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Color Measurement 201

Color Measurement 201, Digital Color

Are you using the right device for digital standards?

Whether you’re producing textiles, automotive parts, or plastic pieces, color needs to remain consistent or the final product will be rejected. Unfortunately, there are many ways for color errors to creep in during manufacturing.

Creating and using digital standards is one way to combat these errors. They can be used to accurately specify and communicate color, design layouts, and formulate colorants and raw materials. Digital standards give brand owners peace of mind that the color they communicate is the color that will be produced, and manufacturers the confidence to work faster and more efficiently.

To create digital standards, you need an accurate, repeatable master spectrophotometer. But with so many instruments on the market, how can you choose? Today we’re highlighting some of the features of our new Ci7860 so you can judge for yourself whether it’s the right instrument for you.

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Color Measurement 201

Which Color is the Hardest to Control?

Spectrophotometers are instruments that measure color. Manufacturers use them in every industry where accurate color is important, from paint and plastics to textiles, packaging, and even food. The data captured by spectros allow designers, brand owners, manufacturers, and quality control professionals to precisely communicate color and ensure it stays accurate throughout production.

Sometimes I’m asked which color is the hardest to measure and control. Can you guess what it is?

Legos

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Color Measurement 201

The Secret Life of Colorful Food

There’s been a lot of research around the role color plays in how we expect food to taste. The fact is, we judge flavor by the color of the food or drink, even before the first taste. We expect red foods to taste sweet like strawberries or cherries. White should taste like vanilla, and green is probably limey and tart or minty. Color cues can even determine whether we take that first bite. On the wrong food, like mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie, most of us won’t try green at all!

Green Pumpkin Pie

In the heat of summer – when a sweet, refreshing treat is all that’s on your mind – would you buy a brand of ice cream if the cartons on the shelf are off-color? The Algida ice cream factory in Corlu, northwestern Turkey, knows the likely answer is no. That’s why they came to us for help tightening their process control, so that each batch not only tastes great, but has uniform color.

As you can imagine, the color of ice cream – or any food for that matter – is not the easiest thing to measure. Here are the top four things manufacturers must consider when measuring food, and how X-Rite solutions can help.

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Color Measurement 201

Color management… for prosthetics? You bet.

For many of us, fun in the sun can lead to a summertime tan. The science behind this sun + skin interaction is melanin, a skin pigment our body releases to block the UV rays found in sunlight. The more time we spend in the sun, the more melanin is released, and the darker (or more freckled) our skin becomes.

This shift in skin tone doesn’t matter for most people, but for prosthetic wearers even a slight change can be a big deal. Here’s how Royal Preston hospital in the United Kingdom is using color management to ensure their patients’ prosthetics match, regardless of the color of their skin.

Can you see this man’s facial prosthesis? The color is so perfectly matched that it looks completely natural.

Can you see this man’s facial prosthesis? The color is so perfectly matched that it looks completely natural.

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Color Measurement 201

Still reading press sheets manually?

If so, we’d like you to know there’s an easier way.

An upgrade from the original IntelliTrax, IntelliTrax2 is an automated, non-contact scanning system that makes it easy for busy pressrooms to measure color bars and press sheets without the risk of human error. Adding press-side quality control into your color workflow can shorten your makeready, reduce waste, and help you get to optimum color quality fast.

IntelliTrax2 in pressroom

IntelliTrax2 is an ideal color management solution for high-end, high-speed commercial printing and converting operations. Here’s why.

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Color Management, Color Measurement 201

The Secret to Raw Material Sourcing in Textiles

In an effort to reduce costs and keep up with demand, many U.S. textile and apparel companies are turning to global markets for their raw materials. According to a recent study by The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, this trend has been spurred by trade agreements, and it’s putting a lot of pressure on manufacturers to find suppliers with high quality raw materials at low prices.

Threads

Since final products are only as consistent as its raw materials, working with a variety of sources can be challenging. Luckily, these challenges can be fixed with a few simple color management tools. Read on to learn how adding a few simple tools to your color management arsenal can make it economically feasible to source from anywhere in the world.

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Color 101, Color Measurement 201

It’s officially summer. Are your pants white enough?

Beginning around the 1930’s, the rules of fashion dictated no white before Memorial Day. It was a status symbol, when the wealthy left their winter garments behind and headed to the beach for the summer with their lightweight, carefree clothes.

Although the rule still loosely applies, modern day fashion is more concerned with the brightness of your whites than when you start wearing them. So how do manufacturers ensure their products are as white as they can be?

Optical brightening agents (OBAs) are chemicals that are added to everything from linen slacks and silk blouses to socks and underwear. They use the process of fluorescence to trick your eyes into believing your clothes are whiter and brighter than they actually are. To ensure your garments enhance and retain this whiter than white appearance, many laundry detergents contain optical brighteners, too.

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Color Management, Color Measurement 201

How to Combat Counterfeiting with Color Control

Real or fake? When it comes to medicating children, consumers need to know the products they choose are genuine.

Real or fake? When it comes to medicating children, consumers need to know the products they choose are genuine.

When you hear the word counterfeiting, do you automatically think of counterfeit money? Unfortunately counterfeiting goes much farther than that. It’s impacting just about every industry worldwide. It is a huge problem for product integrity and results in financial loss. Estimates put counterfeited and pirated goods at some 2 to 2.5% of world trade, with a value of $600 billion or more.

Counterfeiting can damage a brand’s image. Apparel, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, electronics, cosmetics, tobacco, sports merchandising and footwear have all been subject to counterfeit activity over the past few years. Not only is the rate of counterfeiting growing each year, so are the number products involved.

Counterfeiting can also lead to health concerns for consumers. Foods like cooking oils, olives, and baby food, wines and spirits, healthcare and personal care products, medicines, aircraft and automotive components, and critical electrical safety components are all targets. Some products have even been found to contain injurious or toxic components.We heard of one case where counterfeited tablets were actually coated with road paint to achieve a similar color!

As you can imagine, the Internet marketplace is making counterfeiting even easier. Luckily, there are a number of other ways packaging design and color management technology can help. We had the opportunity to sit down with Cliff Crosfield, an independent, freelance consultant in brand protection, anti-counterfeiting and packaging, to discuss these issues.

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Color Measurement 201

Effective Color Control on Metallized Substrates

You’re at the grocery store, trying to choose a new snack. With so many brands on the shelf, how will you decide? If you’re like most consumers, you’ll probably reach for the most attractive package.

Foil Snack Packaging

Color and packaging play a leading role in brand success, and metallized substrates are more popular than ever. Consumers love them because they convey quality and offer additional strength and protection, but for printers, metallized substrates are expensive and make color control a challenge.

If you’ve established a good workflow for your paper-based products, but metallized substrates are throwing you for a loop, you’re not alone. Reflective surfaces are very different, and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. Today we’ll look what does and doesn’t work, so you can add metallized substrates into your production repertoire.

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Color Management, Color Measurement 201

What is metamerism, and why should you care?

Have you ever walked out of the house wearing two black socks, only to arrive at work and realize one of them is navy blue? If so, you’ve been a victim of metamerism.

Metamerism is a phenomenon that occurs when two colors appear to match under one lighting condition, but not when the light changes.

Metameric Pairs

Metameric Pairs

This picture shows the same dyed wool swatches under U30 fluorescent (top) and A incandescent (bottom) light sources. Notice how the samples appear to change color? This, of course, is something manufacturers want to avoid. Metameric matches are quite common, especially in near neutral colors like grays, whites, and dark colors like these. As colors become lighter or more saturated, the range of possible metameric matches becomes smaller.

To manage metamerism during color production, you need to know what causes it.

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