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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

It's out of our hands
Another approach to simplifying the CM process that can have a great deal of appeal to non-technical clients is to take the process almost completely out of the hands of the end-user. Here, we’re not talking about having an outside party come in and implement CM for you, although that certainly is an option. But products like AbsoluteProof and Maxwell allow users to essentially perform the critical measurement and number-crunching of calibrating and profiling off-site. You upload the data and software on an off-site server, which processes the numbers and lets you know what needs to be done. These models are priced on a pay-as-you-go basis, but they also have a lower entry cost since you don’t need to buy the software or worry about upgrades. More importantly, you don’t need the level of expertise of a color guru; you only need to be able to follow instructions.

Last summer, Gimle/AbsoluteProof of New Zealand began offering a unique approach to CM using an entirely Internet-based subscription service, eliminating the need to outlay funds for equipment and training. The company offers ongoing live support, online installation, access to leading color consultants, no software restrictions, continual upgrades free of charge, an online training video library, and user feedback as a valued input for future development. AbsoluteProof has built its service around Epson’s printer products because these are commonly used in commercial print proofing. AbsoluteProof Live is capable of driving multiple output devices in multiple locations at a cost of $100-$200 USD per month. The subscription-based service has profiles for an array of digital print output devices.