Consistent color is a journey.
A few weeks ago I blogged about the most common pitfalls people run into when starting a color program…
- Wrong lighting
- Less-than-perfect color vision
- Inaccurate physical standards
- Inconsistent device color measurement
…And introduced some inexpensive color tools to help overcome them.
But the journey doesn’t stop there. Even if you’ve been successfully managing color for years, advances in inks, dyes, and substrates are introducing new challenges, and many brands are asking for tighter tolerances. Getting color right is much harder than it used to be.
Today we’ll look at some of the more advanced tools available to help you take the next step toward more consistent color.
You say color is important, but do you know why it’s so important? In reality, color is a critical element in the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, many manufacturers are realizing that getting color right is much harder than it used to be, and the brands they support are asking them to meet tighter tolerances.
While advances in color technology – think metallic packaging, pearlescent finishes, custom fabrics and vibrant new colors – entice customers, they also make it much more difficult to achieve consistency.
As we close out 2016, it’s time to look ahead to 2017 and the upcoming manufacturing trends that will influence how we do business in the New Year. With rapidly changing technology, it’s difficult to know exactly what’s coming next, but we can definitely make some predictions.
Over the past year, I have interviewed many customers across a variety of manufacturing industries to learn more about their industry concerns, the design and manufacturing challenges they face, and the technologies that excite them. As I look into my crystal ball for 2017, here are some manufacturing and business trends to follow over the next 12-18 months.
If not, you should. It’s a booming market, especially around the holidays.
Our society loves customizing its surroundings. Personalized merchandise preserves memories, and when given as a gift, shows the recipient that you put a lot of thought into the choice. It also creates an emotional bond, and (if done right) encourages brand loyalty.
While the personalized merchandise market used to be dominated by photo books and calendars, advances in technology have opened the door to personalizing a wide range of materials like wood, ceramics, textiles, and glass. Photos can be printed on metal and acrylics and gallery mounted. You can order personalized pillows, mugs, candles, and even smartphone cases. These are all everyday objects that, with the right photo, become extraordinarily special.
It’s not just photos that we love. According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global non-photo personalized gifts market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 11% by 2020. Analysts have estimated the leading segment will be wearables and accessories, followed closely by decorative accessories and kitchenware.
If you are considering entering the personalized merchandise market, or expanding your current presence, read on for ideas on how to make those endeavors more successful.
Our friends at Pantone show the Pantone colors present in the image.
We love when color perception questions like this, and #TheDress, pop up. Color matching is something we deal with every day. We understand the challenges, and we love to explain them!
Today we’ll look at why our eyes are confused by the shoe and polish, how the experts would choose the color that matches best, and which color she should choose.
As we’ve talked about in previous posts, proper lighting conditions are crucial for evaluating color. The best way to know you’re seeing color accurately is to evaluate your samples in a light booth.
But what if you don’t have a light booth available?
Pantone has solved this problem with its LIGHTING INDICATOR Stickers. They’re economical, easy to use, and the second best way to find out if your viewing conditions are right for color evaluation.
Whether you’re printing on press or replicating a brand’s colors on the web, PANTONE’s Color Systems are the gold standard for communicating color specification and quality control. They provide a common language for color so specifiers and manufacturers can be sure they understand the customer’s expectations and reproduce those colors, even if they’re a world away.
The PANTONE PLUS SERIES COLOR BRIDGE Set provides process color simulations of all solid PANTONE Colors as a side-by-side comparison.
Does your quality control program include visual evaluation?
If not, it should.
Using the SpectraLight QC as part of a color evaluation workflow.
No matter your industry, judging color is more than just measuring samples with a color measurement device. Just because a spectrophotometer says your color is within tolerance, doesn’t necessarily mean it will look right to the human eye.
To minimize customer rejects, your color control process needs to include visual evaluation in a light booth. This is especially important if you’re producing different parts for the same product, because they need to match in the factory, as well as outside, in a fluorescent-lit store, and wherever else they’ll be seen once they enter the world.
Today we’ll review visual evaluation best practices to ensure your quality control program is the best it can be.
An X-Rite eXact spectrophotometer reading color patches on a press sheet.
Your brand is your image, and accurately reproducing each color is crucial to brand integrity. But as color moves through the supply chain, among machines, printers and sites, a color can quickly shift away from its original intent.
Nobody wants rework. It’s expensive! So how do manufacturers know they’re on track?
Spectrophotometers allow brand owners to measure and specify color using a universal language—spectral values—and to share that information with their suppliers. Suppliers use spectrophotometers to monitor color accuracy during manufacturing to ensure that it remains exact.
Today we’ll look at how spectrophotometers help provide peace of mind when reproducing critical brand colors.
In this series we’ve been discussing the many factors that impact how we see color, and what we can do to ensure the color we see is accurate.
Light, retinal fatigue and background effects can influence our perception of color. Today we’ll look at the limitations of the human eye and brain, and talk about how to detect these characteristics, especially for individuals responsible for evaluating and judging color.
Are YOU color deficient? Read on to find out. (Spoiler alert: There’s a test at the end. A color vision test!)
The Farnsworth-Munsell 100 (FM 100) Hue Test, is available from X-Rite