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Implementing Color Management in Tough Times

(March 2009) posted on Mon Mar 16, 2009

Tips to ensure color quality even when there's not much money to spare.

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By Stephen Beals

* X-Rite's ColorMunki Portfolio combines a monitor-calibration tool and a lower-end spectrophotometer for printer profiling with a rather sophisticated but nevertheless simple software package. What the package does is move both calibration technologies and a better, more user-friendly way for designers to understand the nuances of color management. In addition, the software has a built-in lightbooth feature.

* Datacolor's Spyder3 line of color-calibration solutions now includes the Spyder3Pro, Spyder3Print, Spyder3Studio, and Spyder3Elite. Spyder3Pro is a display-calibration tool comprising a colorimeter with a seven-detector color engine with increased aperture plus a Display Assistant that stores and retrieves all user-device-specific information on each display, reducing recalibration time. Spyder3Print is a print-calibration solution that includes software and a Datacolor 1005 spectrocolorimeter combination. Its SpyderGuide enables users to create custom profiles with standard color or black-and-white targets. Spyder3Elite is a more full-featured monitor-calibration package that adds black-and-white luminance controls, gamma curve editing, custom target choices, and more. Spyder3Studio includes both Spyder3Print and Spyder3Elite

* Nazdar Consulting Services' Catzper color-tolerancing software is designed to offer accurate spot-color matches in minimal time. The Catzper Visual Test Grid allows the print provider to quickly output a grid of measured variations of the desired spot color; the operator (or customer) can choose a color on the range, and the software then re-centers and prints another range based on the new target. From there, the desired color match can be chosen visually. The company also has released its Data Capture System (DCS) software, which reads complete color data from a print; once captured, this color information can be used to determine a 'pass' or 'fail' on a print or proof. Plus, printers can compare print to proof, print to print, or job to job and then share the data over their network for review anywhere within the shop.