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Color 101

Color 101

Do You Know How Optical Brighteners Work?

Did you know that many of the products you use every day contain optical brighteners?

Optical brightening agents are chemicals that manufacturers add to products like paper, plastics, and textiles to make them appear whiter and brighter, and to lessen the natural yellowing process that happens over time. They also add these chemicals to cleaning agents to enhance the appearance of materials – primarily textiles – after cleaning.

Often unacknowledged by the typical consumer, OBAs trick our eyes into seeing a brighter white. To understand how they work, read on. We’ll dig into light-object relationships, the primary reason behind this brighter than white phenomenon.



When viewed under normal lighting conditions, these plastic parts appear bright white, but when viewed under UV light, you can see the glowing effect of the optical brighteners that were added.

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Color 101, Color Resources and Learning

How to Talk Color with Customers and Suppliers

Which of these swatches would you call bright red?
Pantone stickers


Speaking the language of color isn’t like giving someone your phone number and expecting they’ll remember it. Our minds just don’t process color like that.

While vague color descriptions are sufficient for many people – “Turn left at the blue house” or “choose the reddest strawberries” – if you work in an industry where color is important, you need to know how to speak a much more specific color language.

How do you create a color that “pops” or “radiates?” What color is “sunshine?” Is “raspberry” red, blue, or purple? And what do you do when your customer asks for such a color?

Unfortunately this is how people communicate in the color industry all the time. When it comes to vague nuances, the chances of getting color right using verbal communication alone are very low, which leads to rework when the color isn’t right.

Don’t just shake your head and try again. Color communication doesn’t have to be so difficult. Today we’ll look at the main reasons color communication goes wrong, and some simple ways to fix it.

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Color 101

How the PANTONE® EXTENDED GAMUT Guide helps Printers

Extended gamut printing is becoming more and more popular in the printing industry. With Pantone’s new EXTENDED GAMUT Guide, printers and designers have a visual guide to help predict how close of a match is possible when they use 7-color process in place of spot inks.

pantone extended color gamut is becoming more popular in printing


Ron Voigt, President of X-Rite Pantone, was recently interviewed on the topic by Cary Sherburne, senior editor at WhatTheyThink

According to Voigt, the EXTENDED GAMUT Guide helps printers visualize how well Pantone Spot and 4-color process colors can bridge to a 7-color process.

Ron voigt president of x-rite pantone

Today we’ll take a look at some of the benefits you can expect from fixed color palette printing and how to use the Pantone EXTENDED GAMUT Guide to achieve them.

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Color 101

Who deserves Valentine’s Day love? You do!

Dear Manufacturers,

Valentine’s Day is a kind-hearted holiday, with everyone from spouses to grandparents to co-workers sharing their love and appreciation for each other. We’re happy to report that it might be extra profitable for you this year.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are opening their wallets a little wider than they did in 2015. A Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics predicts 54.8 percent of consumers will celebrate Valentine’s Day, spending an average of $146.84 on flowers, jewelry, candy, apparel and more, up from $142.31 last year. In fact, spending is expected to reach $19.7 billion, a survey high.

Here at X-Rite, we know what has to happen behind the scenes to make Valentine’s Day “appear” almost overnight in retailers around the country. In the spirit of the holiday, we’d like to share our love and appreciation for all of you hard-working manufacturers who make this holiday possible.

X-Rite celebrates Valentines Day

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Color 101, Events

What is the FOCA Seminar?

The Fundamentals of Color and Appearance – FOCA for short – is a very popular one-day seminar for anyone who deals with color. From the best way to communicate color so everyone is speaking the same language, to tips for judging the smallest color differences, you’ll learn everything you need to know to measure, view, and understand color data in any industry.

Whether you’re dealing with plastics, textiles or paints, or using dyes, inks or other colorants, the basics of color are very similar. But in color science, the basics aren’t always very easy to understand. FOCA brings all of the complicated scientific terms and color management processes into everyday language you can actually understand and use.

FOCA trainers are industry leaders who have accumulated years of hands-on practical experience and expertise in their respective fields. You may also recognize them as contributing authors for our blog.

CIELAB Exercise Chips

CIELAB Exercise Chips

Today we’ll share some of what you’ll learn if you’re lucky enough to attend one of our nationwide seminars.


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Color 101, Color Management, Color Measurement 101, Uncategorized

2015’s Top 5 Color Management Concerns

January is a popular time for “Top” lists. The Top 100 Songs. The Top 20 News Stories. The Top 50 Travel Destinations.

We’re looking back too, and blog readership is one area we find very interesting. Today we’ll share the Top 5 Posts of 2015, what we think they say about you – our blog readers – and how we plan to continue these popular conversations in 2016.

xrite; xrite pantone; x-rite; x-rite color solutions; x-rite headquarters; x-rite grand rapids

New in 2015: The X-Rite Pantone Customer Center at our corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan is a great place to see our products in action.


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