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X-Rite – The Story Behind the Name

People often ask how X-Rite got its name and how we came to be a leader in the art and science of color. It’s really a great story – one that focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and determination.

What’s in a name?

X-Rite was founded in 1957 by a group of engineers and business entrepreneurs who had a desire to start a business based on innovation. The members brainstormed new product ideas ranging from can openers to sheet metal tools to collapsible car cots. After building prototypes and researching market opportunities, the team determined that many of the original ideas were cost prohibitive.

As any entrepreneur knows, starting a business is hard and the group had to look elsewhere for inspiration. With leadership from Ted Thompson, the company saw opportunities in the emerging medical market.

The idea for the first successful product came in 1958 from Ted’s wife, a nurse in a local hospital. She came home from work one day and said, “It sure would be nice if we could write the patient’s name on their x-ray.” That’s how x-ray tape was born and it’s how we got our name. X-ray tape you can write on = X-Rite). On Christmas Eve 1958, Ted filed the original articles of incorporation for X-Rite, and our journey of innovation began.

x-rite history; the beginning of x-rite


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The Color Management Group can help you get color right

The Color Management Group is a blend of certified consultants and resellers who provide products and services to many industries around the world, including graphic arts, photography, textile, and printing and packaging. CMG members have years of experience and a long list of industry certifications. They also have a reputation for providing fast and effective solutions to help businesses of any size implement color management, process control, and standardization.

The Color Management Group was with us at Color ’15, and we had the chance to sit down with Lida Jalali Marschke, the owner and founder. Here’s what she had to say about the Color Management Group, the industries they serve, and how to become a member.

the color management group founder and owner

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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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Wrapping up ArtPrize Seven

As ArtPrize Seven comes to a close, I wanted to thank everyone involved in this year’s event, including the artists, visitors, venues, volunteers, sponsors and event organizers, for making this such a colorful and engaging art experience. It brought excitement to our community, and inspired visitors from around the world.

ArtPrize Seven; ArtPrize; Grand Rapids; X-Rite; xrite

As a leadership sponsor and Grand Rapids-based company, X-Rite Pantone was honored to be such a big part of ArtPrize Seven, an art event like no other. Much of the X-Rite Pantone community participated in the event as volunteers, visitors and online followers.

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Jose Carlos Casado’s use of color to deal with violence

Over the past few weeks, X-Rite Pantone has profiled some of this year’s ArtPrize Seven artists who use color as a way to express their creativity and encourage viewers to think about art differently. If you are not from the Grand Rapids area, ArtPrize is an international art competition that spans 10 miles and includes over 1,500 artists. As a leadership sponsor, X-Rite is using this event to highlight the intersection of the art and science of color in our everyday lives.

Our last artist profile is Jose Carlos Casado. In fact, it was the vibrancy and color of his installation that drew Eddie Tadlock, DeVos Convention Center Assistant General Manager, to select Casado’s sculpture for display in his venue during ArtPrize Seven.

Casado uses color to deal with violent events. “Color is a powerful tool. It can express so many things, though for most people, especially when seeing a lot of them, it brings some kind of happiness or joy! I create art as a response to violent events. It is my own way to deal with things I don’t always understand, and the frustration this originates. But my responses are never to a particular single event, and it’s a personal response through my art that might or might not reach other people in the same way.”

jose carlos casado; artprize 2015; artprize seven; x-rite pantone

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Michael Peoples: Using scent and color to evoke emotion

As a sponsor of ArtPrize, X-Rite Pantone has been taking the opportunity to explore color – how it affects us emotionally, and how it impacts the decisions we make. So far we have profiled two artists – Anne Lemanski, who uses color to portray the imagery of science and nature, and Ruben Ubiera, whose creative use of metallic paint and light gives the impression of movement in his outdoor murals.

Today we’re showcasing the work of artist Michael Peoples, who has been experimenting with colorful wax, molds and mold making for the last several years. He works primarily with recycled candles that he collects from various places, especially thrift stores. The color he finds determines the base color of the object. Then he uses crayons to enhance the color direction and give the piece substance. This year, Peoples is submitting another molded creation to ArtPrize.

His installation for ArtPrize 2013, Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, included two sets of 64 Guan Yin figurines, which he molded from 160 boxes of Crayola crayons. Arranged on a 6×6 foot chessboard, the figurines represented that moment we all remember from childhood:  opening a new box of crayons. The bright colors and waxy smell were meant to conjure the nostalgic memory of the endless creative possibilities that a new box of crayons represented.

michael peoples; art prize 2015, artprize2015

Michael People’s 2013 ArtPrize entry Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me.

The scent of crayons is one of the most recognizable smells and has a direct correlation with childhood. This year, Peoples is once again using color and scent to evoke an emotional experience with The Great Race. It consists of castings of bright, colorful, rubber ducklings, the same type you’d see in a child’s bathtub or at a carnival. It’s no doubt this work is meant to prompt visitors to reflect on their childhood. Each duck is oversized, so that in an adult hand it represents the scale of the classic toy for a child.

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Bringing the “Celebration of Color” to Life

ArtPrize hired Grand Rapid’s own Conduit Studio to design theme ideas for this year’s event. Together, they selected Celebration of Color to highlight the importance of color in our everyday lives, and to inspire visitors to explore and discuss the creativity of the event.

Last week, X-Rite Pantone contributed a guest blog for ArtPrize that walked through the process to select the color palettes  that would define each neighborhood and give the event a unified feel. Today we’ll link art and science as we explore how the color inspirations are coming together. From signs, posters, monoliths, and t-shirts, to artist nametags, the neighborhood palettes have to remain consistent.

Communicating Color

First, how would they communicate the palette colors to the print shops? Each color needed a name to ensure that it was properly specified and reproduced. This step was easy. Pantone is the gold standard for communicating color specification and quality control. Pantone provides a common language for color so specifiers and manufacturers can be sure they understand each other. Using Pantone Color Guides, the designers flipped through the pages and pulled out the chips that represented each ArtPrize color.

Art Prize; Art Prize 2015; Conduit Studios; xrite; pantone

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In Our Element: Brought to life through color and light

X-Rite Pantone is excited to sponsor ArtPrize Seven. Not only is it an inspiring event held right here in our hometown of Grand Rapids, but it gives us a chance to help people think about color differently. One way we’re accomplishing our goal is by letting the artists explain how they use color to create an impression with their artwork. We’ve already talked with Anne Lemanski,who created colorful collages for her ArtPrize 2015 exhibition at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Today we’ll explore the immersive mural created by Ruben Ubiera.

Ubiera is an outdoor muralist. This year, his ArtPrize Seven entry, In Our Element, is being installed on the arched US-131 Business and Front Avenue NW underpass. A major immersive mural created using acrylic and aerosol paints, it tells the history of street art as an artistic medium from Egyptian hieroglyphs, to Pre-Columbian codices, to 1980s tags, to Post-Graffism. Ubiera will use veiltail goldfish to narrate his story.

We wanted to learn more about how Ubiera incorporates color and texture and uses lighting to his advantage when planning an outdoor mural.

ruben ubiera; art prize; art prize 2015; xrite; pantone; art prize leadership sponsor

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The color inspiration behind Anne Lemanski’s Blue Go-Go

Artist Anne Lemanski was pleased to be accepted into ArtPrize Seven. Her 12 painting series titled Blue Go-Go is a beautiful piece, full of the imagery of science and nature. At 42 inches wide and 54 inches tall, it draws the viewer deep into a deliberately frenetic space that uses color and photos to explore the relationships between man, nature, and the world we inhabit today.

Anne created her masterpiece during a ten week residency at McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, North Carolina. Each print was created from hand cut collages, which Anne carefully cut from vintage science and nature encyclopedias, then enlarged on a large-format printer using archival pigments and Somerset Velvet paper.

anne lemanski; art prize; art prize 7

Anne working on her original collages for the large-format prints.

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X-Rite Pantone and ArtPrize®: The perfect color match

X-Rite Pantone is excited to announce that we are a leadership sponsor of this year’s ArtPrize®. ArtPrize is an international art competition that fills three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids with inspiring creations each fall. It’s a show like no other – art is displayed both indoors and out, anyone can enter, and it’s free and open to the public.

grand rapids; grand rapids art prize; art prize

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