Color Proofing–Bantering Beyond The Black & White

How volatile a CMYK climate has Epson entered with its latest device? Fujifilm offers a perspective.

“We all have our own independent color space. Digital proofing encompasses an array of technology offerings—all trying to achieve the same color match that basically one core technology is delivering in the analog proofing world,” Fujifilm’s Richard Black, group manager of product development, explains. “It’s like the industry is shooting aimlessly into the sky when it comes to perfecting color in digital proofing, with everyone trying to match the quality and continuity of the analog proof—which took us 20 years to perfect.”

Black’s argument is valid and all too familiar to both the digital proofing technology providers and the prepress managers struggling with digital proofing concerns.

While digital proofing devices are gaining acceptance, there are still many prepress departments waiting in the wings for this evolving technology.

“The problem with color performance in digital proofing is that it is subjective—statistically, it is reported men see color differently than women, age makes a difference in how one views color and even a person’s vision impacts their perception of color,” Black muses. “Color is totally subjective—how can we take control over that?”

Fuji, Black reports, has been working with two OEMs looking into ICC profiles and how Fuji can use ICC profiles to bridge the gap of subjectivity. Fuji is also very active in GRACoL, with Fuji’s Larry Warter, director of new business development, playing a key role on GRACoL’s committee.

An early adopter of Pantone’s Hexachrome colors for their analog proofing product, Fuji is aiming to tackle the core frustrations of digital proofing. Fuji’s efforts can be seen in FirstProof, based on Fujifilm’s Color-Art aqueous-based proofing system, and Pictro Proof, which is built on the Fuji FirstLook foundation. Pictro Proof is a new dye-based digital proofing system, offering multiple RIP options, such as an Adobe CPSI RIP running on Windows NT or a Harlequin RIP running on a Power Macintosh.

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