Innovation: A River Runs Through It

I spent a few years working in Paris, where the Seine River has played a pivotal role in the shaping of the city’s personality. As I stayed longer and got to know the city and its people better, one of the things that became clear to me was that the Seine River physically separated two distinct cultures of the city.

Image courtesy of www.aparisguide.com

The left bank, including the Latin Quarter, Montparnasse, and Sorbonne, is all about creativity, design and ideation. The right bank is more sophisticated and upright (or uptight), and it’s the side that gets the job done. This is where you’ll find the Champs Elysees, the Royal Palace, and most of the larger banks and businesses. The two sides cannot exist without each other, but they are culturally and physically divided by the Seine.

It struck me recently that this picture of the Seine dividing Creative from Execution can provide a helpful metaphor for the relationship of Design to Production in a different setting — product manufacturing companies all over the world. In fact, any company that innovates probably has a river that runs between its design and production functions.

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Consumers are Naturally Selecting More “Human” Brands

FUSE 2017 provided a wealth of valuable industry insight by showcasing how today’s brands are not only surviving, but thriving. While each scenario presented unique challenges and obstacles, one constant seemed abundantly clear:  brands must create a human connection between themselves and their consumers. Humanizing brands reinvigorates (or, in some cases, generates) a level of trust from consumers that is currently eroding.

brands

Speakers at FUSE highlighted a few specific examples of ways companies have successfully altered their strategies to include this humanization. Read on for a summary, or check out the full article from our President Ron Voigt via Brand Packaging.

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Let your voice be heard… Join the X-RITE LAB!

In an effort to better understand YOU, YOUR business, and YOUR color challenges, we’re inviting you to be a part of the new X-RITE LAB. Our research and design teams are asking for YOUR input as we look for new and exciting challenges to solve.

The X-RITE LAB is a group of professionals who are interested in voicing their color challenges and emerging as thought leaders. Regardless of industry, role, or years of color knowledge, we’re looking for individuals whose professional goals resonate with our mission – getting color right the first time, every time.

X-RITE LAB

 

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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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Color Workflow Management in the Pressroom

We’ve written a lot about “color workflows” and “color management” on our blog. Today we’re connecting the dots to show you how “color workflow management” can mean big savings in a busy pressroom.

Pressroom

Without color workflow management, you can end up producing something you think is right, but is completely wrong in the end.

Especially in the printing industry, checking color quality at multiple steps along the way is the key to ensuring you’re on the right track. Color workflow management closes the gap between users, specifications, and color to ensure good quality.

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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 Communication Doesn’t Have To Be So Hard!

When someone says “apple,” do you think red, green, or yellow?

Red Green Yellow Apples

What do you do if a customer asks you to produce a color using descriptions that are not specific enough? Check out how something as seemingly simple as color communication can determine whether your color program succeeds or fails.

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Don’t throw away your leftover inks… Reuse them!

As brand owners compete to make packaging stand out, printers are charged with achieving accurate color – on unique substrates – with shorter print runs. Many spend a lot of time mixing ink, then end up throwing it away when the color isn’t right.

If you’re stuck in this cycle, you’re essentially paying for ink twice – once when you buy it, and once again to dispose of it. What are the economics behind this waste? What’s the impact on our earth?

Today we’re demonstrating how the InkFormulation Software’s Leftover Management feature can help you reduce inventory and waste and lower your disposal costs.

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Defining a Realistic Pass/Fail Tolerance

Did you read our blog: Are You Using The Right Tolerancing Method? If not, check it out. Today we’re taking the topic one step further to investigate how tolerances are chosen in different industries.

A pass-fail tolerance is the amount of color variation that is considered commercially acceptable. In part, tolerances are driven by customer expectations. While color tolerances are very tight in the automotive, plastics, and paint & coatings worlds, they can be much less strict in other industries.

car door color matching

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