Managing Color Should Be As Easy As Driving

 

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Color matters. It matters to the designers you work with and to the clients you serve because ultimately, as buyers, color influences our decision to pick up that magazine or box of cereal from the store shelf, to open that envelope that came in the mail, etc. Unfortunately, for many print service providers, delivering accurate, consistent color is still a huge challenge. Press-to-proof alignment—spot color accuracy—press-to-press consistency—and other color-related issues can cause delays, spoilage and rework, and have a direct impact on the bottom line.

Color management should be similar to driving, where someone can get into a car and, regardless of that car’s make, model or style, that person should be able to maneuver it fairly easily. That consistency is what we want to bring to color management in printing—enabling prepress staff to work on any stage of the color process with little user ramp-up time. And that’s why we’ve joined forces with the International Color Consortium (ICC), the worldwide authoritative body in setting color industry standards. Because it matters to us too.

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Why You Need Workflow In Front Of That Digital Press…NOW!

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I don’t know how long this discussion has been active in the industry, but to me it feels like a conversation I’ve had every week for the past three years. Digital presses are no longer new or disruptive technology. They are table stakes for printers who need to be able to offer a full suite of production color and monochrome services whether it be short run, imprinting or variable data print (VDP) work. The challenge many are facing is almost universal: How do I manage the flow of jobs to the digital press(es)?

Digital presses give printers the ability to offer shorter run lengths than are possible on traditional presses. While not all digital press work is short run, much of it is driven by the need for quick turnaround, small order or variable work—where every page is unique. In many circumstances, these jobs are originating from Web-to-Print (W2P) systems. While service providers have established W2P solutions and have had digital presses for years, many are challenged with everything that happens in between the order being placed and the order making it onto the press. As the volume of this “short order” work starts to grow, traditional adhoc job management systems and procedures simply can’t keep up.

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