Colour Control

GMG, developer and supplier of colour management and proofing solutions, has launched an upgrade program in which users of older i1 measuring instruments can upgrade to the latest i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer for a special price.

Users to turn in their older i1 measuring devices to GMG via an authorized retailer, can purchase the i1Pro 2 device along with a ProofControl update for $1,221. The offer will run until November 30th.

The i1Pro 2 features new measuring technology that supports the M1 measuring standard. The future ISO/Fogra industry standards - which will probably be available from the end of this year - are based on the new M1 measuring standard. To be able to employ the new measuring standards, users will have to replace their current measuring devices and software by new technology.

GMG ProofControl permits contract-quality verification of proofs, making colour accuracy objectively measurable. The latest version supports the verification of spot colour and GMG OpenColor profiles.

X-Rite Inc. introduced version 1.5 of its i1Profiler system with an emphasis on creating accurate device links to better drive a range of printing processes (inkjet, toner, offset) and to manage legacy print work.

i1Profiler v1.5 includes a new Device Link Profiling feature for colour mapping from one device to another, which includes an emphasis on creating what X-Rite describes as digital-to-digital and digital-to-offset links. Version 1.5 allows for re-targeting colour data values when a job is being printed – in maintaining colour separations.

Frank Maeder, X-Rite Product Manager of Imaging Solutions, states that in addition to running equipment more efficiently, customers using i1Profiler v1.5 should see benefits in the vibrancy and saturation of printed materials and efficient use of inks and toners.
Beyond the new Device Link Profiling feature, the i1Profiler v1.5 update also includes: M1 support for i1iO in spot mode, support for the Hutch Color (HCT) targets for scanner profiling, support for the Ugra/Fogra Media Wedge CMYK for large-format printing, and enhanced display and projector profiling.
Device Link Profiling is available free of charge to current X-Rite customers with i1Pro 2. Users must have an i1Pro 2 instrument with an i1Profiler Publish license or a USB dongle with an i1Profiler Publish license to unlock Device Link.

Color-Logic, a developer of colour systems and software, has certified the Presstek 75DI press for use with the Process Metallic Color System. This announcement extends a long relationship between the two companies.

“The Presstek 75DI press and its predecessor presses are well-suited to market demands for fast turnaround short-run color printing, and are gaining acceptance for short-run prototype production in the packaging market,” said Mark Geeves, Director of Sales and Marketing at Color-Logic. “As packaging printers embrace the Color-Logic process, many are turning to the Presstek machines to show clients how their packages would appear on the shelf.”

Mark Sullivan, Presstek Group Product Director of Digital Printing, added: “The special effects and extreme high quality produced by the Color-Logic software and the Presstek 75DI presses invariably catch the eye of brand owners as they look for ways to make their brands stand out from the crowd."

Pantone is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Pantone Matching System with a special, limited-edition release of its Pantone Plus series of guides and books. 

“In celebration of Pantone’s 50 years of colour inspiration, we designed special anniversary edition packaging and covers for the PANTONE PLUS SERIES,” said Giovanni Marra, director of corporate marketing at Pantone. “The PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM® sparked a revolution in colour management and inspiration. We can’t wait to see how the PLUS SERIES shapes the next 50 years of colour.”

The origins of Pantone stem from a commercial printing company after employee Lawrence Herbert used his chemistry knowledge to simplify the company’s stock of pigments and production of coloured inks. By 1962, he ran the ink and printing division at a profit while the company’s commercial-display division faltered. He bought the company for $50,000 and the first Pantone Matching System for Printers was released in 1963.

Herbert soon got the majority of the ink producers he contacted to sign on to his system. In the mid-1960s, the Pantone system was adapted outside of the printing world for use in the design and artist markets. The company followed the desktop publishing revolution of the 1980s and remains a global standard today.

The limited-edition Pantone Plus Series guides and books feature metallic covers and a 50th anniversary logo. Additionally, the Pantone Formula Guide and Pantone Colour Bridge sets are packaged in a 50th anniversary gift box. The guides are available separately or part of value bundles.

X-Rite is introducing the IntelliTrax News auto-scanning system, a newly developed hardware-software package, to help newspapers reduce ink usage, press time and paper waste, while improving the quality of printed colour images. 

The new software is primarily designed to monitor and control colour density and gray balance. IntelliTrax News (ITX News), which has been running in what X-Rite describes as large regional newspapers, includes a newly developed spectrodensitometer.

"With prior systems, newspapers had to manually align gray bars of printed sheets to take measurements, which creates extra steps and opportunities for errors if press operators don't position everything correctly," expained Steve Mattingly, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at Southern Lithoplate Inc., a Wake Forest, N.C. manufacturer, distributor and provider of printing plates and associated products for targeted print markets. "With the ITX News system, our customers will get accurate, consistent measurements in a single pass, giving them a high level of confidence and managing waste in an industry that is continuously challenged to track, manage and lower costs."

Pressroom personnel, according to X-Rite, can use the ITX News system to scan the gray bar of a full broadsheet in about 10 seconds and generate graphics that summarize data and can used to adjust ink flow at press consoles.

X-Rite continues to explain that ITX News can closely monitor the density values of cyan, magenta, and yellow inks on any of the columns being run on newsprint to reduce the time and paper needed to produce sellable copies. The graphics shown on the system's touch-screen monitor for gray balance allows press operators to make the necessary adjustments to maintain process control throughout the press run.

In addition to reading C, Y and M values, the instrument concurrently can read black patches embedded in the gray bar so pressroom personnel monitor both colour and black text with one measurement. An earlier version of the product could not measure both colour and black values on the same sheet at the same time.

X-Rite introduces new features into version 1.4 of its i1Profiler colour management software, including new scanner profiling, as well as support for new operating systems.

Employing the software’s new scanner profiling, users scan the target to generate a high-quality custom ICC profile and the software will automatically detect and crop the target. It supports the following targets: ColorChecker Classic, ColorChecker Digital SG, Reflective IT 8.7/2, and Transmissive 4x5 and 35mm IT 8.7/1.

The version 1.4 release of i1Profiler software now includes basic and advanced modes for professionally calibrated and profiled monitors (including presets for video production workflows), projectors, scanners and printers. Scanner functionality is now available in i1Photo Pro 2, i1Publish Pro 2, i1Publish and all upgrade packages.

i1Profiler verison 1.4 also includes additional CGATS and other minor workflow improvements, plus several maintenance fixes. The update is free for current users and available for download from and

X-Rite proposes opening the XRGA standard to third parties, so that printers can exchange data between sites using different instruments, regardless of legacy affiliation.

XRGA is a standard that X-Rite implemented around two years ago to integrate its own technology with that of GretagMacbeth, PANTONE, and other entities that X-Rite acquired over the past several years. This standard aligns all X-Rite instrumentation to a single standard, regardless of the point of manufacture or date of manufacture of a product.

Through its subsidiary Pantone LLC, X-Rite’s proposed program would reduce problems that companies face when they try to exchange colour data that has been measured with different model instruments made by the same manufacturer or with instruments made by different manufacturers.

“Just about every company in the printing industry deals with this problem at one time or another,” said Stephen Miller, Market Manager of Print Solutions at X-Rite. “Unfortunately, some printers deal with this on an almost daily basis as they are trying to exchange high-quality colour measurement data to stakeholders in their supply chain.

"XRGA proved to be such an effective tool at harmonizing the colour measurement data of our own wide array of instruments that we think it's worthwhile to offer the same method to benefit the entire colour measurement industry,” continued Miller. “While X-Rite competes with a number of other respected companies in this field, we should cooperate as a industry to develop a common standard of instrument agreement to benefit all of our customers.”

XRGA incorporates ISO-13655 with other best practices in colour science methods to greatly reduce measurement variation among instruments due to different calibration standards. This means that handheld and bench-top colorimeters and spectrophotometers, formulation and quality assurance software packages and equipment, such as pressroom colour scanners, are all measuring and communicating using the same standards.

Tobias Associates has introduced the new TBX 1000 Series of transmission densitometers, which measure visual diffuse optical density (OD) to 6.00D. According to the company, this wide measuring range is unique in its ability to evaluate many types of film, laminates and substrates. 

The TBX 1500 model also calculates positive and negative dot areas, while the new top-range densitometer in the series, TBX 2000, also measures percent opacity and transmission.

“The TBX 1000 Series provides a very high degree of accuracy and precision and offers an optional colour filter for special applications,” said Bill Bender, International Sales Director, who has been with Tobias for the past 34 years. “It is very durable, requiring minimal repair or maintenance.”

Tobias has manufactured its densitometers in Ivyland, Pennsylvania, for the past 50 years.

X-Rite and Pantone have announced a new cloud-based initiative called PantoneLIVE. The service aims to provide centralized access to brand colour data. It will enter service on June 15.

Brand colour standards are the principal component to the system and are derived from real ink on real substrates using real printing processes. This allows brand owners to predict how corporate spot colours will reproduce on a variety of substrates, including brown corrugated, clear film and white polypropylene.

“Globally consistent colour standards are essential to brand identity. With supply chains made up of hundreds of different facilities scattered around the world, corporations struggle to control and maintain colour consistency,” said Dr. Sonia Megert. “PantoneLIVE is a dynamic ecosystem, open to all supply chain participants, which delivers consistent colour across the entire packaging workflow – from design concept to retail-store shelves.”

According to Pantone, one company, Chesapeake, a global producer of consumer packaging, was able to reduce colour variation by 84 percent while decreasing its stocked inks from 3,000 inks to only 537.

Sun Chemical and Esko have been named as “preferred partners” in the PantoneLIVE initiative due to their involvement in its development. Pantone assures users that any manufacturer’s ink will be able to take advantage of the system.

Access to the system will cost designers US$99, while those in pre-production and production will have to pay US$1,150 and US$2,650, respectively. A colour audit for a brand owner starts at US$4,500.

Ohio-based Color-Logic has started to ship a new visualizer tool, which enables creative-professionals and brand owners to visualize Color-Logic’s metallic and decorative effects on their designer workstations. 

The tool is based on Color-Logic’s preexisting, patent-pending Process Metallic Color System, which relies on CMYK and applying a fifth colour. It allows for the production of up to 250 different metallic colours on metallic or paper substrates when running offset, lithography, flexography, toner, inkjet or and screen printing processes.

“The Color-Logic FX-Viewer is an integral part of the basic Color-Logic software, which creates 5-colour files for printing with metallic inks or with white inks on metallic substrates,” stated Mark Geeves, Director of Sales and Marketing for Color-Logic. “Using our software, designers can both create and view the metallic look and special effects of Color-Logic files right on their desktop workstation monitors, and thus verify visually, in one easy step, how their designs will appear when printed.”

FineEye Color Solutions has released new colour separation software, called ICEit! 2.0, which is delivered as a Photoshop Plug-In. According to the company, ICEit!, designed to replace the default separation process in Photoshop., captures more of the original RGB image’s colour gamut during the CMYK conversion.

ICEit! is offered as a base product and as a professional version. With ICEit! Pro, a user can place the ICEit! separation in a Photoshop layer for colour editing. This includes separation options called Colorize, Brighten or Extreme.

ICEit! is offered as a subscription service ranging from $79 to $189 annually, which gives users access to all upgrades and support offered by FineEye Color. ICEit! supports GRACoL and SWOP industry specifications, 

Pantone has just launched a mobile application for Android smartphone users and updated its offering for Apple iOS users. myPANTONE is an application which allows designers to access Pantone's libraries and cross-reference across L*a*b, HTML and sRGB values. Users can also share colour palettes with friends via email as well as extract colours from photos taken on their phones.

“We continue to see a fundamental shift in the way designers work and smartphones are increasingly acting as portable colour studios,” said Andy Hatkoff, Vice President of Technology Licensing for Pantone. “myPANTONE for the iPhone was our first mobile application. Since its release, our Facebook community has been passionate about telling us the features they would like to see in future versions, including CMYK values and display calibration for more accurate colour representation on screen. And, as the mobile market continues to expand, requests for an Android version of myPANTONE could not be ignored.”

The app users will have access to:

  • PANTONE PLUS SERIES FORMULA GUIDE (coated and uncoated), a two-guide set consisting of 1,341 solid PANTONE colours on coated and uncoated stock with corresponding printing ink formulas for each colour;
  • PANTONE PLUS SERIES CMYK (coated and uncoated) provides a comprehensive palette of 2,868 colours achievable in four-colour (CMYK) process printing;
  • PANTONE PLUS COLOR BRIDGE (coated and uncoated) features CMYK values for all 1,341 solid PANTONE colours;
  • PANTONE PLUS PASTELS & NEONS (coated and uncoated);
  • PANTONE Goe (coated and uncoated) and PANTONE GoeBridge coated;
  • PANTONE FASHION + HOME Color System Library (paper and cotton); and
  • PANTONE FASHION + HOME nylon brights.

The Android version of myPANTONE costs US$7.99 and is available on the Android Market. myPANTONE 2.0 for iOS is available as a free upgrade for owners of the first version and is available for US$9.99 for new users.

PANTONE announced a new program which allows printers to be certified to enable accurate PANTONE Solid and Process Colour Matching throughout its production workflow, from intake and ink mixing to print production and customer handling.

"Designers rely on their chosen print provider to accurately reproduce their projects, regardless of the many variables that can affect colour reproduction," said Giovanni Marra, Director of Corporate Marketing at Pantone. "By selecting a PANTONE Certified Printer, designers can rest easy knowing the printer has an effective color reproduction process in place with all of the required tools to properly evaluate colour and ensure the best match to PANTONE colours."

The PANTONE Certified Printer Program focuses on measurement, control and communication, and audits each step of the process including prepress, press and ink. Through the use of instruments and ink formulation software, PANTONE Certified Printers can calculate the best possible match to a client's chosen substrate and set realistic expectations by providing a report that indicates how closely a designer can expect to match any given colour. Those printing to the GRACoL standard can use PANTONE Colour Numbers straight from PANTONE Guides; others can calculate the best four-colour build for their press conditions by using PANTONE COLOR MANAGER Software.

Printers can be a part of the PANTONE Certified Printer Program for US$7,850, which covers the first year of certification and a one-year PANTONE license. Additional plants can be added for $4,100. Re-certification is $6,050 per year. PANTONE says there may be additional costs for products, software and equipment calibration necessary to pass audit requirements.

X-Rite today introduced its new portfolio of i1 Professional Color Management Solutions, which is comprised of i1Basic Pro, i1Photo Pro, i1 Publish and i1Publish Pro.

i1Basic Pro is designed for high-end monitor profiling, monitor- and printing-quality verification, and spot-colour measurement. i1Basic Pro includes i1Profiler software, Pantone Color Manager software and an i1Pro spectrophotometer.

i1Photo Pro is specifically designed for users to manage their RGB workflow from camera to display and projector to print.

i1Publish (a standalone software package) and i1Publish Pro are ICC profiling solutions to organize and manage complete RGB, CMYK and CMYK+N (CMYK plus any 4) prepress workflows. The software includes new assurance validation and verification functions, such as a display QA function to check soft proofing for ISO (G7, SWOP, PSO, Japan Color) and a printer QA function to check print quality using ISO media wedges (IDEAlliance ISO Control Wedge or Fogra Media Wedge).

i1Photo Pro and i1Publish Pro include i1Profiler software, an i1Pro spectrophotometer, Pantone Color Manager software, ColorChecker Proof target, mini ColorChecker Classic target, and ColorChecker Passport camera calibration software. i1Publish includes all of the above except for the spectrophotometer.

CGS Publishing Technologies, which develops colour management solutions, introduced what the company refers to as its next-generation ORIS Press Matcher // Web, which is now shipping.

ORIS Press Matcher // Web, according to the company, has been completely redesigned and optimized for the specific requirements of all forms of "digital printing" (toner and large-format inkjet processes). The company states this new software allows companies to manage each printing process with one central colour management system based on client/server architecture.

ORIS Press Matcher // Web colormetrically aligns all presses to one common repeatable standard, whether an international standard like ISO coated V2 or GRACoL, or a customer’s own house standard.

Colour profiles for each printing environment are created by measurement using an iterative process, which allows for repeatable results. A software wizard is said to guide the user through the process in a few minutes.

ORIS Press Matcher // Web includes soft-proofing tools so that jobs can be uploaded and tracked online, then checked on a colour-accurate monitor, and ultimately released directly from within the application.

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