When we talk to our clients about what we call their “color management pain points,” the ability to maintain consistent color comes up more often than not. Print providers want to be able to give their customers a guarantee that they will be able to hit brand colors from job to job and month to month.
If you’ve worked in the printing industry for any period of time, you know that maintaining consistent color is easier said than done. Sometimes you are crossing your fingers or wasting time, media and ink through trial and error.
One of the best ways to hit color is to always be aiming for a specific target like a CRPC or Characterized Reference Print Condition. Picking a target and using color verification software to analyze prints and compare color to a CRPC is a step in the right direction.
Before SpecCheck, we were able to measure a verification chart into ProofPass and the software would give us a pass/fail designation. But the introduction of SpecCheck allows us to compare color in our prints to a specific CRPC.
In the image examples, we are comparing a measurement to CRPC 6. In the first, you can see that the Delta E tolerances for the substrate, CMY, Black and RGB swatches are close enough for the print to pass in relation to the CRPC 6 target. In the second image, the print fails because the measurements of CMY, Black and RGB are outside the designated tolerance range.
You’ll notice that in both of the examples the overall ProofPass status is Fail. This is because ProofPass evaluates each color bar patch individually without consideration for how that impacts other patches or the whole image. This can be good for ongoing process control but not necessarily for reaching a desired known good print condition like CRPC6 in this case.
For the process of dialing in your color, SpecCheck allows for quick and easy verification against an industry specification. At the same time, SpecCheck points you to problem areas like CMYK solids, RGB overprints or the all-important gray balance. Simply put, SpecCheck gets your arrow in the bullseye of the target and ProofPass verification keeps you close enough to that target to satisfy your customers requirements.
Sure, color management can save you time and money. But more importantly, if we can implement proven strategies to maintain consistent color – especially significant brand colors – on repeat jobs, we will acquire repeat customers. And that’s just good business.