On January 22-25, 2022, the industry will once more come together in person for the annual color management conference: COLOR22. To be held at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, this annual conference will bring together professionals from every step in the lifecycle of print to expand their understanding about how color impacts a project.
“Color is something that crosses over every part of the print production business,” says Joe Marin, senior vice president, Education and Training for PRINTING United Alliance. “From the design and brand ownership, through production, everyone involved in the process of producing a job touches color. And everyone is responsible at some stage for the color.”
With that in mind, he notes, it is important to have someone on staff who is the color professional, who understands how to get the best color out of every piece of equipment, how to ensure it matches across platforms, how to make sure it matches client expectations for things such as brand colors, and more. And that, he stresses, is where COLOR22 comes in, providing an in-depth educational platform for those in every stage of the learning process.
For those new to color management, the event will kick off with a targeted Color Management Fundamentals all-day session on Saturday, Jan. 22, presented by Don Hutcheson, president of HutchColor. This session will be geared specifically toward ensuring those new to dedicated color management fully understand the basics, although it is a great refresher even for seasoned color professionals.
It will then move into three days of varied intensive sessions, broken out into several different tracks designed to target specific segments of the industry. “The print production track,” says Marin, “is geared more towards production — this is for the operators, the prepress managers, those actually working in the print production facility. The brand and design track is more geared toward upstream topics.”
That said, Marin notes that there is no reason attendees can’t move between the tracks, and in fact, he laughs, the most common complaint he hears after a COLOR event is “that I have all these great sessions, and they wish they could sit in on all of them! I take that as a compliment.”
This year, there is also a third track that will be split between two days — the first will focus specifically on color management in digital textile printing, while the second will focus on color management standards and the research being done around color and how that impacts production and design.
Each day will feature a blend of keynote sessions that bring a “bigger picture” view to the color story, says Marin, while the track sessions are designed to focus on far more granular topics, where the presenter and attendees can get more in-depth into specific questions and techniques. This year, the keynote presenters include Gerry O'Brion, branding strategist and franchise expert, What Big Brands Know; Kevin Laurino, Art & Print, Creative Marketing Production, Netflix; Adam Thomas, samples production planning manager, Shaw Industries; and Terry Wu, consultant, The Neuroscience of Leadership, Sales and Marketing, Neuromarketing Services — just to name a few. These keynotes, says Marin, “will be the 20,000 foot stuff.”
Why Should You Attend?
Whether you are brand new to color or someone who has been immersed in it for many years, there is something for everyone at COLOR22, notes Marin. “First and foremost, this is very much a community of people who really care about what they do,” he notes. “It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to your peers, to the speakers, or to the sponsors, everyone at COLOR22 wants to help. You will get as much out of conference interacting with other attendees as you will the conference sessions themselves.”
Further, he notes that every attendee will walk away with “new tools, new techniques, and new technologies to implement in your workflow that will allow you to print better, more consistent color. It will also make you a better troubleshooter — when everything works, it’s great, but when there’s a problem, you need to know how to address it. Building your troubleshooting capabilities is a great takeaway for every attendee — no matter their skill level walking in.”
And the proof is in the attendance: 60% of attendees are those who attended in previous years and are returning to learn more and interact with a community of peers just as dedicated to getting great color as they are.
“In the manufacturing process — and it doesn’t matter if you’re in packaging, wide-format, commercial, or digital textiles — you need at least one person in your facility who has more color knowledge than anyone else. They can identify color problems, troubleshoot and solve issues, and look for better ways to do things. That is the core of this conference: building up those capabilities and giving them the tools they need to succeed.”