May's PrintEx trade show, held in conjunction with Visual Impact, proved to be very busy for the Colour Graphic Services team.
The colourful stand was where printers wanting their 'colourhealth check' charts measured headed for to see where improvements or ISO standards could be achieved.
On display were Colour Graphic's new Techkon spectrophotometers and densitometers, a Just viewing booth, Eizo monitors and the full suite of Mellow Colour colour management software.
Flying in from the UK was Alan Dresch, Managing Director of Mellow Colour who, apart from meeting local printers and packagers to help with colour issues, was a guest speaker at the PrintEx Technology Insights theatre on the topic of Online Print Quality Management using ISO 12647-2 as the standard and tools such as Impression Proof and PrintSpec as the means to assure compliance anywhere in the world.
Alan believes that all brand-sensitive colour critical print will eventually be approved 'by numbers' from the comfort of print specifiers' desks using online methods rather than physical press checks. "It makes complete sense and, today, is achievable if a printer adopts a culture of total PQM."
An Award for the Colour Doctors
In recognition of the advances made in colour management, the Mellow Colour software suite was awarded one of only a few 'Hot Picks' for PrintEx and Visual Impact - and the only one for colourmanagement software. The Hot Picks have become a tradition at PrintEx and PacPrint shows and are judged by a panel from Print21 magazine for products that stand out for innovation, achievement and quality
The 'Colour Doctor' theme was emphasized by both David Crowther and Alan Dresch attired in white coats and stethoscopes ...after all good colour is about correct diagnosis and treatment!
The free colour health checks were a major drawcard to the Colour Graphic Services stand 1404. These were where a printer - offset, wide format or digital - could download and print out a special colour chart, bring it along to the stand and have it measured and analysedusing the Mellow Colour software. Some printers took advantage of this before the show while some obtained the chart on day one and bought the printed result back on day two or three for measurement.
"I think many customers were quite surprised at the improvements that can be made by measuring and getting their colour totally under control," says Colour Graphic Services' managing director David Crowther. "There was particularly strong interest from the wide format sector, where sign, display and POS printers are increasingly asked to match corporate colour standards, Pantone and special colours and get as close as possible to the ISO 12647 standards used in offset print," he adds.
"It was great to have Alan Dresch here," adds Crowther, "his practical work with big brand owners and onsiteexperience with printers in many countries, using differing presses but all achieving the same colour standards, is very rare and he is pioneering online PQM virtually by himself."
Free Health Checks Continue
The success and demand for Colour Graphic Services' free colour health checks at PrintEx was so encouraging that the free service has been continued, until at least September 30th. All a printer needs to do is contact the Colour Doctor and request the correct test forme for offset, digital or wide format. It is them emailed or downloaded - note it is a very large file - as a PDF and printed out on the intended device.
The printed result is then sent to the Colour Doctor or, if in a metropolitan area at the time he can visit; measured and analysed with the Mellow Colour software suite. Any colour issues are then accurately identified in a report, with suggested action to remedy the variance.
"So often we find that a printer is laying down far too much ink and compounding the problems," says Crowther, "with proper colour management, you only use the right amount of CMYK and other inks, to achieve the best and most consistent colour possible, to ISO 12647 standard if that is required. Cost savings alone in ink usage and avoiding remakes usually justifies the prescribed remedies."