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Digital Color Communication Innovations

Posted May 16, 2016 by X-Rite Color

From May 31 to June 10, nineteen exhibition halls in Düsseldorf, Germany will come to life for the print industry’s leading global trade fair – drupa. Those who are lucky enough to attend will get to see and experience new color technologies and innovative concepts. X-Rite Pantone will be among the exhibitors, showcasing our latest print and packaging solutions. Since we know not everyone will be able to attend this event, we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening here, on the blog.

Digital model of X-Rite Pantone’s booth at drupa.

Digital model of X-Rite Pantone’s booth at drupa.

Digital color is one of the key innovations that will be highlighted at drupa. Making an impact on your bottom line is only one of the benefits to this technology – buzzwords like, “faster – cheaper – more efficient – less waste” are also becoming easier than ever to attain.

We’ve consulted our color experts to understand the key benefits of moving toward a digital color workflow. Read on learn whether it’s time for you to make the upgrade to better color.

1 – Effectively communicate. Arguably the biggest benefit of digital color communication is that it takes the emotion out of the equation. Describing color is subjective, but when you’re specifying, evaluating, and approving color using spectral numbers, there’s no room for misinterpretation. From brand owner through design, prepress, and production, the numbers, and your color, remain the same.

2 – Easily visualize designs. Digital color opens a whole new world for color application. Since brand owners and designers can actually see how colors will appear on different substrates, they can make decisions without the expense of sending proofs back and forth. What you set is what you get. Plus, knowing what’s achievable during the design phase means you can experiment with innovative ideas without the cost of trial and error, which opens up the possibility for more customizable products and personalized promotions.

3 – Produce at multiple plants. Digital color specification ensures your color gets off to a great start and can be monitored along the way. PantoneLIVE, is a secure cloud-based ecosystem that houses digital Pantone dependent standards, so everyone in the color workflow can access and use the same color data. That means you can utilize suppliers and print shops around the world with confidence.

PantoneLIVE offers Digital Drawdowns, color-accurate peel-off labels that can be applied to a proof or other document, are used to verify color accuracy in proofs, mock-ups, or press sheets.

PantoneLIVE offers Digital Drawdowns, color-accurate peel-off labels that can be applied to a proof or other document, are used to verify color accuracy in proofs, mock-ups, or press sheets.

4 – Manage expectations. With digital color, you can visualize, predict, and understand what will happen as color moves through different production processes. If everyone involved in the color workflow is using the same achievable standards, there is much less room for error. Specifying color digitally also eliminates the variability inherent to physical standards and inappropriate color data references.

5 – Measure more surfaces. Gone are the days of simple cardboard boxes; unique packaging helps products stand out. With digital color technology like the X-Rite eXact XP and the Ci6X Family sphere spectrophotometer, you can accurately measure everything from flexible film to optically brightened substrates and reflective foil packages.

6 – Work faster. Do you spend a lot of time reading color charts? Automation can reduce production timelines and waste. Our automated chart readers like the new IntelliTrax2 can reduce makeready times and eliminate the possibility for human error. For the ultimate time saving, inline color measurement systems monitor color in real time and alert you if something moves out of tolerance. It doesn’t get much faster and easier than that.

IntelliTrax2 in action.

IntelliTrax2 in action.

7 – Formulate more efficiently. If you haven’t looked into formulation software like InkFormulation, you really should. Not only does it speed up ink mixing and allow you to use more unique inks and unique substrates, it can actually help you manage your ink inventory. If you enter spectral data for the target color, this software will create a recipe with how much of each color to add and how thick to lay it to achieve a perfect match.

8 – Monitor in real time. Digital color measurement technology makes it so much easier to monitor and control quality throughout the entire workflow. Job-based software like ColorCert can give you pass/fail reports for production so you can analyze data between jobs, facilities, and even presses, shifts and pressmen. The best part is there’s no subjectivity – the data is the data.

9 – Analyze to your heart’s content. With digital color solutions, you can track just about everything to see where color went wrong and easily figure out how to fix it. Digital color connects all of the stakeholders in a supply chain and provides insight into areas of opportunity that you’ve never had a chance to see before.

Still using traditional printing technologies, but want to stay competitive?

Change can seem overwhelming, and we feel your pain. You may feel like your print workflow is already “good enough,” but with recent color innovations and technologies, packaging has entered a whole new realm of creativity. While a traditional workflow may have worked for your business the past, keeping up with industry innovations critical. Customers crave the most precise color, which often requires the latest technologies.

Interested in upgrading to better color?

It might be time for an X-Rite Color Expert to come to your site for a personal evaluation. Contact us to schedule a personalized onsite workflow evaluation so that our color experts can determine the best color upgrade for your business.

Come see us in-person at drupa! We’ll be presenting all of these solutions and more, plus new launches, surprises, and discounts exclusively for attendees. You can find us at drupa Hall 8B A23.

Stay tuned! We’ll be sharing more insights from drupa and tips to help you enter the digital printing age.

Our booth installation has begun!

Our booth installation has begun!


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