On May 5, PrintAction magazine hosted around 30 printing technicians and operational managers, as well some of the world’s leading colour management experts at a daylong event – five sessions – focused on colour management, as part of its PrintAction Education Series.
William Li, Kodak’s Colour Technology Manager, began the morning with a keynote about the globalization of colour and the growing importance of standardization. Li described the growing momentum behind the new M-measurement protocols for measuring and viewing print according to various light conditions. He also touched on the growth in extended gamut printing.
Li spent time describing several of the more prominent technical growth areas in colour management, including the ongoing development of GRACoL Plus for reaching wider gamut and the new iccMAX initiative from the International Colour Consortium. After addressing the conflicting growth of G7 in North America and FOGRA in Europe, Li also discussed the critical need for Canada to become active in the TW130 program to have input in the direction of global standards relating to colour management.
In Session 2, Angus Pady of Toronto-based ColourManagement.ca, described some of the more important tools printers should embrace for colour management. He emphasized how printers should be doing what they can to take advantage of – and gather – all of the available data for colour management.
Pady ran through a range of useful software programs printers can use for analyzing the data, with an emphasis on recording colour curves. He stressed the importance of adopting colour servers for effective colour management.
Abhay Sharma, a world-leading expert in colour management with Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program, then teamed up with David Brenner of X-Rite to delve deeper into the new M measurement modes for printing. They focused on how the new M1 mode now accounts for the use of UV light, which has been traditionally cut out of calculations because it could not be properly measured.
While the UV-cut measurement is accounted for in M2, the M1 standard is able to account for the growing use of Optical Brightening Agents in papers. Brenner described how the M standards are be accounted for in new measurement systems like X-Rite’s eXact system, which can flip between UV and non-UV readings.
Session 4 of the day sparked a lot of discussion among attendees as speaker Peter Hedgecock, Business Improvement Consultant with Leapover Consulting Inc., described some of the potential pitfalls of G7, based on his own experiences during a recent implementation of G7 Certification. Leveraging his experience in continuous improvement and as Canada’s first liaison for the SWOP working group, Hedgecock focused on why achieving grey balance is far from a proper definition of quality printing in offset printing, primarily relating to the adjustment of CTP curves.
Peter Aston of Heidelberg Canada wrapped up the daylong Colour of Printing event with an interesting session called Profit and Success with Colour Management. Aston provided attendees with hard data points to describe the importance and capability to optimize a range of processes between prepress and press to realize effective colour management.
Aston, again using data from dozens of tracked printing company, related how such optimization can lead to enormous reductions in waste and increases in productivity. Aston also used a handful of case studies to describe how specific printing companies achieved enormous spikes in productivity.
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