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.
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.
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.
When someone says “apple,” do you think red, green, or yellow?
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.
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.
We’re intrigued by color, and that’s no surprise. From starting conversations to subconsciously moving people to make decisions, color inspires and motivates people on a daily basis. As a company, we want to help our customers understand this impact. Through our work with artists, designers, brand owners, and manufacturers, we define and control color, and this event was a great opportunity to showcase this passion.
That’s part of the reason we get so involved in ArtPrize as sponsors, volunteers, and visitors. ArtPrize always brings color to the forefront by executing it in unique, functional, and interesting ways, and this year was no different.
Once again we were on the scene, offering fun ways to explore the role color plays in all of our lives. Here are some of the ways we observed, discussed, and interacted with color at ArtPrize Eight.
When all of final production packaging comes together on the store shelf, it’s a brand’s moment of truth. Do the stand-up pouches, overwraps, and corrugated POP displays match? How close is the color to its standard?
We know you spend so much time and money designing, proofing, sampling, printing, and shipping… so where does the color go wrong? Is it an issue with accuracy, consistency, or both?
Package designs come together on the shelf. Here you see pouches, labels, cartons, and corrugated with visual inconsistencies—these are issues that can be overcome.
Today we’ll look at some of the key underlying issues in a color workflow so you can take corrective action with suppliers and get your brand color right, the first time.
Which of these swatches would you call bright red?
PANTONE FASHION, HOME + INTERIORS Color Specifier pages
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.
Julie Shaffer is Vice President of Education and Marketing Strategies at Printing Industries of America. Each year the PIA organizes a color management conference to bring industry professionals together to learn the latest trends and technologies, network with fellow attendees, and discover how to communicate color effectively.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Julie at Color ’15 to learn more about the conference and some of the color challenges printers face today. Listen in as she shares some of the top color challenges and missed opportunities to control color that printers are facing today.
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.