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.
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.
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.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A time to reminisce… to celebrate our successes, and to explore areas that may need a little more attention in 2017.
If color accuracy is on your list of things to improve, this article is for you. We’ve compiled a list of the blogs our readers found most helpful and interesting in 2016, so you can start working toward your goal of more accurate color in the New Year.
Did your favorite blog make the list?
If you’re a commercial printer who wants to improve color quality and consistency, this blog is for you.
Ray Cheydleur is a printing industry veteran of more than 20 years, a standards guru, and our Portfolio Manager for Printing and Imaging Products. Passionate and very knowledgeable about color, he has a talent for helping printers improve their color quality and consistency.
Today he’s sharing five critical steps in a color-managed workflow to help you create an efficient printing operation, a repeatable final product, and satisfied brand owners.
Have you ever walked out of the house wearing two black socks, only to arrive at work and realize one of them is navy blue? If so, you’ve been a victim of metamerism.
Metamerism is a phenomenon that occurs when two colors appear to match under one lighting condition, but not when the light changes.
This picture shows the same dyed wool swatches under U30 fluorescent (top) and A incandescent (bottom) light sources. Notice how the samples appear to change color? This, of course, is something manufacturers want to avoid. Metameric matches are quite common, especially in near neutral colors like grays, whites, and dark colors like these. As colors become lighter or more saturated, the range of possible metameric matches becomes smaller.
To manage metamerism during color production, you need to know what causes it.
You’ve probably heard of popular detectives like Sherlock Holmes and high school sleuth Nancy Drew, who have gained notoriety by solving the toughest crimes. With so many color mysteries out there, we thought it was time to do some investigating of our own in the mysterious realm of color.
In our Color Detective blog series, we’ll be tackling some of the biggest mysteries in color, starting with this red ball…
Which isn’t actually red.
The ball on the left is not green, and the ball on the right is not blue.
If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Since the beginning of our color learning days, we’ve been taught to identify colors like the ones above as red, green, and blue. While this may be the case on the surface, there’s more to this color story.
The secret lies in the colorants used to manufacture each ball, and the way these colorants interact with light to send our brains a color message.
If you work in an industry where color accuracy is important, you know that lighting plays a huge role in how you perceive color.
A light booth is a crucial part of any visual evaluation program. It can help you verify whether the color of your product is acceptable, plus ensure it will remain accurate in every lighting condition after purchase. When parts are manufactured at different factories, a light booth should also be used to make sure they continue to match under any lighting condition once assembled.
This image shows how different colors look under four different lighting conditions: D65, D50, Store and Home.
January is a popular time for “Top” lists. The Top 100 Songs. The Top 20 News Stories. The Top 50 Travel Destinations.
We’re looking back too, and blog readership is one area we find very interesting. Today we’ll share the Top 5 Posts of 2015, what we think they say about you – our blog readers – and how we plan to continue these popular conversations in 2016.
New in 2015: The X-Rite Pantone Customer Center at our corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan is a great place to see our products in action.
Many companies spend a lot of time and money on color measurement instruments and software but forget about the importance of lighting when approving products for shipment.
When used properly, spectrophotometers and color management software can tell you if your colors are within tolerance, and they can also manage gloss and metamerism (see explanation of metamerism below). However, you could still be sending out unsatisfactory parts if they don’t look right after they’re assembled, once they hit the store shelves, or after they arrive in the consumer’s home or office. At some point in the supply chain, someone must visually evaluate these parts – next to each other and under different light sources – to make sure they are ready to ship.
Proper evaluation considers how the product will look, when assembled, in each possible location. A light booth can simulate colors pre-purchase under store lighting, as well as under lighting that might represent their final environment. For instance, carpet manufacturers need to know how their products will look in the showroom as well as under incandescent tungsten, warm-white fluorescent, and the LED bulbs increasingly found in homes.
When a finished good is comprised of several materials, a light booth can ensure that the harmony among components remains constant under all lighting conditions. A light booth should be used to verify color acceptability, and more importantly, to ensure that the item does not exhibit physical defects.
Today we’ll look at the color science behind why a light booth is a necessary part of every color evaluation workflow.
As we’ve talked about in previous posts, proper lighting conditions are crucial for evaluating color. The best way to know you’re seeing color accurately is to evaluate your samples in a light booth.
But what if you don’t have a light booth available?
Pantone has solved this problem with its LIGHTING INDICATOR Stickers. They’re economical, easy to use, and the second best way to find out if your viewing conditions are right for color evaluation.