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DIGITAL digest

January 2004
Pantone Extends Brand Into Ink-jet Consumables

CARLSTADT, NJ—Pantone Inc. is making a bid to expand the application of its color expertise by launching the PANTONE ColorVantage family of premium ink-jet inks, papers and specially developed profiles. The company initially intends to focus on the wide-format printing segment, and piezo-electric engines specifically, informs Andrew Hatkoff, vice president, Electronic Color Systems.

Working in partnership with a third-party supplier, Pantone has developed a pigmented ink set (specially formulated CMYK plus light cyan and magenta) with a significantly larger color gamut than that offered by standard OEM inks, Hatkoff claims. Anticipating a potential concern, he adds that the Magnus-Moss Warranty Improvement Act prohibits OEMs from voiding a printer warranty based on the use of non-OEM cartridges.

The company currently plans to only offer paper substrates, in a range of finishes that includes high-gloss, premium photo, semi-matte proofing, matte and fine art. Hatkoff says the papers have been designed to maximize their white point and color accuracy properties.

Custom profiles complete the package by optimizing the performance of specific print engine, ink and paper combinations. The company is planning to create profiles for additional substrates, without necessarily developing the materials as branded products.

According to Hatkoff, the target price point for the consumables is 10 to 15 percent below that of OEM products. Phase one of the rollout is to include support for Epson Stylus Photo 1270/1280 and Epson Stylus Pro 5000/5500, 7000/7500 and 9000/9500 printers, as well as corresponding "Epson-compatible" models from Mimaki, Mutoh and Roland. Pantone says it has no plans to sell the products directly and has signed up Staples Inc., the office supply chain, as its first distributor. (www.pantone.com)

CIP4 Launches Additional MIS Initiatives

Washington, DC—CIP4 (The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress) has chartered a new MIS (Management Information System) working group. The mission of the working group is to facilitate the implementation and integration of JDF (Job Definition Format) in MIS managed environments.

Its stated intent is to provide a central forum and unified environment in which MIS companies and other industry vendors (prepress, press and finishing equipment manufacturers, as well as other software providers) can work toward establishing a minimal set of transaction types that the parties can support to implement JDF integration. CIP4's MIS working group will also define the technical aspects of these integrations, so members will be able to deliver working interfaces within an agreed upon time line.
 

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