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Virtual reality has re-imagined the art of apparel and footwear design. 3D design programs like MODO, KeyShot, CLO, Browzwear, Optitex, and Lectra augment the creativity of color and material designers to virtually construct patterns and render realistic 3D garments.  This is exciting technology for brands that want to reduce waste for a greener footprint and accelerate design to keep up with fast fashion. However, designers are notoriously tactile. They need to touch, feel, and gain a...

Posted October 24, 2019 by Bruce Wright

With so many requests for innovative bases, transparency, and special effects, formulating color for paint, coating, and plastic applications can be a challenge. To keep up, formulation software needs to be innovative, too. We recently launched version 10 of our Color iMatch formulation software, and it is our smartest version yet. It allows you to select cost-reducing parameters, such as lowest cost or fewest colorants, and will determine the best formula for your application. It work...

Posted July 10, 2019 by Rich Knapp

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

Like geographic coordinates – longitude, latitude, and altitude – L*a*b* color values give us a way to locate and communicate colors. What’s the history of L*a*b*? In the 1940’s, Richard Hunter introduced a tri-stimulus model, Lab, which is scaled to achieve near uniform spacing of perceived color differences. While Hunter’s Lab was adopted as the de facto model for plotting absolute color coordinates and differences between colors, it was never formally accepted as...

Posted October 08, 2018 by Tim Mouw

Recently we blogged about how appearance affects color. In this article we look at some of the characteristics that impact an object’s appearance, such as texture, gloss, transparency, and special effects, and explain why it’s crucial to describe appearance in the early stages of the design workflow.  While 3D programs have attempted to address appearance aspects for years, there has been a missing link in virtual product design: the ability to integrate characteristically &ldqu...

Posted November 29, 2017 by Thomas Meeker

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

The World Series starts next week. While players and fans are gearing up for the big event, stadium groundskeepers are preparing, too. You’ve surely seen those meticulous patterns in the grass – crisscross, spiral, plaid – but do you know how the groundskeepers create them? Thanks to a phenomenon called geometric metamerism (aka gonio-appearance), the grass really is greener on the other side. Read on to learn more about this optical illusion that can trick your eyes and wreak havoc on y...

Posted October 17, 2017 by Mike Huda

Color is our perception of reflected light across the visible spectrum. When light hits an object, it absorbs some rays and reflect others. The color of light that reflects back into our eyes is the color we perceive. The more light an object absorbs, the darker it appears. With black, very little light is reflected. Pure black in the presence of light wasn’t achieved until 2014 when Surrey NanoSystems announced the invention of Vantablack. This high-tech artificial substance absorbs 99....

Posted October 13, 2017 by Mike Huda

Have you ever sent out a job that passed your inspection, only to have the customer reject it for out-of-tolerance color? You recheck the data and the instrument says the color passed the agreed tolerance… why is the customer saying it doesn’t? We get a LOT of these conflicting measurement calls in technical support. The solution is simple – document a color control program that clearly defines how to assess color, then make sure everyone (including your customer) follow...

Posted September 08, 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
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