Color standardization is a key element in printing to ensure consistent and accurate color reproduction across different devices, software applications, and printing processes. What we see on the screen follows the RBG (red, blue, and green) pattern. The printers follow the CMYK [cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black)] pattern and so it is of utmost importance to calibrate the display, the proofer, and the printer at zero. And the ‘zero’ is what standardization refers to, explains Aniket Rane, founder of Mumbai-based ChromaLynx, a color management specialist.
Color standardization allows designers, printers, and clients to have a common understanding and expectation of how colors will appear in the final printed output. Rane has been a G7 expert since 2016 when Steve Smiley (a color management expert and a well-known name in the graphics industry), in conjunction with IppStar, conducted a five-day certification course attended by 25 participants.
Rane has worked on several calibration and G7 color standardization projects, including those with SAP Print Solutions and Parksons Packaging. As a G7 expert, he is qualified to conduct training and implement G7 standardization and certification by Idealliance – a developer of specifications and certifications in the graphic communications industry, and a global association of brands, printers, and technology companies.
G7 is Idealliance’s set of specifications for achieving gray balance and aims to achieve visual similarity across all print processes.
According to Rane, a large number of printers in India do not take the issue of color management seriously. “Not all printers are keen to spend money on color management solutions. But the problem does not end there. The Indian print industry does not have enough color management specialists who can work efficiently with printers. The industry must pay proper attention to color management to improve the quality of the industry. I am working with several companies to spread awareness,” Rane says.
Color standardization in the print industry involves using established color systems such as Pantone and CMYK, implementing color management techniques, and employing color calibration and profiling tools to achieve consistent and accurate color reproduction across different devices and printing processes.
Rane says CMYK is a subtractive color model used in the printing process. “It represents colors by combining different percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks. This color model is widely used in the printing industry because it closely matches the color capabilities of most commercial printers. Designers typically work in the CMYK color space to ensure accurate color representation in printed materials. The Pantone matching system is a proprietary color-matching system that assigns unique identification numbers to specific colors. Each Pantone color has a precise formula that defines the amount of base inks needed to reproduce it accurately. Printers and designers can use Pantone color guides to ensure consistent color reproduction across different materials and printing methods.”
In addition to these color systems, there are various color management techniques and international standards such as ICC profiles (International Color Consortium) that help maintain color consistency throughout the print production workflow. ICC profiles define the color characteristics of devices such as monitors, printers, and scanners, allowing color transformations to ensure consistent appearance across different devices and color spaces.
“Color calibration and profiling tools are used to measure and adjust color output devices, such as monitors and printers, to achieve accurate and consistent color reproduction,” he says. “These tools help align the color output of devices with established color standards, ensuring that what is seen on a monitor closely matches what is printed.”
Aniket Rane is part of the IPPStar team, get in touch with him on mail email@example.com