‘Color Commentary’ in Wide-Format 101
Jim Raffel, a color management consultant and CEO of ColorCasters and ColorMetrix Technologies, opened up the first day of PRINTING United with a presentation that was equal parts printing optimization discussion, biology lesson, and art class. In “A Systematic Approach to Color Management,” Raffel shared how print providers can make their color printing accurate and consistent across multiple media, and he took a deep dive into how printers can use their eyes as well as the technology at their disposal.
A key takeaway was the difference between canned and custom color profile. Raffel said the canned profile, which a printer would get from an OEM for example, may be appealing for its price and convenience, but it may also create more problems than solutions.
With a custom color profile, the print provider can make sure everything is correct (or hire an expert to help figure it out). While it may not be the cheaper or the faster option, it ensures perfect color optimization within the shop’s parameters and abilities.
“If you want to improve color consistency [such as matching multiple printers], custom profiles can help with that,” Raffel said. “Having a good custom profile before you do anything else is a great starting point.”
He also pointed out the additional variables that printers should take into account when crafting a custom color profile, such as temperature, humidity, dust and dirt, and static electricity within the print facility.
Raffel closed the presentation with this advice: “Make sure you have the right tools for the job, and that you’re using them all to their strengths. Print, measure, and verify. And make sure you have the right software and instruments for the job.”
The icing on the cake? Add a trained eye or two to the mix.