In previous articles, I covered how we control colour with software and hardware using design programs and the printers. There is another important piece of hardware too. It's a colour matching booth. Not a weird device that you climb inside and lock the door, but rather a station that has special fluorescent tubes that illuminate vertically mounted prints and proofs from above. The big problem to overcome with manual hardcopy matching of colour is the lighting conditions. There are so many different conditions, fluoresecent warm to cool tubes, halogen, daylight sunny and cloudy, incadescent blubs and now led lighting which all emit different colour. There is no easy solution but a good start is an industry standard, which just happens to be D50 or more commonly known as daylight.
We were the only Australasian competitor to gain a placing in the inaugural HP Digital Print Awards 2010 (Asia Pacific & Japan). The awards were open to owners of HP Scitex industrial printers in the Asia Pacific and Japan regions. This makes for a massive customer base eligible to enter. There were 5 categories with gold, silver and bronze being awarded in each. We entered our bronze winning Glassons Westfield Riccarton entry in the 'Interior Advertising' category.
Glassons have recently opened their new look fashion playgrounds in Palmerston North and at Riccarton, Christchurch. It's a whole new look for Glassons stores and they are awesome. Yeah, we are biased, but we are stoked with our input into this new concept. We have worked closely with Glassons for many years producing their visual merchandising. Here are some of the visuals we created for the project. There is a mix of all sorts of printing techniques and technology used in the production of them.
Matching colours correctly; it is a process that happens behind the scenes. You might not realise how important it is and why we take it so seriously. A number of years ago I read an article which is a great way to describe why colour management so important. It's all about making toast!
It's true, the easiest thing about digital printing is buying (if the bank likes you) the machine. Yes, the printers are automated, but they require quite a lot of user interaction to make the difference between a good print and a not so good print. Taking a closer look at the not so good prints, it comes down to a few important details which require additional skills, than just sending files to a machine. Here is a small snapshot of some baddies we avoid in the background.