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Color Resources and Learning

Color Resources and Learning, How To

Learn how to maximize your color measurement devices

In color production, mistakes can happen anytime, anywhere… during specification, formulation, manufacturing, assembly, quality control, or (unfortunately) all of the above. Every mistake adds up to wasted time and materials, and stacking errors across a production workflow can get expensive very quickly.

How can you stop this error stack from happening? If your job requires you to get color right, spectral data should be your best friend.


One of our favorite eLearning courses to help customers maximize the accuracy and efficiency of their color measurement tools is Color Measurement Essentials. Each module includes videos to teach the basic concepts, plus hands-on exercises that allow you to practice what you learned using your device. Although the exercises can be applied to other instruments, they were developed with the Ci6x series in mind.

Each module also includes a short quiz to ensure you retain the key concepts. An overall score of 80% or higher earns a certificate of completion – a great way to impress your customers!

Sound interesting? Read on to learn how Color Measurement Essentials can help you increase accuracy and efficiency in your color workflow.

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Color Resources and Learning

The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Physical Samples

Physical standards are one of the most precise ways to communicate color in many industries, including textiles, print, automotive, paints, food, chemicals, packaging, and plastics.

Many brand owners and designers communicate color expectations using physical standards, and suppliers and manufacturers rely on them to capture spectral data for formulation.

Color with Glossy Matte

While physical standards can be a great help, they can also hurt business if they’re not cared for properly. Today we’ll look at five tips to help you preserve your physical samples so they maintain their integrity for as long as possible.

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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 Resources and Learning

Top 5 Reasons to Get Certified

It’s no secret that if you can hit your color the first time, you’re going to save a lot of time and money. But with printing becoming an increasingly global function, achieving accurate color is more difficult than ever.


Many companies have distributed printing plants or operate in partnership with other printers around the world. A job might start with a brand manager in Los Angeles, move to a designer in Paris, and be sent to three different states to be printed on different substrates. Everything must match in the end, but color specification can become more and more ambiguous at each step of the process.

Certification makes color communication and reproduction much easier.

Warren Werbitt, the Founder of Pazazz Printing, is reaping the benefits of certification. Pazzaz started in 1992 as a modest commercial print shop and has since grown to become an industry leader of sales, print and marketing experts producing the highest quality commercial print, digital printing, labels, packaging and large format products.

Pazzaz Printing Homepage

Pazzaz Printing proudly displays the PANTONE Certified Printer logo on its homepage.

“Being a PANTONE Certified Printer compliments our G7 Master Qualification and strengthens our process controls by about 25%, allowing us to deliver the highest quality printing. Since certification, we’re more in tune with our operations and have additional tools to help us achieve our clients’ colors. Being a PANTONE Certified Printer has definitely given us a competitive advantage. We now have proof that we can maintain brand integrity, which is crucial for brand owners who are looking for the best quality available.”

Here are a few ways certification can help you become more competitive in the marketplace.

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Color Resources and Learning

Did you know Munsell Color creates custom standards?

No matter the industry, consistency and exacting data are essential to every color quality control program. Whether you’re communicating color, making color decisions, or conducting diagnostics testing based on color, you can rely on Munsell Color standards.

Munsell custom standards help the USDA determine which products pass inspection

These honey, syrup, and molasses standards help the USDA determine which products pass inspection.

Along with its huge library of color standards, Munsell Color can also produce custom physical standards to help you validate your specific colors and processes. Custom Munsell Color standards allow you to specify the color you want, plus determine the correct appearance aspects for reproduction, including texture, gloss, fluorescence, and special effects.

Today we’ll look at all of the custom color standards options that Munsell offers.

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Color Resources and Learning

Why is coil coating so difficult?

Recently, we published an article about measuring color inline. Coil coating is one area where inline color measurement is very effective for achieving the most cost benefit by focusing on speed, quality, and accuracy.

The coil coating process has been around for more than 30 years, allowing companies to produce durable and attractive products. However, to achieve cost benefit, the focus must be on speed, quality and accuracy. Coil coating gives manufacturers a way to paint the metal while it is still in sheet form. This is important, because trying to paint metal after it has been formed into parts makes it difficult to achieve a uniform coating.

xrite; xrite coil coating; coil coating; xrite instruments; xrite quipmentl xrite pantone color measurement

The coil coating process is fast, and mistakes must be caught immediately to avoid expensive waste. X-Rite’s Coil Coating Inline Color Measurement System incorporates the ERX50 or the TeleFlash® 445 Inline Spectrophotometer and the GlossFlash 6060 Inline Gloss Meter to help manufacturers ensure color and gloss quality and consistency, real-time, during each step of the process.

Today we’ll explore the coil coating process and learn how an inline system can help achieve quality and accuracy.

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Color Resources and Learning

XRGA: X-Rite’s Graphic Arts Standard

Many print shops use more than one color measurement instrument, especially for cross-media color reproduction. But if you’ve ever measured the same color with different instruments, you’ve probably noticed that the numbers don’t always match.

Why is that?

Spectrophotometers measure color by capturing the ratio of reflected or transmitted light from the surface of the sample and comparing it to a known reference standard. The result is a spectral fingerprint for that color. But since calibration standards and reference databases vary slightly among models and manufacturers, the same color sample can produce different spectral fingerprints.

If your shop is using more than one instrument, which numbers do you believe and how do you create standard operating procedures?

This is the issue that prompted X-Rite to introduce the XRGA Graphics Art standard for factory calibration. It not only solves this metrology issue, but also incorporates new advances in color technology and the latest ISO standards.

color challenges and opportunities global supply chain

The color challenge and opportunity in a global supply chain.

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Color Resources and Learning

What is Closed-Loop Color Control?

Color 2015 was a huge success for connecting the dots, breaking down silos, and learning how to gain control of an integrated color management workflow. Taking place in Phoenix, Arizona December 5-8, it offered more than 40 in-depth sessions including Brand & Design, Print & Production, Standards & Business, and Vendor/Product Demonstrations.

Ray Cheydleur, Global OEM Technical Manager at X-Rite, was there to share tips and advice for keeping up with color. We caught up with him during the show to ask a few questions about closed-loop color control.

Ray at CMC 2015

Here’s what he had to say.

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Color Resources and Learning

ISO Standards for Flexographic Printing

The International Standards Organization has defined ISO 12647 as a set of Graphic Arts standards for printing. Included are eight parts:

ISO; ISO Logo; Graphic Arts Standard

Part 1:  Print parameters and measurement methods

Part 2:  Offset lithographic processes

Part 3:  Coldset offset lithography on newsprint

Part 4:  Gravure printing

Part 5:  Screen printing

Part 6:  Flexographic printing

Part 7:  Proofing processes working directly from digital data

Part 8:  Validation print processes working directly from digital data

Different parts of the world interpret these standards into their own specifications. For example, in North America IDEAlliance’s GRACoL and in Europe FOGRA39, are the specifications for offset printing that conform to ISO 12647-2 for a number one grade, coated paper.

ISO 12647-6, the flexo print standard, does not define solid ink density target numbers, but rather hue angle target values for solid ink color and recommended substrate color values. In other words, this measurement looks at the actual color value, not density.

xrite flexographic process control solid ink density

Density cannot tell you whether you have “good color.” If the ink hues are off, you may hit the densities, but the color will not match.

Today we’ll take a closer look how ISO 12647-6 is utilized in flexographic printing applications.

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Color Resources and Learning

Measuring the Color of Skin with CAPSURE Cosmetic

Color is a critical factor when selecting cosmetics and skin tone products. Women everywhere venture into stores, compare sample after sample trying to find the closest match, and hope for the best. With hundreds of different options, product lines and color palettes, buying makeup can be an expensive and frustrating process.

Color technology to the rescue.

Today we’ll look at how the CAPSURE Cosmetic spectrocolorimeter and the CAPSUREme mobile app are revolutionizing the way women buy makeup.

X-Rite Capsure Cosmetics; cosmetics; skin matching; xrite; capsure; capsureme; color matching

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