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Paramount Views On Color

June 1998
BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO


The mere mention of color management and the status of color consistency in today's graphic arts industry rarely results in a black-and-white discussion. Color delivery in the entire design and production phase, from digital camera to high-end scanner to digital proofer or on-demand printer, is mission-one critical.

What better way to get a read on today's color concerns than to poll the minds of the industry? The question Printing Impressions posed was simple, but comprehensive: Where are we today in color management and color manipulation and what do we, as an industry, need to do to improve our color control?

Answers were vivid!

Take a moment to find out how these industry leaders view the status of color management in today's prepress and digital printing realms.

AGFA DIV., BAYER CORP.
Since the advent of digital printing, printing and design markets have been experiencing dramatic changes that continue to increase exponentially. To successfully navigate these changes, a clear vision of future color trends and an intimate knowledge of workflow solutions are Agfa's directive.

Agfa believes that the market will continue to demand an increase in the amount of color page output. As a result, customers will now be forced to integrate color management systems into their workflows in order to standardize their results. Implementing effective color management is the only solution in order to survive these industry demands and cater to the client's desire for lower cost, high-quality color pages.

Agfa is dedicated to providing the tools to integrate color management in many forms throughout the entire workflow, from design and production to final output. Agfa is developing color management solutions, such as ColorTune, which tie, or link, color throughout each of these processes. It is a key tool that will allow users to effectively communicate device-independent color and accurately predict final results for a variety of output scenarios.

Agfa recognizes that color approval is moving earlier in the workflow and communications between providers of color jobs and their clients is crucial to achieving satisfactory results.

Challenges need to be addressed, including calibration of color independent devices, continued development and acceptance of color standards like ICC, and education to further the understanding and parameters of digital color. Also, the digital environment has opened up the industry to less specialization; a specific color task, once a tradesperson's job, is now being done at the design stage. Therefore the need for transparent, user-friendly color communications tools is more critical than ever before.

 

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