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ICS Invents Tools for Color-Accurate Visual Collaboration

(August 2003) posted on Wed Aug 13, 2003

Co-developer of ColorBlind continues to push the envelope

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By Eileen Fritsch

A smart way to investigate a new technology-related product is to ask for details on two things: 1) the background of the technical people behind it; and 2) other fields in which the technology is being used. For example, once you learn more about the company behind ICS's basICColor monitor-calibration package and the Remote Director soft-proofing system, you're likely to view these two products in a whole new light.

That's because the vice president of operations for Integrated Color Solutions (ICS) is Dan Caldwell, who co-created ColorBlind color-management software in 1994. Prior to that he worked in offset lithography for 20 years and operated high-end scanners while running his own prepress service bureau. After leaving the trade, Caldwell worked for a firm that developed RGB-to-CMYK conversion software for scanners. At this firm, he met Franz Herbert, the color scientist who is now the chief technology officer at ICS. Caldwell also helped develop the Profile City on-line profiling service, which gives creative professionals a way to obtain custom ICC profiles for their printers without having to buy color-measurement instruments and profiling software. Now part of ICS, Profile City supplies about 200 profiles a month.

But graphic-arts pros aren't the only ones benefiting from ICS's products. The firm is also marketing software for color-accurate visual collaboration in industrial design. These software tools reduce the time it takes manufacturers to develop products comprised of color-matched components. Take automobile manufacturing for example. The way it is now, each supplier of automotive paints, interior upholstery, and carpeting use their own internal process-control systems to color match their products to those of the other suppliers. Making the system work requires sending a physical sample of the carpet or paint to be matched to the other supplier so that color data can be measured. With ICS' color-accurate visual-collaboration tools, designers from all over the world can convene online to examine how the car and its interior and exterior colors would appear from different angles and under different lighting conditions. And the color data needed for color-matching components is easy to exchange.