Sign & Digital Graphics

June '19

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42 • June 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS Controlling color inconsistencies with the current tools of the trade Stephen Romaniello is an artist and educa- tor teaching digital art at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, for over 27 years. He is a certified instructor in Adobe Photoshop and the author of numerous books and articles on the creative use of digital graphics software. Steve is the founder of GlobalEye systems, a company that offers training and consulting in digital graphics software and imaging and Gorilla Geeks, a creative design company. C olor management (CM) is frequently ignored by the nov- ice print technician. When an image is printed, simply choosing to let the printer manage color and relinquishing con- trol of the final output to a single device will not produce the best quality print. The disparity can be observed by comparing the print to the image on the monitor. Disappointing at best! The idea of synchronizing color output on all of the many devices in the digital workflow can be pretty daunting. The hard reality is that a color-managed environment is essential for consistent quality output. Fortunately, CM, though technical, is not that complicated. The basic concept is that color varies between different capture devices such as digital cameras and scanners, and between differ- ent output devices such as monitors and color printers. Managing color is the process of finding a common color workspace for all B Y S T E P H E N R O M A N I E L L O The Digital Eye What's New in Color Management? of the devices in the workflow to ensure that colors appear and print on each device as similarly as possible. (Figure 1). Color Difference The same colors appear differently from device to device even though the same data is being processed. Input devices like scanners and digital cameras and output devices such as monitors, inkjet printers, color copiers, web and offset presses have individual color capabilities. CM helps to resolve these color inconsistencies and match color on all of the devices in the workflow. That being said, CM does not guarantee identical color reproduction. It does, however, enable significantly more control over the color produced by each device. Nuts and Bolts Before we embark in exploring new CM options let's get a little more specific about what we do when we manage color. CM is about manipulating the numerical color values of the pixel data in an image to conform to the color potential of a specific output device whether it be a monitor or a printer. An ICC (International Color Consortium) profile defines an image's "color space" so that it can be configured on screen to match how it will look when printed. To get a printed image to match the monitor's display is achieved by systematically following a few steps. ColorCheck, enables print service providers to validate color accu- racy to print buyers as well as ensure consistency of output across devices over time. ONYX ColorCheck gives users the ability to pull spot colors right from the file to ensure customer brand color needs are met, and that the color is consistent every time, conforming to standards including G7 and Fogra

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