Awards & Engraving

October '18

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A&E OCTOBER 2018 • a-e-mag.com 51 Sublimation possible output with the given system. If we have a big customer that is looking for a specific color we cannot achieve, it may be best to outsource to someone with an eight-color printer and some of the tools we discuss a little later on. On the desktop format, we are limited because we generally are not running a RIP software. What's a RIP software? RIP stands for rasterizing image processor. What that means to us is translator. Your computer speaks, and the RIP translates the artwork to a language that your printer understands. It is up to us to dictate that language. How do we achieve the best possible color using a RIP? We build a color profile. COLOR FACTORS What is a color profile and how do I build the best possible one for my printing system? There are a number a variables that we need to sort out, including ink, paper, environment, substrate, and, of course, the tools. Do I need a printer file for each sub- strate? There are a lot of factors that go into determining that and they are light related. How does light react with the substrate? Does the substrate have UV promoters or is it neutral? If you want the best possible color, it is best to build a profile specific to the coating and/or fabric of each substrate you work with. I recently spoke to one of my respected colleagues and the topic was color and our understanding of how sublimation works (what affects color). I just addressed the substrate, now let's address the device we use to put the ink to paper. The printer is the next variable and these machines are not all created equally. Optimization is reality- based on the given printer, substrate, paper, environment, and tools. I had a coworker recently say to me that sublimation is not WYSIWYG, which made me laugh. WYSIWYG — what you see is what you get — is often used to describe systems in which what you see on the computer screen is exactly what will Building a profile is, from start to finish, an equation and will get you to the best possible color given your system. IMAGE COURTESY SEAN STEWART Performing a nozzle check ensures that your printer is firing on all cylinders. IMAGE COURTESY CONDÉ SYSTEMS

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