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...

October 08, 2018

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. By breaking the visible...

August 10, 2018

If you work in the print and packaging industry, standards can help you set clear expectations for clients, solve problems in your workflow, and improve productivity. They can also bring an independent perspective to production. Printers aren’t the only ones who should keep up with standards. Brands who are concerned with quality, price, and speed to market can also benefit because it allows them to compare print providers and choose the best candidate. The ISO and other standards organiz...

April 18, 2018

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...

March 05, 2018

Surface appearance can change your perception of color. Think of a glossy magazine. If the light is shining directly on the page, you may need to tilt the magazine and change the reflection angle to clearly see the colors. Likewise, a textured surface may appear to be a different color than a smooth surface of the same object. Since spectrophotometers determine a color’s spectral values by shining light onto the surface and measuring the reflectance, choosing the right instrument and the...

February 02, 2018

At the end of each year we enjoy looking back at our most popular blogs because it’s a great way for us to understand what interests you – our readers. As the years go by, we have discovered a few make the list again and again. This year the Top Ten is split down the middle between color theory and manufacturing best practices. Have you read them all? Top Five Color Theory Topics of 2017 1. Color Perception Part 1: The Effect of Light   Remember “The Dress?” Was it ...

January 12, 2018

In the sign and display graphics business, as in many other segments of the printing industry, shorter runs and reduced cycle times can stress even the most efficient wide format printing operations. By implementing a color-managed RIP-to-roll (or RIP-to-rigid media) workflow, these operations can ensure that color is right the first time and every time to help speed work through the shop and meet color expectations. Photo by Peter Saunders Today we are share tips from our Color Experts that c...

January 03, 2018

Using a light booth to visually judge color is a great start to a successful color evaluation program. It allows you predict how color will look under multiple light sources so there won’t be any color surprises when the light changes over the life of the product. Introducing a color measurement device to capture spectral data is the next logical step. For a really great color program, you need to use both a light booth AND a spectrophotometer. This dynamic duo offers benefits you can&rsqu...

December 18, 2017

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...

October 17, 2017

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....

October 13, 2017
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