Color Management--Degrees of Separation
As prepress manager at Hagerstown, MD-based HBP—an $11.5 million, digital prepress savvy general commercial printer specializing in short-run work—it is Rich Dunklee's duty to oversee the company's linear process approach. Controlling color is a hybrid system—part automated technology and part craft, relying on the color expertise of HBP prepress personnel.
At present, Dunklee and the prepress team at HBP are finding ICC-based color and the team of technologies in HBP's prepress department have merged to create a tight-loop color network. Dunklee estimates HBP's linear process color control produces an annual savings of $200,000 in consumables costs alone, hundreds of hours each month saved in scanning time and increased pressroom operations.
Starting with a benchmark—in HBP's case, the analog proofing technology of the Fuji Color-Art—HBP creates calibrations for each of its prepress devices, including scanners, digital proofers and monitors. HBP, like most progressive commercial printers, finds selecting one of its devices as a color benchmark allows for more consistent and controllable color production.
For Dunklee, the artful combining of ICC profiles, CreoScitex's EverSmart Supreme flatbed scanning, Fujifilm's Color-Art analog proofing, Apple ColorSync and Adobe technologies—in the form of Adobe Photoshop 5.5 and also the increasing use of Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF)—play a critical role in HBP's ability to control and deliver consistent color. "Finding the right tools and implementing a linear-based, color-managed workflow is a necessity for production savings and high quality," Dunklee reports.
BOPI's and HBP's approaches to ICC profiles and color management are but two. Each printing company must establish its own benchmarks for color, agree on its own utilization of ICC profiles and invest in the software and hardware technologies that best allow for delivering consistent color throughout the entire workflow.
ICC in Action: Harlequin is HIPP
Technology Profile: Harlequin Color Production Solutions (HCPS) is a unique set of color process control software options for Harlequin's ScriptWorks RIP management system.