ColorNews Issue #69

Instrument Spotlight: Barbieri LFP

  CHROMiX ColorNews
   Issue # 69 - September 25th, 2019

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 - Instrument Spotlight: The Barbieri LFP
  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?

Curve 4.3 updates released

Release Notes for 4.3
The newest update to Curve4 was recently released; with it, you will find the following:

  • New G7 Specification Support - New MaxDE metric support including on output reports

  • Numerous improvements including iO scanning, Blend tool target layouts and CxF exports, tolerance reporting and more

CHROMiX Upcoming Sightings: JVH Technical Festival Seattle

Pat Herold will hold court at this fun all-day event hosted Oct. 3rd by our friends at JVH in Seattle. Go if you can! Details and link below in Events section.

CHROMiX Upcoming Sightings: Print United 2019 Dallas

CHROMiX's Steve and Rick will be present in Dallas; contact Rick Hatmaker ( if you would like to meet up while there.

At the conference, Steve Upton will deliver a presentation titled 'Understanding Print Gamut Graphically' on October 24, 2019, 3:00 PM CDT. More details here.

Also at Print United, Maxwell will be used for the 2nd year in a row by SGIA in their 2019 Product of the Year awards. Maxwell is 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. We're delighted that Maxwell continues to be trusted and used for these important tasks.

CHROMiX and the journey to 64bit apps... continued

Mac users may have noticed that the current version of macOS, Mojave, will be the last version to support 32bit apps. This means the new version of macOS, dubbed "Catalina" (10.15) and expected at the end of the month, will require apps to be 64bit. CHROMiX apps are currently 32bit, but rest assured, we've been aware of this impending transition for quite some time and have been moving our apps over to 64bit.

Obviously, this is an important transition, as many of our community's tried-and-true tools will stop working.

We'll be keeping you up to date on our progress as we move forward. Here are a few details as these changes pertain to our software:

Curve4 - We've posted a 64bit beta of Curve4 (Mac only) This is the same app currently shipping and the update will be free to current Curve4 users. If you're eager, download the beta and help us test it.

ColorThink - 64bit versions of ColorThink and ColorThink Pro will be created, likely by end of first quarter 2020 (updates to follow). These are major-version upgrades modernized and with new features and capabilities.

Maxwell Client - A 64bit version release of the Maxwell Client is expected before year end. The Client is free with Maxwell services, so no upgrade fee ever applies.

As you can tell, the above is in regard to our current plans. We've made great progress and feel confident we can meet our milestones, but as with any transition, we will be susceptible to challenges we discover along the way. For those who would like to help beta test these new versions, please let us know at As we mentioned, we'll keep you up to date as things progress.

CHROMiX LinkedIn page

Check out the latest with our LinkedIn page. We consistently update this with fun and useful stuff.

CHROMiX Instrument Spotlight: LFP from Barbieri

This quarter's instrument focus is the Barbieri LFP and LFPqb spectrophotometer and table systems, written by Pat Herold, manager of CHROMiX Technical Services.

The LFP and LFPqb have a solid reputation as the most versatile spectrophotometer system on the market. They handle reflective, transmissive, and other scan modes (M0, M1, M2, M3), aperture adjustments and filtration (UV, Polarizing, etc.). Specialty graphics markets have seized upon this incredible device.

Pat uses the LFP regularly in our Seattle measuring lab and is a pro. He has a unique perspective and many insights we think you will find valuable.

Enjoy the article below!


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

  • X-Rite's new i1Pro 3 Plus: Quick Look - Check out this blog post, where CHROMiX takes a quick look at the new i1Pro 3 Plus. We have the SDK and are currently integrating this new instrument into our software suite. Expect a full product review in ColorNews in the future.

  • G7: How a BIG company does it - As most everyone in the printing industry knows, G7 is effective in improving color and has transformed the way the industry prints. But how does a large company do it across all devices and all locations? It's a huge job sure, but this excellent interview conducted by Jeff Collins of Idealliance with Mike Todryk of IWCO Direct lays it all out for you. Note his mention of Curve4 and Maxwell as their tools of choice!

  • Seattle Technical Festival October 3rd - If you are in the US Pacific Northwest, chances you are already familiar with the famous JVH Technical Festival. It's been around a long while and has included many notable guest speakers such as the late great Bruce Fraser and many more- Our own Steve Upton has spoken there before. Our friends John and Ryan Harrington are great hosts. If you have not ever been, or need a color festival fix, JVH always throws an interesting and entertaining event. Come on by on October 3rd and make some new friends. CHROMiX's Pat Herold will be there with a timely color management topic.

Shows and Events Color-relevant gatherings to plan for

September 24th - 27th, 2019 - LabelExpo Europe, Brussels. Largest label expo in the world.

October 3rd - 5th, 2019 - Print 2019, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

October 3rd, 2019, 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific - 2019 JVH Digital Festival and Print Contest in Seattle. This free 1-day event has run strong for many years. To sweeten the deal, our own Pat Herold will be speaking about some nefarious color management topic. We highly recommend attending and participating if you happen to be in town.

October 21st - 25th, 2019 - IS&T Color and Imaging Conference (CIC27), Paris, France. Color science and imaging across applications. Keynotes from Facebook, Reality Labs, Apple, and L'Oreal. Invited talk on 'Scientific Imaging for Cultural Heritage'. 71 papers presented in 8 technical sessions, 15 Short Courses and 4 workshops.

October 23rd - 25th, 2019 - Print United, in Dallas, TX (formerly the SGIA Conference and Expo), is an expansive and comprehensive display of printing technologies and supplies, education, programming and services.

CHROMiX's Steve and Rick will be in Dallas at Print United. Be sure to check out Steve's presentation, 'Understanding Print Gamut, Graphically' at 3:00 pm on Thursday October 24th. If you would like to set a meeting while there, contact Rick Hatmaker at (206) 985-6837 ext7.

While at Print United, be sure to check out SGIA's annual Product of the Year competition 'Winners Showcase' located in the Golden Awards Gallery located in Lobby F. CHROMiX's Maxwell system was used for accumulating the measured data, scoring and then reporting all entries. You will see the reports for each category hanging in the Golden Awards area with a Legend that describes the report and the QR code used for routing and coding. Let us know how you like it! If you have questions about Maxwell or another topic, contact Rick at the above number. Finally, here are the 2019 SGIA Product of the Year Winners.

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.

November 25th - 26th, 2019 - Callas pdfToolbox 2-day training, Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport North, Phoenix, AZ. This is a fee-based training. Learn the principles behind pdfToolbox preflight, correction, imposition. Topics will include color conversion, adding cutlines, creating tiles, fixing bleed issues, splitting documents and more. Sponsored by our friends at FourPees and Callas. For more information, Register here

January 11th -14th, 2020 - The 2020 PIA Color Conference will be held at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa in San Diego, CA. This is the best color-focused event in North America; both Steve Upton and Pat Herold will have speaking sessions. CHROMiX will also have a table display in the Vendor area manned by Rick Hatmaker.

On Sunday the 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m, join Patrick 'Holmes' Herold from CHROMiX and John 'Watson' Thorburn from Canon USA as they explore some of their more baffling cases in this collection of real-life color management mysteries. This session is part of the Print Production track.

CHROMiX is a Platinum Sponsor of this Color Conference event. Our specialists look forward to talking with you.

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

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

basICColor Update

Earlier this year, basICColor GMbH essentially went out of business. The company suffered an insolvency and was rendered to receivership. The good news is that it has re-emerged will be doing doing business again very soon!

Franz Herbert and Karl Koch managed to secure the rights to basICColor Display, basICColor INPUT and basICColor Cockpit (only). These products will be continued and will be sold by their new business venue. CHROMIX has been selected to sell the products, and we have accepted. We feel that these products are superior, and that we want to continue providing these to our customers. Their goal is focused long term, hoping this will give customers confidence moving forward again.

The new v6 basICColor Display version is coming soon for individual, site and enterprise licenses through CHROMiX by end of year, maybe sooner. Plus, special pricing will be offered for existing Display 5 customers to upgrade. A final decision on pricing has not yet been made. The new v6 Display product is far superior than Display 5, so it may be slightly more expensive. Stay tuned with CHROMiX in our December ColorNews issue #70, or feel free to contact CHROMiX for more information after mid-November.

CoPrA version 6 released

ColorLogic and CrossXColor have released version 6 of CoPrA, a world class profiling tool. There are many new features including, but not limited to: Password protection for settings, new templates, new module DeviceLink Iteration, extended image conversion features for pixel-based formats, new profile naming options, and more. For more information about CoPrA 6 Profiling Levels, and CoPrA 6 Upgrades and Modules.

Fall ISO TC130 Meeting

The next ISO meeting for TC130 committee members is October 27 in Lehi, UT. ISO publishes and maintains international standards for many categories and industries. TC130 is a group focused on graphics industry standards. Here is a list of the TC130 specific projects.

Idealliance GAMUT Podcast

Idealliance's new GAMUT Podcast provides great information about everything from standard practices, brand management, global print standards, to design intent. It also discusses measurement and evaluation, global supply chain communication, proof-to-print alignment, workflow and process control standardization, and stories of transformation from extraordinary minds within the print and packaging supply chain. For Idealliance members only (a good reason to join).

Ryerson University Expanded Gamut Study 2019

Ryerson has provided a superb evaluation of Spot Color Reproduction in Multicolor Printing, Version 2.7, from September 9th, 2019. Use THIS LINK to acquire access. You'll need to register, but it's quick and there is no cost. We highly recommended reading; ultimately, this could help change the way spot colors are dealt with.

X-Rite releases LED lamp kits for light booths

X-Rite now has LED lamps available for their Judge and SpectraLight QC booths. LED has many advantages and flexibilities over conventional lighting.

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

ColorThink Tips and Tricks - The Worksheet:   In this video, Pat Herold dives deep and provides some practical and valuable usage tips for the ColorThink Pro Worksheet, all while illustrating two different workflow perspectives. Enjoy-

The Most Printed Typo in Human History:   This article is interesting, especially when considered from the perspective of the printing world-

Free Webinar: Color and Object Appearance in Augmented Reality:   This interesting webinar will be delivered by Dr. Michael J. Murdoch at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Wednesday, September 25, 2019, from
10:00 - 11:00 AM EDT. Register here.

Instrument Spotlight: The Barbieri LFP by Pat Herold


This issue's Instrument Spotlight features the Italian racecar of spectrophotometers: The Barbieri LFP.


Hailing from a small town in the Italian Alps, the Barbieri company has been making instruments for many decades. The first LFP was introduced in 2004. They came out with the LFP Series 3 in 2010, and today's top-of-the-line model is the LFPqb. Naturally, their products have a robust following in Europe, but the addition of a corporate office in New York and a service center in Utah has made them more readily available to the North American market; accordingly, they recently have sparked more interest in the US. Located a mere 100 kilometers from the famed Italian Motor Valley (see map), I can't help but wonder if the folks at Barbieri have been inspired by the precision engineering that goes on down the road at Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini. The company creed has always been about quality: Barbieri wants their customers to always be able to measure color in the most accurate way.

The LFP is a table-based spectrophotometer, which means there is a bed or table on which the media to be measured lies, and this table is moved underneath the measuring head to measure each patch. This makes for automated measuring: once you set the chart up to be measured, you can walk away and do other things while measurement occurs. This will naturally leave less room for human error than the hand-held devices we have spotlighted earlier. If you have been in the industry long enough to remember the old Gretag Macbeth SpectroScan tables, you have a general idea of how this works.

Any further comparison between the two is valueless when looking at the modern LFP. These units are very robust, accurate, and fast - they are capable of finishing a 960-patch chart in as few as 8 minutes using scan mode, a typical aperture, and no filter in the measurement. (Patch by patch measuring and the use of a polarizer will make measurements take longer) The new LFPqb model is even faster.

This Spotlight will feature both the LFP Series 3 and the LFPqb because they both continue to be actively sold and supported. To continue my sports car analogy, the LFPqb is more of an ultra-high-performance Lamborghini, while the LFP 3 is more of an everyday-exotic Italian Alfa Romeo.

Special Features of the LFPqb

In CHROMiX's Maxwell cloud-based color tracking system, we account for every kind of measuring condition that goes with the measurements that are collected. With all the instruments on the market, these variables can be quite numerous, including:
- Filters like M0, M1, M2, M3,
- Apertures like 2mm, 6mm, 8mm,
- Reflective and transmissive scan modes,
- Whether a scan is done patch-by-patch or in a continuous swipe,
- How many measurements the instrument will take per patch,
- Environmental factors like temperature and humidity at time of measuring,

The reason I bring this up here is that the LFPqb can be set to ANY of the variables above. This is an instrument that can do just about *everything* and does it well.

Here are some of the features unique to the LFPqb:

The addition of the M1 measurement mode M1 measurement mode brings this instrument into the modern world. M1 is recommended for most pressroom measurements nowadays. This can be combined with other measurement modes so that, for example, you can measure transmissively using M1.

The LFPqb's camera vastly improves the speed of the auto chart recognition. The camera gives the LFPqb enough information about the placement of the chart that it can start measuring almost immediately. The camera is also called into play when measuring textiles. Fabrics are notorious for not laying square and can easily be skewed as one attempts to lay them out flat for measuring. The camera sees the angles of the fabric and compensates for that in the internal calculations of the chart dimensions. Barbieri makes a version of the LFPqb specifically for textile measuring - the LFPqb Tex.

Prior to the release of the LPFqb, customers who wanted a hand-held instrument to take spot measurements would have had to use a different tool than the LFP Series 3. Now, the LPFqb has a detachable measuring head (the spectral unit) that is battery operated and has a touchscreen on the top. Slide the head into the aiming guide to take spot measurements, make calculations, and view the results in Lab readings on the display.

Finally, the speed and smoothness of this new LFPqb is in a class by itself. It is so smooth, quiet, and fast that you might not realize it is scanning the first time you watch it.

Test Charts

The official specs for the LFP series 3, require a chart size limited to 7.8 x 11.4 inches. This is the size of an A4 sheet, which is a slightly longer version of the typical US letter size: 8.5 x 11 inch sheets. The LFPqb, however, can accommodate larger charts; up to 9x12 inches. Working with a large number of patches such as the IT8.7-5 can be done by measuring multiple pages.

One of the key features of these table-based instruments is that it can handle materials of different thicknesses. The measuring head will raise and lower according to the depth of the material to be measured. This makes it ideal for thick fabrics, glass, plastic, ceramic tile, or thicker papers. The upper limit for material thickness is 20 mm.

Barbieri places positioning bars around 2 sides of a target so the software can automatically locate the target on the page. Alternatively, a user can manually select 3 corners of a chart to tell the software where to measure.


Barbieri supplies the Gateway software that drives the instrument, takes measurements, and outputs the results in several industry-compatible formats that can be imported into profile-making software. A companion software piece called Chart Generator can be used to build LFP-specific charts based on a color list that you supply. The fact that there are so many choices in how to use this instrument can make the creation of a simple chart a little daunting. It is wise to expect to spend some time on this learning curve. Some profiling software packages, such as ColorAnt by ColorLogic, can also directly drive LFP series 3 and LFPqb.

CHROMiX products Maxwell Client and Curve4 directly drive these instruments and take full advantage of their features. Like the Gateway software, CHROMiXs measurement module, found in Curve4 and Maxwell Client, allows for both auto and manual positioning. This is another instrument that takes advantage of the Memory Scan function that allows the CHROMiX module to start scanning immediately when the chart is placed in the same spot on the table. We also allow the choice of different apertures, M modes, transmissive or reflective measurements, and other capabilities of the device.

If you are already familiar with the CHROMiX measuring modules, this is a great way to add an entirely new instrument to your system without having to learn new software to drive it. We can use target reference files from other instrument manufacturers to drive any of the instruments we support.

The LFP series 3 -->

Measurement Modes

The Barbieri LFP can measure with no filter (M0 mode), with a UV-cut filter, and with a polarizing filter. The LFPqb has an entirely new measuring unit allowing it to use M0, M1, M2 and M3.

Both units can also measure color transmissively. There is something different about color as seen with light shining through it rather than reflected off the surface. Those wanting accurate profiles for prints that will be back-lit often find something lacking in the typical profiling packages that produce profiles for reflective light. There are very few spectrophotometers on the market that can measure transmissive light. Barbieri has been doing transmissive measurements for years and are very experienced in how to do this properly.


The LFP is pretty zippy compared to other (previous) table readers. The user has the option to have the head move up and down upon each patch, or scan the entire row just above the level of the media. The up-and-down option takes longer, but might increase accuracy in some situations. Polarized measurements and also transmissive measurements will slow things down depending on the opacity of the transmissive material, as well as the density of the color patch that is measured. The LFPqb is faster in every way than the LFP series 3.


The published spec reports the repeatability of these instruments at 0.2 dE2000, and the agreement between instruments to be 1.0 dE2000.


This is one of the few instruments that has multiple aperture options in one unit. 2mm is the default size for most finely-printed work. The uneven texture of fabrics make it desirable to use larger patches and a larger aperture in order to get a better overall representation of the color. To this end, Barberi can open up to a 6 mm aperture or even 8 mm. This is another reason why this instrument excels at measuring fabrics.


This is not considered a portable instrument.
Before the LFPqb came along, Barbieri would recommend their Spectropad instrument for those who want an instrument that is portable. However, one of the distinguishing characteristics of the LFPqb is that the measuring head can be detached from the unit and take spot measurements wirelessly. The data is displayed on the touch display on the top of the measuring head.

The entire LFP weighs in at a pretty hefty 24 lbs / 10.9 kg The LFPqb is 26 lbs / 11.8 kg


Like a finely-tuned Italian sports car, all of this goodness comes at a price. The SpectroLFP retails for about $8000 plus accessories, the LFPqb for $11800 plus accessories.

Barbieri LFP series 3 at

Barbieri LFPqb at

This is one of the longer Spotlights we've produced, and still we have more we could say about these instruments. If anything here has sparked your interest, go ahead and call us to get more details about any of these features. There are so many features and options for these instruments it seems we have barely scratched the surface. And that's a shameful way to treat any Italian racer!

Thanks for reading,

Patrick Herold

To read this article with images in ColorWiki, click here.

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