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Light Booth

Is Geometric Metamerism Wrecking Your Color Program?

The World Series starts next week. While players and fans are gearing up for the big event, stadium groundskeepers are preparing, too. You’ve surely seen those meticulous patterns in the grass – crisscross, spiral, plaid – but do you know how the groundskeepers create them?

Thanks to a phenomenon called geometric metamerism (aka gonio-appearance), the grass really is greener on the other side. Read on to learn more about this optical illusion that can trick your eyes and wreak havoc on your color control program.

This creative use of geometric metamerism tricks the eye into thinking the flat field is concave. Image courtesy of https://growinggreengrass.net

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The Quest for Perfect Black in a Manufacturing Workflow

Color is our perception of reflected light across the visible spectrum. When light hits an object, it absorbs some rays and reflect others. The color of light that reflects back into our eyes is the color we perceive. The more light an object absorbs, the darker it appears. With black, very little light is reflected.

Pure black in the presence of light wasn’t achieved until 2014 when Surrey NanoSystems announced the invention of Vantablack. This high-tech artificial substance absorbs 99.965% of all light that hits it, from the ultraviolet, through the visible and well into the infrared spectrum. When applied to an object, Vantablack makes the object look like a flat, bottomless void in space.

Here you see a crumpled piece of aluminum foil, with Vantablack covering the middle. There is so little reflection you can’t even perceive the wrinkled texture!

Black Vantablack Foil

Image Copyright Surrey NanoSystems 2017

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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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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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2016’s Top Color Management Concerns

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?

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Printer’s Top 5 Steps for a Color Managed Workflow

pressroomIf 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.

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What is Metamerism? | X-Rite Blog

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.

Metameric Pairs

Metameric Pairs

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.

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X-Rite Color Detective-The Red Ball Mystery

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…

Red Ball

Which isn’t actually red.

Green and blue balls

The ball on the left is not green, and the ball on the right is not blue.

The Mystery

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.

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5 Color Evaluation Pitfalls to Avoid

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.

Four Lightbooths

This image shows how different colors look under four different lighting conditions: D65, D50, Store and Home.

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2015’s Top 5 Color Management Concerns

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.

xrite; xrite pantone; x-rite; x-rite color solutions; x-rite headquarters; x-rite grand rapids

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.

 

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