Color Management Systems/Workflow Consulting
Project Specific Color Management/Printing
Project Specific Color Correction
You have invested a great deal of capital, time and energy into your organization and its equipment. We want to make sure you get the ROI you are looking for out of your investments. That might mean helping you design a start to finish workflow for the products you want to produce or help you make informed decisions regarding software and equipment.
Ultimately we want you to be the best you can be and that is why we always provide any necessary training and documentation for your staff while we are performing any of our services and offer specific training sessions based on your individual needs and are currently developing scheduled training courses on color management and printing.
What is Color Management?
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as ‘What You See Is What You Get’ when it comes to colors due to the wide variations in color capabilities of different devices. In fact, the human eye can differentiate between hundreds of colors, a photograph can show some of them, a monitor fewer, and a printing machine the fewest. Moreover, all monitors use the RGB color model and the vast majority of printing devices use the CMYK color model. To complicate the matter further, every monitor and printing machine has its own level of quality and unique method of displaying or reproducing colors. That’s where color management comes in.
Color management is a term that has come to include any adjustment to a color image at any point in the production workflow. While this may loosely define the concept, we need to create a better understanding of what color management really is. First and foremost, color management is not a silver bullet that will simply and automatically fix all of your color problems. It is a technology combined with methodology that requires dedication and persistence. The reward is more consistent, accurate and repeatable color output.
In the past image and artwork reproduction was fragmented, with everyone performing a specialist function with its own distinct responsibilities. The only real connecting factor was that information was passed in hard copy format. With the advent of new technology and digital file exchange, globalization and increased repurposing of imagery, there has been growing confusion regarding the protocols for assuring image and artwork quality throughout the production process. Fortunately, in response to this confusion various industry leaders have started to develop robust color management protocols (color management system) using ICC profiling. A Color Management System or CMS works as an interpreter between the various color models and devices and helps in calibrating them to a uniform level of accuracy. This technology is currently based on the creation of an ICC (International Color Consortium) Profile, (a custom look up table) for each device, ink set and media in your workflow.
What is an ICC profile?
In color management, an ICC profile is a set of data that characterizes a color input or output device, or a color space, according to standards promulgated by the International Color Consortium (ICC). Profiles describe the color attributes of a particular device or viewing requirement by defining a mapping between the device source or target color space and a profile connection space (PCS). This PCS is either CIELAB (L*a*b*) or CIEXYZ. Mappings may be specified using tables, to which interpolation is applied, or through a series of parameters for transformations.
Every device that captures or displays color can have its own profile. Some manufacturers provide profiles for their products, and there are several products that allow end users to generate their own color profile, typically through the use of a tristimulus colorimeter or preferably a spectrophotometer.