabilities while demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and reducing waste.   The Importance of Circular Economy and Omnichannel In a circular economy, the goal is to eliminate waste and maximize the con...

Posted December 19, 2019 by Ray Cheydleur

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

Controlling color on cylindrical-shaped items like cups, cans, and tubes is a challenge because it’s hard to properly align the measurement device with the sample. Many printers and manufacturers cut a piece from the finished product and lay it flat to take a measurement. While this method works, each sample takes time to cut, wastes product, and risks the safety of the employees who are cutting the samples.  A Faster, Safer Solution X-Rite’s Cup and Cylinder Fixture works ...

Posted July 17, 2019 by Bob Binder

The environmental footprint of fashion is out of control. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), “Textile mills generate one-fifth of the world's industrial water pollution and use 20,000 chemicals, many of them carcinogenic, to make clothes.” Fabric being dyed in factory. Image from NRDC.org.  A Problem That Impacts Everyone Did you know it takes about 200 tons of water (enough to fill several swimming pools) to produce one ton of cott...

Posted May 29, 2019 by X-Rite Color

Printing using extended gamut process colors allows for a broader color gamut – CMYK PLUS Orange, Green and Violet. By adding these three additional base inks into the process, you can achieve a much closer match to traditional formulated spot ink colors. For example, orange will look truer and cleaner when orange ink is used, rather than mixing yellow and magenta to achieve a suitable match. Read more about how the PANTONE® EXTENDED GAMUT Guide helps printers here. Good: CMYK &nb...

Posted February 09, 2018 by Mark Gundlach

For over a decade omni-channel has been a term used to describe digital and physical marketing. While many have strived to achieve an omni-channel strategy, unifying the digital and physical customer experiences have been an ongoing challenge for marketers. However, that may be changing. Advances in augmented reality (AR) can help to bring these two worlds together. Over the next few years, I believe we will see significant adoption of AR technology by brands and retailers as a way to engage con...

Posted December 19, 2017 by Shoshana Burgett

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

You think you’re doing everything right, but your color isn’t consistent. Why? Through the years, designers have used many tools to help them specify color. Color swatches, style guides and product prototypes have been effective, but with the advent of the digital world, these physical tools are no longer enough. To be efficient, designers need to be SPECIFIC. X-Rite Pantone President Ron Voigt recently published an article in MediaPost that explains why. To be effective, designers n...

Posted November 17, 2017 by Cindy Cooperman

I spent a few years working in Paris, where the Seine River has played a pivotal role in the shaping of the city’s personality. As I stayed longer and got to know the city and its people better, one of the things that became clear to me was that the Seine River physically separated two distinct cultures of the city. Image courtesy of www.aparisguide.com The left bank, including the Latin Quarter, Montparnasse, and Sorbonne, is all about creativity, design and ideation. The right bank is more sop...

Posted August 01, 2017 by X-Rite Color

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

In a perfect world, you should be able to put ink in the press and simply run a job. Unfortunately, every year flexo and gravure printing operations waste ink, substrate and press time trying to get color right. Although advancements in technology have made it easier to achieve color accuracy, the variables that affect color still exist. In this three-part series, we’re sharing over two dozen reasons your color might be wrong on press. We’ve already covered two important factors &nda...

Posted April 19, 2017 by Scott Harig

With today’s complex cross-media campaigns, accurate profiling is even more important for managing customer expectations across the color supply chain. Our i1Pro 2 solutions help photographers, videographers, prepress and digital printers create profiles for the best color on monitors, scanners, projectors, printers, and online web-to-print submission tools. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which is the right tool for your color workflow? Whether you’re looking to add a new comp...

Posted April 11, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

In a perfect world, you should be able to put ink in the press and simply run a job. Unfortunately, every year flexo and gravure printing operations waste ink, substrate and press time trying to get color right. Although advancements in technology have made it easier to achieve color accuracy, the variables that affect color still exist. In this three-part series, we’re sharing over two dozen reasons your color might be wrong on press. If you missed the first article – Instrumentati...

Posted March 30, 2017 by Scott Harig

You say color is important, but do you know why it’s so important? In reality, color is a critical element in the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, many manufacturers are realizing that getting color right is much harder than it used to be, and the brands they support are asking them to meet tighter tolerances. Here’s why. While advances in color technology – think metallic packaging, pearlescent finishes, custom fabrics and vibrant new colors – entice customers, they also make it much more...

Posted February 07, 2017 by Shoshana Burgett

If you didn’t catch my Industry 4.0: What Commercial Printers Need to Know article, you’ll want to check it out now. Today’s blog is a continuation, touching on the most interesting color management tie-ins: PQX, iccMAX, mobile control and new materials. Here’s what on the horizon for color-managed workflows. Image courtesy of Esko.com. Print Quality eXchange PQX was a global effort developed by Idealliance, and is now moving to ISO to be issued as a standard. It is the first of two parts ...

Posted January 25, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

If you’re a commercial printer who wants to improve color quality and consistency and stay current on industry trends, you need to be aware of Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 can mean different things to different people, but it generally refers to the fourth industrial revolution, which incorporates trends in automation, data exchange, smart systems, and the Internet of Things. Image courtesy of Christoph Roser at AllAboutLean.com. Today I’ll explain what Industry 4.0 means for commercial printers. ...

Posted January 24, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

As we close out 2016, it’s time to look ahead to 2017 and the upcoming manufacturing trends that will influence how we do business in the New Year. With rapidly changing technology, it’s difficult to know exactly what’s coming next, but we can definitely make some predictions. Over the past year, I have interviewed many customers across a variety of manufacturing industries to learn more about their industry concerns, the design and manufacturing challenges they face, and the t...

Posted January 09, 2017 by Shoshana Burgett

Extended gamut printing is becoming more and more popular in the printing industry. With Pantone’s new EXTENDED GAMUT Guide, printers and designers have a visual guide to help predict how close of a match is possible when they use 7-color process in place of spot inks.   Ron Voigt, President of X-Rite Pantone, was recently interviewed on the topic by Cary Sherburne, senior editor at WhatTheyThink.  According to Voigt, the EXTENDED GAMUT Guide helps printers visualize how well Pantone...

Posted February 15, 2016 by X-Rite Color

In a perfect world, you should be able to put ink in the press and run a job.  Unfortunately, there are so many variables that affect color that printing operations often waste thousands of pounds of substrate, and thousands of dollars in press time, making adjustments. Advancements in technology have made it easier to measure color, but the variables still exist. To help you over come them, we’ll be featuring a series that points out many of the reasons your color could go wrong at press side....

Posted February 01, 2016 by Scott Harig

Many print shops use more than one color measurement instrument, especially for cross-media color reproduction. But if you’ve ever measured the same color with different instruments, you’ve probably noticed that the numbers don’t always match. Why is that? Spectrophotometers measure color by capturing the ratio of reflected or transmitted light from the surface of the sample and comparing it to a known reference standard. The result is a spectral fingerprint for that color. But since calibration...

Posted December 24, 2015 by Scott Harig

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

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 in a discount store instead of in a fashion boutique. Perfection is especially imp...

Posted November 23, 2015 by X-Rite Color

In our additive vs. subtractive color models post earlier this week, we talked about color models and CMYK printing. However, anyone responsible for printing Halloween goods or packaging knows that that some colors are just too difficult to reproduce using only CMYK inks. And orange can be one of those colors! A fourth color, black (K, which stands for key) is often added to subtractive color printing applications. Since C+M+Y actually create a muddy brownish color due to ink impurities in C, M ...

Posted October 30, 2015 by Scott Harig

Artist Anne Lemanski was pleased to be accepted into ArtPrize Seven. Her 12 painting series titled Blue Go-Go is a beautiful piece, full of the imagery of science and nature. At 42 inches wide and 54 inches tall, it draws the viewer deep into a deliberately frenetic space that uses color and photos to explore the relationships between man, nature, and the world we inhabit today. Anne created her masterpiece during a ten week residency at McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, North Car...

Posted September 17, 2015 by X-Rite Color

The X-Rite eXactTM is a portable spectrophotometer designed for pressroom use. Two big reasons for its success are it’s cordless operation and innovative color touch screen, which it make it very easy for printers and packaging converters to understand, control, manage, and communicate color from anywhere on the pressroom floor. Today we’ll take a look at the top five features that make the eXact an invaluable tool for offset litho, flexo, and digital printers. Wireless operation, plus unteth...

Posted August 24, 2015 by Scott Harig

i1iColor management has caused an explosion of opportunities for new and interesting inks and a variety of paper and substrates. Color profiles help ensure that you can maintain accurate color when running jobs with these new applications, but measuring test charts to create these profiles can be difficult to manage in a high-volume production environment. Automated chart readers take on the burden of measuring all of those test charts, which can have hundreds – even thousands – of patches. Not ...

Posted May 26, 2015 by Tim Mouw

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