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Color Management: The Guru List

(April 2010) posted on Tue May 04, 2010

More than 20 tips and tricks on wide-format color management from seasoned experts

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Not all RIPs allow this, but if you can manage individual channels of ink (c, m, y, k) during ink limiting, you can select the closest match to CMYK L*a*b* colors specified in Gracol/SWOP guidelines (same as the ISO Standard). Print a CMYK step wedge and measure the hue angle of the heaviest patch, adjust the density/Total Ink Limit of this patch to get the closest hue angle to that required. For instance, the required hue angle for cyan is 233 degrees. Once the ink density/hue-angle adjustment has been made, this will be an excellent base to G7-calibrate your printer, and you will have a much better chance of getting a “shared visual match” between wide-format and sheetfed corporate/brand colors. This will be an excellent base on which to build a profile.
Dan Wilson, Prepress I.T. Limited

11. Temperatures for Solvent Media
Heat has advantages and disadvantages when printing on solvent media. Advantages include: more ink load (larger gamut), faster drying times, and better adhesion. Disadvantages include: head strikes, wear on the print heads, and nozzle clogging.|

Here is how I find the maximum amount of heat that a media can handle (doing so will help protect you from head strikes): Load the media and set the heaters to the highest temperature. Sit level with the height of the media laying on the platen. Watch for when the media starts to rise and ripple. When it does, check the current temp on the heaters.
—Stephan Marsico, Digital Color Concepts

12. Watch That Paper Color
Be aware that brightened, super-white media can fool the instruments you use (and make your results have a yellow cast). Make sure to turn your UV filter on if the material is bright bluish-white.
—Ron Ellis, Ron Ellis Consulting

13. Hide Network Printers
When working with one or multiple inkjet printers on a network, it’s a good idea to “hide” the printers that are driven by a color-managed RIP. Most printers broadcast their presence via Bonjour and Windows Plug and Play. Often, users will unwittingly add printers to their workstations. By turning off these printer broadcasts (usually there is a simple Web interface for this purpose), e-mails and other inappropriate files will not then mysteriously print on wide-format inkjets, onto very expensive media.
—Son Do, Rods and Cones


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