People often ask how X-Rite got its name and how we came to be a leader in the art and science of color. It’s really a great story – one that focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and determination. What’s in a name? X-Rite was founded in 1957 by a group of engineers and business entrepreneurs who had a desire to start a business based on innovation. The members brainstormed new product ideas ranging from can openers to sheet metal tools to collapsible car cots. After buildin...

May 11, 2021

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 an...

March 30, 2021

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...

November 25, 2020

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...

October 27, 2020

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...

August 13, 2020

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...

August 03, 2020

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...

June 12, 2020

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...

June 04, 2020

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...

May 07, 2020

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 ...

May 06, 2020

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...

February 20, 2020

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...

January 14, 2020

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...

November 22, 2019

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...

October 07, 2019

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...

October 03, 2019

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...

October 03, 2019

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 ...

October 02, 2019

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...

August 16, 2019

When choosing a food product, consumers demand consistency in both taste and appearance. While a lighter batch of oranges may still produce a delicious juice blend, a pale color can jeopardize USDA approval and leave consumers questioning the quality. Unfortunately for food and beverage manufacturers, the color of food – especially drinks like fruit juice and blended cocktails – is one of the most difficult things to control during production. Here’s why. 1. Liquid is hard to...

August 15, 2019

There’s been a lot of research around the role color plays in how we expect food to taste. The fact is, we judge flavor by the color of the food or drink, even before the first taste. We expect red foods to taste sweet like strawberries or cherries. White should taste like vanilla, and green is probably limey and tart or minty. Color cues can even determine whether we take that first bite. Most of us won’t even consider trying a food like mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie if it is ...

August 12, 2019
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