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

Whether you manufacture plastics, coatings, or textiles, the reality is the same: If you don’t achieve consistent color, your product won’t sell. In fact, at the shelf, most people decide whether they’re going to purchase a product within 90 seconds, and much of that decision is based on color. We know it can feel overwhelming to make changes to your production workflow, especially if you think it’s “good enough.” But the industry is changing. Brands are demanding more accurate color, fa...

October 03, 2017

We frequently get calls from customers who can’t figure out why their measurements vary, even when they’re using maintained devices. Why would a sample read one way one day, then slightly different another? Many times the culprit is thermochromaticity, and it becomes an even bigger problem as the seasons change. Every kind of material changes color with temperature. These changes cause the material to exhibit a shift in reflected wavelengths of light, which can alter our perception. Ofte...

September 19, 2017

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...

September 08, 2017

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 process....

September 05, 2017
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