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Online G7 Master Printer Certification

HiDefColor.com 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.com 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.

HiDefColor.com prints to the GRACoL CMYK print specification on offset, digital and large format products.

Have you heard of G7 Master Printer Certification? Please leave your comments below…

 

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Printing

How Crossovers/Gutter Jumps are Printed and Bound

I was asked the other day about producing a calendar for 2012. 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.

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Blog QR Code

What are Those Square Barcodes in Print?

Scan this QR Code for a free gift from me….

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 smartphones 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.

 

QR Codes and Mobile Marketing Boom

A recent study shows that only 25% of consumers own smartphones. What does this mean? There is a huge growth opportunity for smartphones and a major opportunity for marketers. Smartphones will become interchangeable with laptops/computers.

Let’s look at a few facts regarding mobile marketing:

  • search if 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…

 

Categories
Printing

Staccato/FM Screens Produce Larger CMYK Color Gamut

Staccato/FM Screen Gray Ramp
Tonal range comparison of AM screening versus FM (Staccato) screening

Staccato/FM screens ability to produce a larger CMYK color gamut is one of the best secrets to producing 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 halftones is Staccato/FM/stochastic screening. The ink water requirements are more evenly distributed throughout the tonal range thereby overcoming the inherent instability of the AM screen. Staccato/stochastic halftones are often referred to as FM screens (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 FM screens brings certain quality benefits to print, but few have realized the true potential of stochastic 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).

 

Primary Red

Stochastic/FM tonal comparison red overprint showing larger CMYK color gamut
solid Yellow ink trapping/overprinting Magenta tonal range
Observe how much finer the FM/stochastic screen appears

 

Primary Green

Stochastic/FM tonal comparison green overprint showing larger CMYK color gamut
solid Yellow ink trapping/overprinting Cyan tonal range
Observe how much finer the FM/stochastic screen appears

 

Primary Blue

Stochastic/FM tonal comparison Blue overprint showing larger CMYK color gamut
Magenta tonal range trapping/overprinting solid Cyan ink
Observe how much finer the FM/stochastic screen appears

 

Notice the greater range of tones in all three primary colors with Staccato/FM/stochastic screens resulting in a larger CMYK color gamut.

This demonstration shows that Staccato/FM/stochastic screens print 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 Staccato/FM/stochastic screens.

The tiny dots that make up a Staccato/FM/stochastic screen 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 Staccato/FM/stochastic screens, a larger percentage of the 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 Staccato/FM/stochastic screens.

True High Definition Color.

Which color would you prefer? Please leave your comments below…

 

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Blog QR Code

Uses for QR Codes in Graphic Design

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:

  1. URL – encode URL and share with the world (landing page)
  2. VCard – easily transfer contact information to another user
  3. Message – transfer a simple message or text encoding
  4. Phone – call a unique phone number
  5. SMS – encode an SMS message and recipient phone number
  6. 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?

 

Categories
Blog Media QR Code

Mobile Marketing with QR Codes in Print Collateral

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!