Awards & Engraving

October '18

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52 a-e-mag.com • A&E OCTOBER 2018 appear when you print it on paper. Most if not all of you understand and recog- nize that sublimation or heat transfer will likely change in color/appearance when heated. To see exactly what you're going to get, you must transfer it. Sublimation isn't WYSIWYG. What is perfect color? Simply stated, it is nonexistent. What is considered acceptable color by the big wallets? There is an answer, but understand that while the reality is perception, the answer is, "2.0." This is a number that means nothing without a tool. You are in an acceptable range at 2 points off. To get to this point, build a profile. How do you go about building a profile? COLOR PROFILE Building a profile is, from start to finish, an equation and will get you to the best possible color given your system. What's the first step? The first step in building a profile regardless of the technology is to make sure your printer is ready to play. Do a nozzle check; make sure your printer is firing on all cylinders. This seems like a given, but I cannot tell you how many times good- enough color suddenly went bad and it was as simple as a nozzle not spitting ink as it should be. After making sure we are firing, we can get to the build. Your foundation is so important — start with a solid base, follow the right path with the right tools, and you can't go wrong. Individual ink restrictions are your next step. Depending on the RIP software, this step may vary slightly but is relative. We are going to use a four-color CMYK printer for our purposes. Please understand that the concept will translate to an eight-color just the same. First things first: Create a new 100 for all four channels. If you are not sure how to do this correctly, please reach out to me and I can explain it to you. The next step: Your restrictions on individual slots will make a linearization of colors smooth. After your linearization, we are on to the next step, which is the overall in limit. In this instance, we are going to call out the X-Rite Photo Pro 2. We are using a spectrophotometer once we are there and after we have handled the total ink limit, it's time to involve a proper tool. Once you have all the right calibrations — your printer firing on all channels, your channels limited properly, and your total ink limit where it needs to be — it's time to profile. At this point, you are ready to use the profiling software regardless of the platform to create an ICC profile. (ICC is the inter- national color consortium; visit this link for more information: bit.ly/ICCterm). Once you have applied in the proper order, you have optimized your printing system. Remember that the proof is in the pud- ding. I have been working with color in relation to sublimation for almost 15 years and will tell you this: If you limit your total too much, you cut your gamut; if you don't have the right tool and mess the restrictions up, it's going to be hard to find true color; and if your linearization is off because of either of the previously mentioned steps, you may fail at optimizing your color output. Most importantly know this: There are plenty of resources and people like myself that are here to answer your questions and provide the needed insight. Please feel free and reach out and let's color. Sublimation The first step in building a profile regardless of the technology is to make sure your printer is ready to play. IMAGE COURTESY SAWGRASS You must understand that your color will differ between the computer screen and sublimated product. Using a color guide or sublimated product samples helps you match color correctly. IMAGE COURTESY CONDÉ SYSTEMS A&E

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