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I have been asked the question many times before: why does my photography/image look so flat when i convert RGB to CMYK color? Well, the answer is science. RGB is additive color theory. Red, green and blue light when combined produce white light. When red, green and blue light are turned off, there is no color therefore resulting in black. This is how your monitor and television function. CMYK is subtractive color theory. Cyan, magenta and yellow ink act as filters to absorb and reflect light that is reflected off paper. When light reflects off paper where no ink is applied, this is white. When light reflects where all three colors are present, no light reflects back resulting in black. Cyan ink absorbs red light; magenta absorbs green light; and yellow absorbs blue light. This is the basic theory of subtractive color. It’s important to note that a fourth ink (black) is used to create more contrast and deeper blacks/shadows in images. The amount of black ink is dependent on the conversion process that is used, for example medium GCR (Gray Component Replacement). RGB color uses projected light which is much more brighter than light reflecting off a substrate with CMYK color. The additive light (RGB) creates a color gamut that is much larger than subtractive (CMYK) color gamut. Does this explain RGB to CMYK conversion for you? Please place your comments below… Transcript of Video Hi. This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com. Today we are going to discuss the conversion from the RGB color space into the CMYK color space. [0:14] RGB is an additive color space meaning that red, green, and blue light together will create white. When red, green, and blue light are off, they will be black when it is projected onto screen, or onto a monitor. [0:31] CMYK is the subtractive color theory meaning that the cyan, magenta, and yellow inks act as filters. As light bounces off of the paper, it reflects up through the cyan, magenta, and yellow inks, which in turn will either absorb or reflect different color wavelengths. [0:52] The opposite of red is cyan, the opposite of green is magenta, and the opposite of blue is yellow. The subtractive colors are the gray components of the additive colors meaning that when they’re put together, they create gray, or black, or white. [1:07] The LAB color model–let me turn this off here–is a 3-axis color system, and the LAB colors are absolute meaning that the color is identical. It’s across what’s called a device-independent, meaning that the LAB color space is the only way for you to communicate different colors across different devices. [1:35] Now, it is a 3-axis system. The first axis, the L-channel, or lightness goes up and down the 3-D color model, and it consists of white to black, and all of your gray colors will be exactly right down the center. [1:49] All your neutral colors will be relatively in the center of this axis. The A-axis goes from a cyan/blue color across to a magenta/red color, and the B-axis goes from blue to yellow. [2:07] Within this area, we’re going to plot our visual or reproducible colors based on the gamut or the profile of the device we have. I’m going to turn on the sRGB...read more
There is no such thing as a universal CMYK. The fact that an image is in CMYK does not mean the color will be correct for a printing press. CMYK is a ‘device dependent’ color space, meaning that the CMYK data will print differently from one CMYK device to another. Every CMYK device has it’s own color profile. Knowing which CMYK color profile to convert to from RGB is very important to the success of color quality. A CMYK printer profile is the characteristic or behavior of a printing condition or process. Today we will demonstrate the differences between the GRACoL (general requirements for applications in commercial offset lithography) and SWOP (specification for web offset printing) CMYK color gamuts, or CMYK printer profiles. The GRACoL printing specification has a larger CMYK color gamut than the SWOP printing specification. This VIDEO demonstration shows the GRACoL and SWOP CMYK color gamuts in a three-dimensional wireframe. The color wireframes are plotted in the LAB color space. Create an even larger CMYK color gamut by printing with FM/stochastic screening! The LAB color space is ‘device indepedent’, meaning that LAB color data is absolute. LAB is a universal color space and is the best way to communicate the appearance of color. Which color profile looks better to you? Please leave your comments below… Start Here and Download our G7 CMYK profile Transcript of Video Hi. This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com. 00:04 Today we’re going to talk about the CMYK color space and the two most common CMYK color printer profiles. It’s important to note that a color printer profile is the behavior or the characteristics of a printing condition. It’s important to note that when dealing with your commercial printer to ask them which color printer profile or which color specification they print to and use that profile. Here at HiDefColor.com, we support the GRACoL color specification. 00:40 The important thing to note is we’re going to be – you’re actually looking at CMYK color model is plotted in the LAB color space. The LAB color space is a three axis determination of what a color is going to be, so it’s absolute. 01:00 The first axis is the L channel or the lightness which goes from white to black. Now that is going from top to bottom and it’s also important to note that along this axis is where your grays are going to be; your gray balance here, fifty percent gray, seventy five, twenty five and so-on are going to be down the center of that axis. 01:22 The second axis, the A axis goes from a cyan/green over to magenta/red color and the B axis goes from blue to yellow. So within this area here is where we’re going to plot all of our colors. 01:38 We’re going to go from our lightest colors up here, to our darker colors down here. So in the center is where all your neutral colors are going to be. We’ll start with our first color printer profile, that will be the SWOP color printer profile. 01:51 When we turn that on, you can see we’ve generated a three-dimensional wire frame of that color model. You go from our paper-white, down to our shadows, and then across from our primary colors our reds, our blues,...read more
HiDefColor is proud to be part of G7 Master Printer network! The G7 Master Printer Certification is a qualification program that identifies printing companies that have been trained to print to G7 Neutral Print Density Curves ensuring gray balance across the tonal range. The advantage to facilitating a G7 workflow guarantees print buyer expectations of the closest color match from proof to press and across other methods of printing from offset to digital to large format products. Although all methods of printing (offset, digital, large format) have their own color gamuts, the effect of printing to neutral density print curves results in a visual color match of each different product to the human eye. The result is your branded identity will have a visual color match from different locations and different printing devices. The G7 Master Printer Certification also means we use modern colorimetry technology and employ G7 process controls to guarantee color quality. HiDefColor is one of the few online printers who are G7 Master Printers. The G7 Master Printer status is audited and renewed on a yearly basis. Visit our online G7 printing site and get your color right on the first order and every order afterwards. Start Here and Download our G7 CMYK profile Have you heard of G7 Master Printer Certification? Please leave your comments below… (8 votes, average: 4.88 out of 5) Loading... ...read more
I was asked the other day about producing a calendar for the new year. The unique challenge with this project was that it wasn’t a typical template calendar and that its design involves fashion photography that crosses over the spine onto the page beneath. Large images that cross over the spine/gutter in the binding process are known as a ‘gutter jump’ or ‘crossover’. This design is used frequently in the magazine and book publishing business, but it may be relatively unknown to most graphic designers or photographers as to how it’s produced. It may be one of the ultimate challenges for a high quality commercial printer to do successfully. It relies on every department (prepress, press, postpress) on doing there job exactly to specification to pull off a successful quality reproduction. This post will cover the intricate details on how the images successfully register/line-up and how the correct color happens on press. Let’s start with the basics of page layout. Books, magazines, calendars and other publications that are bound are printed in signatures. Signatures are a specific group of pages, usually in groups of 16, that are laid out in a specific position on the press sheet (8 pages per side of press sheet). After the sheet is printed it is folded in half three times to a size just larger than the final trim size. Multiple signatures will produce a book of 48, 64 or 96 pages. All books are printed this way and usually will consist of signatures in either 8 page, 16 page or 32 page forms. This is the page layout for a 16 page signature. This is the front side of the press sheet – note page numbers and pages are positioned head-to-head: This is the back side of the press sheet – note page numbers and pages are positioned head-to-head: Prepress will use this layout to precisely position/align the clients’ successfully prepared PDF files. The layout will change slightly if the intended publication will be perfect bound versus a saddle stitched publication. Fortunately, all crossovers/gutter jumps are always positioned on the same side of the press sheet allowing for easier color matching of images on press. Therefore, in a 16 page signature, there are 8 pages per front and back side of the press sheet; 8 pages = four page spreads. Let’s now look at page spreads and see how they are positioned in the signature. Let’s start with the four page spreads on the BACK side of the form: Here’s the positioning of these four spreads on the BACK side of the 16 page signature. Notice how precise the ink densities are required to get the proper color to align across the width of the press sheet: Here are the page spreads for the FRONT side of the form. Notice the page spreads for pages 8-9 do not require any special attention, as well as page 1 and page 16: The FRONT side of the 16 page signature is a little more forgiving. As you can see, there are only two page spreads that need critical alignment. However, they are right inline with the ink key zones and do not require as much precision with ink densities. After the sheets are all printed, the printed...read more
You’ve seen them everywhere: electronics stores, newspapers, Facebook pages, music promotions, real estate signs, billboards and many other locations. Those funny looking black and white squares that look like something from the future. Well, the latter is now reality. Those funny looking square barcodes are called QR codes. QR stands for ‘quick response’ and they will revolutionize how marketers convert prospects into customers. QR codes are scanned by smart phones. Visit: http://get.beetagg.com in your mobile browser and automatically download QR Code reader software. The two-dimensional barcodes are designed to be scanned by smart phones with QR code reader scanning apps. The resulting scan of the QR code will send the user to a unique ‘landing page’ that will have a special offer for the user. These landing pages can also include videos and other special features relating to the special offer. QR codes are an excellent way to engage a prospect with your business at very little cost. Some believe QR codes will become as ubiquitous as other marketing tools as Facebook and Twitter. Consumers will need to feel comfortable with the experience. When they feel comfortable, they will continue to use it. Studies have shown that just over fifty-percent of Twitter and Facebook users have reported scanning a mobile barcode in 2010. Mobile barcode usage jumped 700% in 2010 compared to 2009, with a huge spike in the holiday season. Firms like BestBuy now include QR codes on all merchandise displays. Note: Getting your business listed in Google search results will be more important than ever… QR Codes and Mobile Marketing Boom A recent study shows that only 35% of consumers own smartphones. What does this mean? There is a huge growth opportunity for smart phones and a major opportunity for marketers. Smart phones will become interchangeable with laptops/computers. IPads are just large smart phones… Let’s look at a few facts regarding mobile marketing: Google search is twice as prevalent on mobile versus a personal computer mobile search is used to find information/specifications/prices for quick decision making one-third of mobile searches are local 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour What’s the takeaway from this? Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and use QR codes to drive traffic to your website with custom landing pages. Using QR codes in your printed marketing material will grow your business and engage your prospects with your company. Marketers love data and marketers love making business decisions based on metrics. Many QR code readers will also embed data from users who use QR codes. Information such as operating system, gender, age, location and other demographic information the user submits into their QR code reader software. More information, better decisions. How will you use QR codes in your next marketing campaign? Please leave a comment below…...read more
Stochastic printing process ability to produce a larger CMYK color gamut is one of the best secrets to producing high quality color on press. Conventional halftones, often referred to as AM screens (amplitude modulated), distribute ink over a grid of dots that increase in size for darker tones. Throughout the tone scale, the frequency of dots remains the same, but the size or amplitude increases. The ink and water requirements vary greatly throughout the tonal range, causing a basic lithographic instability for which there are no on press controls. An alternative to traditional halftone printing is stochastic printing process. The ink water requirements are more evenly distributed throughout the tonal range thereby overcoming the inherent instability of the AM screen. Stochastic printing is referred to as FM screening (frequency modulated), because the number and frequency of dots changes with tonality. Note that the average size of dot structures remains relatively constant through the tone scale. The dots are positioned in a pseudo random pattern to avoid moiré and patterning problems. Many people are aware that stochastic printing (FM) brings certain quality benefits to print, but few have realized the true potential of stochastic printing to deliver more predictable and stable color to their presswork and a larger CMYK color gamut. Let’s look at the comparison of primary colors (Red, Green, Blue) and how the screens compare in trapping/overprinting subtractive colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow). Stochastic Printing vs Conventional Printing Halftone Dots Primary Red Primary Green Primary Blue NOTE: the ink sequence on a printing press is black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Each ink gradually decreases in tack for overprinting efficiency to allow primary colors – red, green, blue – to be as bright as possible. Notice the greater range of tones in all three primary colors with stochastic printing (FM) resulting in a larger CMYK color gamut. This demonstration shows that stochastic printing (FM) prints cleaner, with greater vibrancy and a midtone color gamut that is not achievable with AM screens. In the example above, you can see the effect in a number of areas. If you look in the Magenta patches you will see a distinct difference between the AM and stochastic printing (FM). The tiny dots that make up a stochastic printing (FM) are actually more efficient at trapping and remitting light than AM screens. A small amount of light on the edge of every dot gets scattered through the paper and through the ink. This is what is called optical gain. With stochastic printing process, a larger percentage of light that hits the printed sheet passes through the ink. This means that less ink is required for a given visual tone and the increased optical effect filters out a greater percentage of the complementary colors that are reflected from the paper surface. It is the complementary colors that contaminate the color we should be seeing and there is less of it getting through with stochastic printing. True High Definition Color. Which color would you prefer? Please leave your comments below… (35 votes, average: 4.94 out of 5) Loading... ...read more
So now that you know how to make money with QR Codes, what’s next? QR codes are scanned by smart phones. Visit: http://get.beetagg.com in your mobile browser and automatically download QR Code reader software. There are many options to integrate QR Codes into your next design of print collateral. When QR Codes are scanned with QR reader software (through smart phones/mobile devices) recipients are taken to custom landing pages or other call-to-action options. Let’s begin with the six basic types of QR Codes: URL – encode URL and share with the world (landing page) VCard – easily transfer contact information to another user Message – transfer a simple message or text encoding Phone – call a unique phone number SMS – encode an SMS message and recipient phone number Email – encode an email message along with recipient information Using the appropriate type of QR Code can make your mobile marketing efforts more effective. Here are a few examples of my favorites: Business Cards -recipient scans code to quickly import contact information. Magazine/Newspaper Ads – scan the code to reveal ‘how-to’ video or further product information Product Packaging – scan the code for product installation, warranty registry, rebates Name Tags – scan the code to populate contact info at trade shows For Sale Signage – scan the code for complete product information, video tour Product Samples – scan the code for further information, product videos, special offers Tweet This – scan a code to automatically re-Tweet message Museum Artwork – scan the code for artist information and special details regarding the artist Outdoor Billboard – scan the code to see sneak peaks of movie trailers Takeaway, QR Codes are a great way to supplement your traditional print collateral pieces. Don’t forget to capitalize on the huge mobile marketing explosion with QR codes! What are some of your ideas for QR Codes?...read more
We’ve all been talking about cross-media publishing for the last fifteen years or so. I know it’s been on my radar for a long time. Finally, there really is a great form of cross-media publishing that really is quite simple and very effective to your marketing strategies. The answer: QR Codes. QR codes are scanned by smart phones. Visit: http://get.beetagg.com in your mobile browser and automatically download QR Code reader software. QR stands for ‘quick response’ and is a clever way of engaging your prospects through traditional print marketing materials. This call-to-action is used to convert leads into customers through a mobile device or smart phone. 2011 The Year of Mobile Marketing. How to participate in explosion of Mobile Marketing? QR Codes! Some of the facts are a bit astounding and misinformed: Currently only 25% of population uses a smart phone IPhone, Android and Blackberry are in a dead heat for market share Android has captured over 40% of smart phone users who have purchased in last 6 months HTML 5 will increase the use of Mobile Web – without the need to develop expensive Apps Mobile Web search is twice as prevalent as personal computer search Mobile Web search is used to find information quickly, compare pricing and decision making 33% of Mobile Web searches are local 70% of Mobile Web searches lead to action within 1 hour 70% of personal computer searches lead to action within 1 month What is the takeaway from this? Make sure your website is mobile friendly and use QR Codes to expand your market share without much overhead. What is your mobile marketing strategy? Please leave your comments below…...read more
Is this the trend of where printing is going or gone? BTW, the iPad comes with the car. What do you think? Please leave your comments below…read more
How many times have you sat in those marketing meetings trying to think of a clever, unique way of creating marketing pieces? A new innovative and inexpensive printing method is digital dimensional printing. Digital dimensional printing is a raised, high gloss, spot coating that creates an additional sensory feel to your marketing pieces. This raised or 3-D effect helps your communications stand out in a crowded marketplace. Images and photographs that look like they have a textural feel are perfect images to start with since the reader will already have a mental thought of what the image will feel like. Images that are highly detailed are also a great selection to use digital dimensional printing One particular case study is from a residential commercial roofing company. Their marketing challenge was two-fold: one, how to produce marketing samples that accurately reproduce the many different colors of their roofing shingles and two, create the sensory effect of a shingle. The solution? Digital dimensional printing. The individual colored shingles were scanned, not photographed, and brought into Adobe Photoshop for color correction. The colors were accurately matched using a spectrophotometer and cross-referenced with LAB values on screen and readings from the actual shingle. Once the LAB color corrected images were approved, the images were converted to our GRACoL CMYK color profile for printing on Nexpress. The selection for the texture was made by cross-referencing the various color channels and manipulating curves to create a high contrast selection of individual pebbles in the shingle. The marketing campaign results were incredible and great ROI. Digital dimensional printing is a great alternative to raised UV coating and less expensive. It is completely recyclable and does not require any special de-inking process and uses no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to the environment. What are your thoughts on creative ways to use digital dimensional printing?...read more