ColorNews Issue #65

Revisiting a Color Myth

  CHROMiX ColorNews
   Issue # 65 - October 10th, 2018

This Month's Contents

  1. CHROMiX News
  2. Latest blog entries in ColoRants (and Raves)
  3. Shows and Events
  4. Color Industry News
  5. Forum Topics, Random Bits, etc.
  6. Article - Revisiting a Color Myth
  7. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale
  8. ColorNews Admin (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)

For the very freshest color updates, check out our blog Colorants (and raves).

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Find full details about subscriptions, etc at the end of this newsletter.

CHROMiX News What the heck have we been up to?

Curve4 updates

Curve v4.2 has been updated since our last newsletter. Here are a few things it includes:

  • 4.2.1 includes fixes for reporting, graph issues, Harmony channel order and other bits.

  • 4.2.2 has an additional fix for a recalcitrant report printing issue.

  • 4.2.3 adds LFP improvements, ink and substrate display improvements, run-to-run accuracy improvements, and a few new UI bits

  • Download Here

SGIA using Maxwell for print color verifications

It was recently revealed that Maxwell, CHROMiX's cloud-based verification service, was used by SGIA in their 2018 Product of the Year awards. While presenting awards to deserving winners for print output categories, Ray Weiss (Director of SGIA Digital Print Programs) revealed that Maxwell was used as the back-end color database and reporting engine for submitted contestant print entries. Ultimately, the resulting Report Card summarizes the color quality objectively. Rigorous judging criteria was developed in Maxwell to evaluate color qualities for each submitted print.

CHROMiX is excited and honored to have been chosen for this great SGIA program. The 2018 SGIA Products of the Year winners and resultant report cards (including the exciting new target Maxwell used for measuring) will be on display at the 2018 SGIA Expo in Las Vegas at the Convention Center in the Golden Image Gallery near the front of the main exhibition hall. Let us know what you think!

Moving Forward with SGIA

This was Maxwell's first public exposure with SGIA; expect more! Maxwell will be used to expand and support SGIA's Certified Digital Color Professionals certification program as it evolves.

CHROMiX Upcoming Sightings

CHROMiX was at PRINT 2018 in Chicago from October 1st to 3rd.

CHROMiX will be at SGIA in Las Vegas from October 18th to 20th.

CHROMiX will be at the PIA Color Conference 2019 in San Diego from January 12th to 15th.

If you are attending and are interested in setting a meeting with CHROMiX at any one of these events, please contact Rick Hatmaker at sales(at)

CHROMiX LinkedIn page

Check out the latest with our newly updated LinkedIn page

CHROMiX Instrument Spotlight

Last issue (ColorNews #64), we introduced you to our new Instrument Spotlight series with Pat Herold discussing the X-Rite eXact. The next article in the Spotlight series will appear in the next issue of ColorNews (issue #66), and will focus on Konica Minolta's FD-9 automated scan reader. So.. stay tuned!


CHROMiX Blog Here are some of the recent posts to our blog: Colorants (and raves)

Shows and Events Color-relevant gatherings to plan for

October 18th - 20th, 2018 - SGIA 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. Largest premier trade show for the printing industry in North America. Products and technology ranging from dye-sublimation, screen print, packaging, wide-format, grand-format, traditional litho, label and much more.
CHROMiX will be at this event.

October 25th - 27th, 2018 - PHOTOPLUS EXPO, New York, NY

October 29th - 31st, 2018 - FTA's Fall 2018 Conference in Cleveland, OH at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. This is a best of class event for flexography, packaging and related printing.

January 12th -15th, 2019 - 2019 PIA Color Conference in San Diego CA. This is the best color only focused event in North America. Both Steve Upton and Pat Herold will have speaking sessions.
CHROMiX will be abundantly at this event.

On Sunday January 13th at 1:10 pm Steve is on a panel for 'Bring Your Inkjet Output: Verification and Troubleshooting (Part 2)', and then, at 2:20, he is presenting an 'Analysis of Expanded Gamut Printing'. On Monday January 14th at 10:00 am, Pat presents 'How to Create and Verify Profiles'.

Events Calendar: For all current and future events, bookmark this calendar.

Color Industry News What's going on in the world of color

New CEO of Idealliance

Tim Baechle is to succeed David Steinhardt as the new Chief Executive Officer of Idealliance starting October 1, 2018. We welcome Tim and wish him good luck. We thank David for his great service.

New Director of Print Technologies at Idealliance

Jeff Collins joins Idealliance as the new Director of Print Technologies. He will drive global development for Idealliance, working closely with the entire global supply chain. Congratulations, Jeff!

ColorLogic releases new ColorAnt

Version 5 of ColorAnt is an upgrade to their already powerful toolset

X-Rite to raise i1Pro2 pricing because of tariffs

The recent US trade tariffs for specific products produced in China affected several X-Rite color measurement products. Consequently, to continue providing these products within the U.S. market, X-Rite was forced to increase pricing, beginning with i1Pro 2 solutions. The average increase is approximately 12%. Pricing changes will be effective October 28th, 2018.

X-Rite announces i1Pro(1) Trade-in Trade-up program

Maybe to soften the tariff-driven price increases happening soon, X-Rite is offering up to $300 when you Trade-In your old i1Pro and Trade-Up to a new i1Pro2. This includes i1Basic Pro2, i1Photo Pro2 and i1Publish Pro2 products.

Qualifying Trade-Ins include: X-Rite i1Pro and iPro UV Cut (Rev A-D). Offer expires 12/31/18. Click on the specific i1Pro2 products above for program details.

Forum Topics and other bits  Popular topics from and other things we've found along the way.

When Color Memory Fails, Do Brand Standards Matter?:   An article from Heidi Tolliver-Walker in July 2018 WhatTheyThink. The article does not come to any conclusions, but it does provoke conversation. Read this and then Eddie Hagen's blog post below.

You can't correctly remember an iconic color, not even Coca-Cola RED:   A blog-post by Eddie Hagen. Very interesting. This and Heidi's article above go together and are MUST reads.

Revisiting a Color Myth by Pat Herold

Do ICC profiles correct the color back to what it's supposed to be?

Long-time readers of the CHROMiX ColorNews have enjoyed the benefit of several years of excellent news, advice, and suggestions on how to make the world of color a better place. In particular, I have long held that being familiar with the myths of color management can go a long way toward helping newcomers avoid pitfalls and embarrassing mistakes. Some of these myths keep popping up, like a whack-a-mole game at the county fair. This article harkens back to Myth #2, from way back in 2003. As this issue continues to resurface, it's worthwhile to revisit it:

Myth #2: There is some internal Lab / color reference that the output of printers is compared to when profiling.

Another variation of this myth is: "ICC profiles are sort of like filters that correct the color back to what it is supposed to be."

The answer to this myth is: No, there is no ideal reference that your printer is compared to. Rather, the unique behavior of your printer/paper/ink combination is mapped out, and the image going to your printer is rendered to take advantage of how the printer prints.

Or, as Steve Upton originally put it: "Unlike a strict, conformist military academy, profiling a printer does not find out how a printer performs and then force it to conform to a certain behavior. Its much more like a hippie commune."

This remains as true today as it was then. Let's dive into the explanation a bit deeper.
When we make a profile, we will send the printer a profiling target image - a sampling of all the colors under the sun (actually, all the colors the printer can print). This image will have a reference file associated with it, often in the form of a .txt file.

If you take a look at a CMYK reference file in a simple text editor, you'll see that the bulk of it only contains numbers from 0 to 100 (0 - 255 for RGB). These are machine numbers (what we call device values) that by themselves don't relate to any Lab values (which define colors.) ( They are literally just numbers that tell a machine how much ink to lay down. These numbers - by themselves - don't define a specific color. Note that these values are part of the target image itself. In Photoshop, you can use the eyedropper to sample a colored patch in a profiling target and confirm that the patch has the same RGB or CMYK numbers called for in the reference file. Now of course, those numbers would result in very different colors if sent to different kinds of printers / papers / inks (think fine-art inkjet paper vs. newsprint).

Notice that with these device values in the target reference, there is nothing there which defines actual colors. So, even if the system were set up to compare to some magical standard, there is nothing in the system capable of identifying actual colors to which it would compare.

Device values can be likened to the gas pedal on a car. The position of a car's gas pedal does not tell you how fast the car is traveling; it really only determines how much gas/air goes to the engine. Other factors are involved in determining speed. You could be going slowly uphill or coasting downhill. Or like me, you could have forgotten to release the emergency brake. It will take something else, like a speedometer or cruise control, to make determinations about speed.

Like a gas pedal does not determine speed, device values do not define color.

Gamut boundaries

Images that you send to the printer might include colors that are in gamut or out of gamut. And yet, you'll still want the printer to be able to print ALL colors that are sent to it as best as it can, whether the colors are in gamut or not. You will want them to be moved into gamut so that they will be printed as close to the original as they can be, or at least be printed in a pleasing way. This "make the most of what you've got" behavior is incorporated into what the profile does.

If you're looking to clothe your lanky teenager, you don't compare him with some size standard he's supposed to be. That would not provide you with any useful information for your task. Rather, you measure him and then buy him clothes that fit, because you want him to be properly clothed, regardless of what unique shape he is growing into. In fact, measuring him accurately can provide very handy information. (You can use this to figure if he's tall enough to wipe down the dust on top of the cupboards. What a useful purpose for those long arms!)

In the same way, we want to know about the color coming through your printer. Whatever odd gamut it may have, we can know about that and use it as necessary to print similarly situated colors in your image. If you have out-of-gamut elements in your image, a well-designed profile will move those colors into gamut in an intelligent way, hopefully retaining the same hue and as much of the look of the original color as possible. Like a hippie commune, the in-gamut colors are allowed to be themselves. Only when no path is available to produce the out of gamut color, is coercion invoked to move a color into a printable space. Even then, the changing of color is done according to one's choice of rendering intents. Groovy. Freedom of choice, man!

In the end, a well-made profile will handle everything you throw at it with aplomb, and we at CHROMiX celebrate and honor its own irreplaceable, unrepeatable, indispensable, wonderful uniqueness!

Thanks for reading,

Patrick Herold
Tech Support

   To read this article with images in ColorWiki, click here

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