Earlier this year while helping to lead a Color Management Boot Camp at SGIA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., I was asked to create this video for their Tuesday Tech Tips YouTube series.
In this video, I discuss the difference between an inkjet printer linearization and calibration using RIP software. Take 90 seconds to watch the video and then I’ll add a few comments after.
Let’s focus on calibration, which I explained is based upon an industry specification like G7, and brings a printer to a known good print condition. This print condition is defined by a series of L*a*b* values for the black ink channel and the 3-color gray overprint when utilizing G7.
One advantage of performing a G7 calibration of an inkjet printer is that it can be done regardless of RIP, printer manufacture, ink type and media loaded. That means that multiple printers in multiple locations being driven by different RIPs can all be calibrated to G7.
Upon successful calibration of all these devices, work printed on each and every one of the printers will have a common visual appearance. That is not to say they will have a perfect match because that is virtually impossible when multiple ink types and substrates are involved.
The common visual appearance is achieved because gray is the one color we can all agree upon. When gray is balanced along a known calibration curve taking into account substrate white and solid black, two samples will appear similar when viewed in close proximity. This is because the gray balance is adjusted to account for differences in the substrate white point.
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about this topic or anything else having to do with color management consulting and training.