ColorNews Issue #33

Custom Profiling Services

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C H R O M i X C O L O R N E W S

Issue # 33
October 29th, 2008


Table of Contents


1. CHROMiX News
2. Shows and Events
3. Color Industry News
4. Custom Profiling Services - an article by Pat Herold
5. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale
6. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)





Maxwell expansion and development continues. We are happy to report that Maxwell is in use today in customer sites in North America and Europe gathering color information for process control and diagnostics. As always, we appreciate your feedback. We are now almost ready to launch ColorShuttle and DisplayWatch.

ColorShuttle, Maxwell's client application, now directly supports the i1 and iSis hardware and uploads measurements right into Maxwell Tracks for immediate use anywhere in the world. It is currently in limited release and will go into a much wider beta release soon. We appreciate the patience of everyone who's been waiting for the Shuttle to arrive. If you are on the original Maxwell beta or announcement list, you will receive notification of ColorShuttle's release.

DisplayWatch is a service provided by ColorShuttle and Maxwell where any system's display can be continuously monitored for calibration updates and calibration and profiling data is uploaded into Maxwell for tracking and notification alerts. DisplayWatch will be available for beta testing at the same time ColorShuttle is released.

As a reminder, a Track is any item (printer, paper, monitor, etc.) whose activity you want to monitor. Also, Notifiers within Maxwell alert you when the item associated with the Track falls outside of tolerances or fails to meet certain requirements.

Finally, and from a User Manual perspective, we've been continually adding relevant information about Maxwell on the ColorWiki. Check this out:

For complete Maxwell product information, go to

. If you'd like to register for a free one month trial Track, email us at maxwellfreetrack//chromix//com or call CHROMiX Sales at (866) CHROMiX ext 1. Find out for yourself how easy it is to use, and how much time it can save you.

IDEAlliance SWOP Industry Proofing Study Update:
On November 13, 2008, 2:00 PM Eastern, Steve Upton and Larry Warter will present 'The Final Results' of the IDEAlliance SWOP Proofing Study via webinar.

During the summer of 2008, IDEAlliance conducted a proofing study on behalf of its SWOP and GRACoL Working Groups. This effort utilized new online reporting technology (Maxwell) that forms the foundation of the new IDEAlliance IDEALink Verify software. The study captured, and reports, weekly proofing tolerances submitted from more than 60 printers, publishers, agencies and premedia shops world wide. This study, first presented at the IDEAlliance Spectrum Conference in September 2008, yielded meaningful results for us all. Attend this webinar and learn more about the status of quality in Proofing in our industry. A registration link will be activated soon at

Other CHROMiX News:
Brian Lawler does an appreciated and thoughtful review of ColorThink software in Graphics Arts OnLine. We thought you might enjoy it... (we did):

Andrew Darlow, on The Imaging Buffet website, makes mention of CHROMiX ColorThink in his 'Imaging Buffet PODCAST 007' (ColorThink mention is at about the 38 minute mark), and also more extensively in Chapter 4 of his book '301 INK JET TIPS and TECHNIQUES'. Thanks for the mention, Andrew!

Carl Chapman makes a nice reference to ColorThink in his blog

CHROMiX will be at the PIA/GATF Color Management Conference in Phoenix from December 7th to 9th (see event details below). If you're planning to attend this great event, please stop by and say hello to Rick Hatmaker at our booth, or wave to Steve Upton in one of his many seminar speaking roles.

PRICE MATCHING POLICY: Through the years, many people have purchased 3rd party color management products from CHROMiX because of the additional value that CHROMiX provides (pre-sales advice, post-sales help, support, and a fabulous sense of humor). In most cases, we've been able to price match (or come close) if asked. We never want price to be an issue when people want to buy from CHROMiX. In an effort to make this policy more visible, we've added a 'Price Matching Policy' starburst near the price for most 3rd party items for sale on our website. If you have any questions, call us toll free at (866) CHROMiX, ext 1.

No more Monaco Optix XR Pros !!
When X-Rite first announced that they were ceasing production of this fabulous product, we immediately stocked up on them, so we could make them available to you long after production ended. Well, the time has come, and we are sorry to report that we have sold the last of them. We are now directing customers to two solutions we feel are worthy replacements. ColorEyes Display Pro uses the same DTP-94 sensor, but has an array of high-end functionalities the advanced user will appreciate. In our opinion, ColorEyes Display Pro is even better than the Optix XR Pro. The other solution is the Eye-One Display 2, which will fit most other users. The Eye-One Display 2 is considered the world's standard professional monitor calibration system. Below are links to both. Please call us if you would like to discuss your specific needs and requirements. Sales: Toll Free at (866) CHROMiX ext 1.

ColorEyes Display Pro ($319): ColorEyes Display Pro
Eye-One Display 2 ($219): Eye-One Display2



October 26th - 29th, 2008, Graph Expo 08 - McCormick Place South Convention Center, Chicago, IL The most comprehensive prepress, printing, package printing, converting, mailing and fulfillment and digital equipment trade show in the Americas. graphexpo

November 10, 2008, ICC DevCon '08 - The Benson Hotel, Portland, OR. Hosted by the ICC (International Color Consortium), DevCon (short for Developers Conference) brings hundreds of developers and high-end users of ICC based color management products together to learn the latest on proper implementation of ICC technology. This event is just following the Fall ICC meetings and a day before the IS&P Conference, also in Portland, OR. For more: Devcon08

November 10th - 15th, 2008, IS&T Color Imaging Conference, The Benson Hotel, Portland, OR. Hosted by the IS&T (Society for Imaging Science and Technology), hear about the latest research in the areas of color theory, color in displays, edge-cutting printing technologies, and systems and workflows advances. This single track conference will also include the ever popular interactive session where attendees directly engage the presenters and decide which interactive paper will be awarded the coveted Cactus Award for Best Interactive Paper. There will also be a special program to honor contributions by Dr. Robert W.G. Hunt to the color imaging community on Friday, November 14th.

November 21, 2008, Digital Festival & Print Contest (a free, open educational event), Embassy Suites, 3225 158th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98008. Primary sponsor and organizer is JVH Technical, LLC. See the latest large-format digital printers, RIP software, new media, and new applications for photographers and digital print makers. Steve Upton and Pat Herold of CHROMiX will also be speaking at this event. To attend event, enter contest or for more information, contact John Harrington at 425-643-7323 or email jvhman//aol//com

December 2nd, Color Control Freak, Portland, Oregon (an all-day color management seminar training) sponsored by X-Rite, MacForce and the Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group - Portland Chapter . Cost is $299. CMUG Members receive $100 discount and can attend for $199. Lunch provided. RSVP is required for this event. Non-CMUG members register and pay for event at Color Control Freak
CMUG members emailcolorcontrolfreak//pnwcmug//com for membership verification. Once confirmed, a $100 coupon code will be emailed to the CMUG member to use when registering at above link.

December 7th - 9th, 2008, PIA/GATF 2008 Color Management Conference, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix, AZ. Hosted by the PIA/GATF, as suggested by the name, the entire focus of this conference is Color Management. CHROMiX's Steve Upton, along with Dave Hunter and Dan Caldwell, will be delivering a general session together looking back on the last 10 years of color management and forward to the next 10 years.

December 8th, Color Control Freak, Seattle, Washington (an all-day color management seminar training) sponsored by X-Rite, University of Washington and the Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group - Seattle Chapter

Cost is $299. CMUG Members receive $100 discount and can attend for $199. Lunch provided. RSVP is required for this event. Non-CMUG members register and pay for event at Color Control Freak/Seattle
CMUG members email tschroe//rei//com for membership verification. Once confirmed, a $100 coupon code will be emailed to the CMUG member to use when registering at above link.

March 3-5, 2009, PMA 09 International Convention and Trade Show. Everything photography - considered THE show for photography.
Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Las Vegas, NV

March 9-11, 2009, 32nd Ink Jet Printing Conference, Fira Pakace Hotel, Barcelona, Spain. For more information: Suzy Sclater, Tel: +44 208 367 7808, Email: suzysclater//ems-ltd//org


Color, Product & Industry News


Initial reports indicate that Apple's upcoming OS X upgrade, Snow Leopard, will have gamma 2.2 as the system-level gamma. For those of us in the industry who have been mystified by Apple's stubborn refusal to follow EVERYONE ELSE in using gamma 2.2, this comes as welcome news. Apple's 1.8 gamma originated (so the story goes) from adjusting the original B&W Mac display's mid tones to match those of the new LaserWriter printer. Once color management, monitor profiles, and Photoshop 5 arrived on the scene the need to adjust the display to paper's tone response was no longer required. Any application which made use of the monitor profile would adjust images to look correct regardless of the display's gamma. Unfortunately Apple chose not to alter the system-level gamma to 2.2 to match Windows' and normal TV gamma so web pages always looked odd on the Mac unless the user calibrated to gamma 2.2. So, now we have the two main browsers on the Mac capable of color management and Apple decides to move to gamma 2.2... well... good. Late, but good.

Adobe began shipping CS4 On October 15th.
For a good overview, here is a free 70-page CS4 SuperGuide you can download compliments of Creative Studio (CAFE) Photoshop
Here is a good overview of the top 10 features of Photoshop CS4: Photoshop
Here is a link to Adobe's Eligibility Tool: suite

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.1 and Camera Raw 5.1 updates are now available as a free download to existing users
The updated camera profiles are available separately at

Apple has released Aperture 2.1.2 for Mac, a free update. Apple/aperture

Apple updated the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops and introduced a 24 inch Cinema Display with an LED backlight. The new LED screens will be evident in all MacBooks and most Desktop monitors Apple offers. We'll anxiously wait to see how well these LED monitors perform for color management users.

Apple has released a new video connector, called a DisplayPort Mini connector. This connector will be necessary to connect a 'normal DVI monitor connection' to a new MacBook, MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air machines ONLY at this time. DisplayPort is a new style of connector & connection protocol. It has lots of promise but very limited support in the industry so far.
For more on DisplayPort:

Klaus Karcher has released GaMapICC, a free droplet tool that accepts one or more TIFF images as input, derives an optimized gamut mapping for the selected output device, and applies this gamut mapping to the images. GaMapICC uses a Mac OS X GUI for Argyll's device link tools (tiffgamut, collink and cctiff). GaMapICC allows you to choose from 3 gamut mapping strategies: "Source Profile specific", "Image specific" or "Sequence specific". For more information:

NEC unveiled the the new P2221W 22" LCD, the first display in its MultiSync P Series of LCD that can display 96% AdobeRGB for under $700. The P2221W offers 1680 by 1050 pixel native resolution, contrast ratio of 1000:1, 300 cd/m2 max brightness, integrated 10-bit color look-up tables and optional SpectraView color calibration kit (by years end for $375). The only downside is that it has a fairly slow response time of 16ms. The P221W should be available in December, with an estimated street price of $640. CHROMiX will carry this model

X-Rite is offering a very generous mail-in rebate from Oct. 26th through Nov. 30, 2008. Receive an additional $500 for combined purchase values over $3999, and $1000 for combined purchases over $10,000. Apparently ALL X-Rite products and solutions apply. The promotion mail-in deadline is 12/31/08. See other details in Ad below.


Other Color related Tidbits - (5)


On the ColorSync Forum List recently, Tom Lianza pointed out a good tip for testing if your system and web browser are ready for v4 profiles:
If you take a moment to go to the ICC site,

, and click on the tab "Is your system version 4 ready?" link on the right side, you will see an interesting CM artifact. If you are running on IE7 (not color managed), you will see that the HTML document is clearly not managed. If you display the PDF document, you will see that when viewed through IE7 both v2 and V4 profiles are managed. That is because the PDF viewer is completely color managed. If you feel the need to display truly color managed content on the web, you should provide a PDF link to the document. This is a very easy test to perform on any system with a browser.

If you missed Photokina this last September 2008, Cygnus Imaging Group has published a great overview of Photokina highlights in an online photo book. It's a bit of a long link, but worth a look:
Photokina highlights

We found this interesting comparison between the new Fujifilm 400 DL "dry" minilab (just coming out in Walmart stores), Epson RX-680 "all-in-one" inkjet printer, and a silver-halide Fuji Frontier digital printer.

Recently on the ColorSync forum, Paul Sherfield found and provided this interesting piece on spectros and accuracy, from VIGC, the Flemish Innovation Centre for Graphic Arts:

And, here's a strange but fascinating read about about UV 'brighteners' also showing up in BANANAS:


This Month's Feature Article:

Custom Profiling Services

by CHROMiX's Pat Herold


Here at CHROMiX ColorNews central, we have taken great effort over the years to bring you timely articles that are truly useful, readable and not filled with a bunch of marketing hype...the kind of articles that we would like to receive in our inbox. Yes. So we figured that by now you're about ready for something shameless and self-serving.

Actually, this month's article talks about printer profiling - a service we offer here - but since we have never written on this topic before, we thought this could provide you with a glimpse into our business philosophy here at CHROMiX, sort of an "inside look" at our equipment and personnel. I invite you to read through it and see if you don't come away learning something new.

CUSTOM PROFILING SERVICES- what do you get for your money?

In recent years, everybody's uncle has started offering profiling services through online websites. Some are less expensive than others, some have different services. As people are shopping around, we inevitably get the question, "How are CHROMiX's profiles different from say... Nancy's?" Here is a brief look at what options are available with different profiling services and what it might mean to you.


While it is quite possible to take a consumer-level spectrophotometer and get a good profile from it, it is also possible - and expected - to get a GREAT profile from a professional-level instrument. For example, a good printer profile will get you colors that match your well-calibrated screen. A GREAT profile can get you not only colors that match your screen, but ensure there are no hue shifts (blues turning to purple, yellows turning to green, and the like) and, at the same time, bring out more shadow detail so that all the shadow detail on your screen is seen in the print.

As an example, we have a whole bank of Gretag Macbeth SpectroScan tables. These spectrophotometers cost over $5000 each when they were available, but they don't make them anymore. (You need a whole bank of them because they are so SLOW.) We like to measure canvas or matte papers on one of these tables because this is about the only device around that allows use of a polarizing filter. This filter will remove stray light reflecting off the surface of the material, making for a more accurate measurement and drawing out more detail in the shadows of the prints. It is worthwhile to ask your profiling service what kind of equipment they use.


Just about every online profiling service offers RGB profiles. Some offer CMYK profiles as well, usually at a slightly higher price. But you don't need to stop at your printer. Profiling services can also handle extensive press profiles, drawing samples from throughout the press run to create a profile truly representative of the press. If you already have a target for your scanner, a scanner profile is very inexpensive to have made, because the whole process can be done via email. Any business with a spectrophotometer can make a custom reflective measurement of your target and create a new reference file to be used in making a newer, more accurate scanner profile for you. Other services include transmissive profiles for those working with clear or semi-opaque materials. These materials are intended to be backlit, and require a special transmissive measurement to create a proper profile. If you print onto tile, aluminum or fabric, some companies are equipped to handle these unusual, thicker materials.


It's one thing to have a lot of options for your customers. But *service* involves taking care of the customer. Do you need the profile tomorrow or can you wait a few days? At some of the inexpensive on-line custom profile services, you are presented with a set of instructions and you must follow them as best you can, but you have nowhere to go if you have any questions. At best, you might be limited to email support only, and at worst - you don't even have that. If you haven't figured this out yet, color management can be a complicated business. Other profiling services (guess who!!) have *live people* available every business day to answer your emails or pick up the phone and actually talk to you if you have questions about the services or products. This sort of service is invaluable if you need something a little unusual, like a custom-made target for a unique situation.

When creating a profile, there are several areas where people frequently make mistakes:
- Choosing the wrong target (RGB or CMYK)
- Having color management on (using profiles) in the printing of the target
- Knowing where to put the profile on their computer when they get it back
- Knowing how to use the profile once it's on their system

For our customers, we have developed a small program (ColorValet Client) that walks you through the process of printing out a target print for your custom profile, sending it in to us, and automatically downloading it to the location in your computer where your programs can find it. At the same time, this is a boon for groups with multiple printers on multiple computers, as it makes it easy to download all the profiles to the right place with one program.

If you are helping someone else build profiles, a program like this can free up YOUR time - so you don't have to spend so much time explaining how to do it.


Digital color management has been around for more than a decade and has reached a certain level of maturation as an industry. A lot of the software is pretty good these days; it pretty much does what it is supposed to do and gives you the color you expect.

And then again....

There are those times when you have all the right settings in place and your color comes out WRONG and you CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY?!?

A prime example of this is the Photoshop > Mac > Epson bug that we mentioned in the ColorNews Newsletter issue #29.

Also, printer profiles are bi-directional. This means they influence the color going to the printer, but also have color tables which handle the proofing direction of the profile - so that the image looks correct when you're soft-proofing in Photoshop. Do you really only care about quality printing? Or do you need the profile to be accurate with printing and proofing?

For these reasons, we recommend you use a profiling service that has experience to know which software works best in which situation, which works best in others, what bugs are in the latest software, pitfalls, workarounds, solutions, and what's coming next.


Does the profiling service guarantee their work? Are they confident enough in their work that they will guarantee you will like your profile or give you your money back? By contrast, with some profiling services, you are forewarned not to make any mistakes in your part of the process because there will be no refunds if you do. We prefer the former policy. It's a shame to make people pay for profiles they can't use.

An even better solution is to edit the profile color to any way the customer wants it. There are very sophisticated profile editors out there that can take any color or range of colors, as narrow or wide as you like, and move them to whichever part of the color spectrum you like. Sometimes this is necessary at the end of the day when all the best equipment and software was used to make your profile, but "it just doesn't look right." If a profiling service is willing to work with you, there is no reason why you can't get a profile to do everything you want it to.

As you can see, there is quite a range of choices available for those seeking profiling services. Hopefully you have an idea which options are important for your situation, and you can know what questions to ask when seeking these services.

Thanks for reading,

Pat Herold


There is much more information on these subjects in our ColorNews archives in previous articles and color management myths, so check out the Reserved Articles section of

for more information.


ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)

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Entire Contents of CHROMiX ColorNews (c)2008 CHROMiX, Inc. CHROMiX, Maxwell, ColorThink, ColorNews, ColorSmarts, ColorGear, ColorForums and are trademarks of CHROMiX Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. CHROMiX ColorNews is intended as an informative update to CHROMiX customers and business associates. We are not responsible for errors or omissions.