Color Management--Degrees of Separation
"We had total control of the dot at all stages of the process. The L*a*b reading told us the opacity, hue and saturation at each stage and the ICC profiling allowed us to compensate for each output device," Macfarlane explains. "Once we had the pigments in the inks and ink sheets matching, we used ICC profiling to compensate for the difference in the dry ink sheets and the wet press inks."
When BOPI had a measure on the dot gain of the press, they adjusted the dot on the plate and proof to compensate. "We can now show the client a proof with the dots within 2 percent of where the press will be— with no discernable difference in color—drastically reducing time spent on press checks," Macfarlane reports. "Clients who used to press check most of their work now sign off on the PolaProof with confidence. This gives us much more flexibility with scheduling."
BOPI's ultimate intention is to have the client's devices ICC profiled into their presses. One client has worked with BOPI and has output a supplied test file on their internal printer. BOPI has used the same equipment to measure this output and has created an Apple ColorSync profile on the client's computer monitor and an ICC profile for their printer that matches BOPI's presses.
"This client also sends files via BOPI's FTP site and, between them, they are now using FTP file transfer to soft proof jobs," Macfarlane states. "We PDF the RIPed data and the client downloads this from our site. Because they are now part of our closed-loop workflow, we can go straight to plates without producing a physical proof."
For those colors outside the CMYK gamut, BOPI has utilized Pantone's Hexachrome for stochastic screening. "Stochastic screening takes us one stage further than the elliptical dot and has allowed us to produce the full Hexachrome color gamut," Macfarlane adds. "With ICC profiles, we can accurately proof Hexachrome with the same accuracy that we now proof CMYK jobs."