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Color Basics

Colorimeter or Spectrophotometer: Which is best for you?

Color measurement devices are used to capture, communicate, and evaluate color. From cardboard packaging to food, laundry soap, carpeting and small plastic parts, color measurement devices help ensure the color being produced matches the color that was originally specified. They’re used behind the scenes in just about every industry where color is important, including plastics, textiles, paints, coatings, print and packaging.

when color goes wrong; xrite blog; pantone blog

There are basically two types of color measurement instruments: colorimeters and spectrophotometers.

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Benchtop or portable: Which spectrophotometer is best?

Spectrophotometers are color measurement devices used to specify and communicate color and monitor accuracy throughout production. There are spectrophotometers to measure just about anything, from liquids and plastics to paper, metal and fabrics. Brand owners, designers, lab techs and quality control professionals rely on them to ensure color remains consistent, from the time it’s specified until final quality check, in just about every industry.

This Ci7800 benchtop spectrophotometer is measuring a fabric swatch.

Spectrophotometers come in many shapes and sizes. There’s the practical, convenient portable spectrophotometer, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and travel around the lab for on-site quality checks. Then there’s the larger benchtop device, standing ready to measure the most precise color for the most accurate specifications and tolerances.

Which is right for your color workflow?

Since benchtops are generally more expensive, many are left wondering if the investment is worth it. Today we’re comparing how portable and benchtop spectrophotometers perform in common color measurement scenarios so you can decide which is best for your needs.

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Brand Color Lessons from an FMCG Company

What happens when you have more than 2,000 brand colors to manage across a complex global packaging supply chain? Things get complicated!

Brand Color on Shelf

Although it may seem easier to create a new color than to dig through databases or binders of color drawdowns to find the closest match, the problem comes later when you’re faced with a huge, unmanageable library.

One of our clients, a well-known fast-moving consumer packaged goods (FMCG) company, understands how easily things can get out of control. They were not only battling time and cost inefficiencies by using a proprietary color library, they lacked standardization for creating, communicating and managing brand colors.

Production was expensive and quality was suffering. They knew things had to change, but they didn’t know where to start. That’s where we came in.

Today we’re sharing their incredible success story.

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Looking for accurate color? Meet our i1 Family!

With today’s complex cross-media campaigns, accurate profiling is even more important for managing customer expectations across the color supply chain. Our i1Pro 2 solutions help photographers, videographers, prepress and digital printers create profiles for the best color on monitors, scanners, projectors, printers, and online web-to-print submission tools.

But with so many to choose from, how do you know which is the right tool for your color workflow?

Whether you’re looking to add a new component to your existing workflow or ready to convert to a complete i1 solution, today’s blog can help. We’ll explain the different components of a color-managed workflow, why each is important, and the i1 solutions that can help at each stage.

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Lessons packaging designers can learn by dyeing eggs

It’s been said that everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten. Does this phrase ring true for print and packaging designers?

In the spirit of spring, we attempted to use a simple childhood activity—dyeing eggs—to solve some of the most perplexing color issues facing the packaging designer/printer relationship.

dyeing eggs

Here are three lessons to learn about color in packaging from our annual egg dyeing ritual.

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Tools to Help you Achieve Consistent Color

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.

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Labeling the way we see the world… in color

At X-Rite Pantone, we pride ourselves on our ability to help customers specify, communicate, formulate, and produce consistent color. You’re probably familiar with our major markets, like plastics, industrial coatings, and print & packaging. You may also be aware of the more “common” things we measure, like paint, printed surfaces, and textiles.

But, as you look for the emergency exit on a plane, watch a butterfly float by, or choose the freshest package of cheese from the grocer, do you consider the role of color? Today we’re stepping out of the box to highlight some very unique applications of our color management solutions to help you think about color differently.

Farmers use the Munsell Soil Color Chart to evaluate the suitability of soil for crops.

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Execute from Good to GREAT with X-Rite Training Services

At X-Rite Pantone, we love color, and we’re passionate about helping you get yours right. That’s why we offer a full-service training program, staffed with Color Experts from many of the industries we serve.

From beginner to advanced, lowest investment to highest return, we offer a variety of options to teach you everything you need to know to be successful.

  • Are you new to color, wondering where it fits in your business objectives?
  • Do you already have a color workflow, but wish it was more efficient?
  • Are you looking toward certification to help you gain a competitive edge?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ll want to keep reading. Today we’re presenting our stair-step approach to training. There’s a step for everyone, and moving toward the top doesn’t have to be a challenge.

Take a look at where you are today, determine where you want to go, and let us help you achieve your color goals!

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Why visual evaluation is no longer enough

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.

wrong color; xrite blog

Here’s why.

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.

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