SGIA Journal November/December 2013 - (Page 52)

profile The Ins and Outs of Color Management Color management is the process of translating how a color is * Hardware initially depicted (in a proof or in a two-dimensional sample), to - Densitometers how it is reproduced by various output devices. With color man- - Colorimeters agement, the unique color characteristics of the output devices - Spectrophotometers are "fingerprinted." That is, their unique color range and colors reproduced are mapped. Color management software performs the translation between the initial color depiction or sample and the "fingerprinted" colors of these output devices. While color management doesn't assure a color match between devices, it can allow more control over the color reproduction method when process changes occur. While output devices and printing systems can benefit from color management methods, what is the return on investment for a printing company and its workers? One of the benefits of managing color output is to lower the cost in achieving "good color" in a production environment. Inaccurate color results usually in a higher rate of job rejection and requires costly reprinting. This raises production and labor costs and lowers profit margins. There are added benefits to color management with production personnel who need to make fast and accurate color changes to a job, based solely upon what they see on a computer monitor. With proper color management, timely corrections can be visualized on the monitor and rendered directly to the print process. Equipment "The necessary tools one needs to provide a color-managed workflow," said Jeff Burton, SGIA's digital printing analyst, "include a colorimeter (designed to calibrate a monitor) and a spectrophotometer (designed for reading colors and interpreting the color reading into standard color space values). Spectrophotometers can either be handheld, capable of reading values in strip form or a strip reader, which automates the color measurement process in a production environment." Burton continued, "Inkjet printers by themselves have no innate knowledge of color or correct output. When purchased they are either bundled or bought in conjunction with raster image processing (RIP) software that translates the electronic file into a format the machine can utilize and print with. Usually, the RIP software has the capacity to modify the ink control of the printer and to amend or adjust the color of incoming and outgoing image files." Few manufacturers are beginning to bundle the hardware (built-in spectrophotometer) and the software necessary for a color-managed workflow, but these are still in the minority. "For the most part, third-party spectrophotometers are a necessary part of 'profiling' media for better color output," Color management equipment can be broken down into the fol- said Burton. "The software part of the equation can either be lowing areas: supplied by the RIP manufacturer as part of the RIP, or can be * Software color management solutions, monitor and media profiling * Spot color - matching software 52 | SGIA Journal ■ November/December 2013 purchased as an additional module for the RIP. If a RIP is not used, there are software solutions provided by the color management retailers directly." Visit SGIA at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SGIA Journal November/December 2013

How to Survey Your Print Customers
Nanography™ and Nanotechnology: A Primer
How to Select Your Next Wide-Format Printer, Part II
Determining & Nurturing Your Areas of Opportunity
UV LED Printing: Will Your Business Be Left Behind?
Making Big Decisions: Will Doing Nothing Destroy Your Business?
MIS: Is Your System Working For You or Against You?
Sustainability and Media
Standardization and Process Control in Wide-Format Printing: Why It Will Change Your Life (And Make Your Customer Happy)
Test the Water Before you Commit with SGIA's Digital Equipment Evaluations
How CorelDRAW® Can Help Transform Your Sign Shop
A Time for Leadership: A Survival Guide for the 21st Century
Extracting Lessons from SGIA’s 2013 Industry Data
New Products
UV LED Technology & the 2013 SGIA Expo
The Ins and Outs of Color Management
SGIA Bestows “Product of the Year” Designation on Top Entries at 2013 SGIA Expo

SGIA Journal November/December 2013