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Blog Featured Article Printing

Lenticular Printing: Hue Got To See This!

Lenticular printing showing the changing fall colors
By flipping the card front-to-back, the leaves change color to further emphasize the marketing message.

Looking for a way to break through the clutter? Create an instant conversation?

Nothing engages readers more than lenticular printing. Often thought as an expensive marketing piece, lenticular printing is now very affordable.

Marketing pieces can now contain two or three different images which will flip when the card is rotated top-to-bottom. This technique is perfect for demonstrating before-and-after examples. Examples of lenticular printing effects are: flip, 3D, morph, zoom, motion and combination.

Lenticular printing is a process of printing interlaced images onto a lens that will magnify the different images when viewed at different angles. Lenticular is a CMYK printing process, however the image is printed backwards (wrong-reading) on the opposite side of the lens. When the lens is viewed from the front, the image is right-reading. Lenticular prints can be printed on both sides using a laminating process. The back-side of the card is only available with conventional CMYK printing and is not lenticular.

Not sure how to prepare your artwork for lenticular? HiDefColor can create the entire piece from creative to finished happy client. In fact, use our experience and create a worry-free marketing campaign that is sure to pay a HUGE ROI.

Want to see this dynamic marketing piece in your hands? Click here and provide me with your address and I will send you a sample for FREE! Sorry, available within United States only.

What are some ways you can your lenticular technology in your marketing? Please leave a comment below…

 

Categories
Blog Color Management

What is LAB Color Space?

The LAB color model is a three axis color system and LAB colors are absolute, meaning that the color is identical. It’s what’s known as device independent; meaning that the LAB color space is the only way to communicate different colors across different devices.

00:23 It is a three axis system. The first axis, the L-channel or Lightness, goes up and down the 3D color model and it consists of white to black – and all of your gray colors will be exactly right down the center. All neutral colors will be relatively in the center of this axis.

00:43 The A axis, goes from cyan color across to magenta/red color. And the B axis goes from blue to yellow. So within this area we’re going to plot visual or reproducible colors based on the gamut or the profile of the device we have.

01:05 So we’re going to turn on the sRGB color profile. Most monitors will display in sRGB and sRGB is preferred for any type of internet or web application. We’ll get this thing spinning here and you can see the volume of the colors that you can reproduce from this additive color model. Obviously since dealing with projecting light, they’re very bright colors and they’re very saturated.

When to use LAB color space

– Matching paint colors to printed media

– Matching fabric colors in a catalog or website

– Communicating your favorite Pantone color to another media form

– LAB color space is the back-bone of all color management between devices in the color workflow

 

What questions do you have regarding LAB color mode? Please leave your comments below…

 

Categories
Blog Design

Make Your Images Hi-Def: Free Photoshop Action Script

Needless to say, I love sports and ESPN. I am a big fan of ESPN.com and visit it almost everyday. I have always been fascinated by their photography and it got me thinking- hmmm Photoshop action script – about how they process images for the website. The photos jump off the screen and far exceed the color quality of rival sites.

My subconscious always directs me back…

So it got me thinking and you’re going to like what i have to share with you! I went ahead and scripted a Photoshop action script that will turn your good photos to great photos. I combined some of my favorite adjustments for you in one simple action in Photoshop. All you need to do is press ‘play’ and it’s all done automatically.

Always process copies of your images in case you are not completely happy with the results and make another effort with compensations.

Installing the Photoshop action script is easy. From inside Photoshop, go to Window/Actions to open the Actions window. In the upper right corner, pull down the drop-down menu and select Load Actions and select the HiDef3 color Photoshop action script. Click the Play button and presto, you’re image is done and ready for placement.

The resulting image is in sRGB and ready to be imported into Adobe InDesign.

Yes, the image is in RGB, however you do not need to convert your images to CMYK. Watch this RGB to CMYK tutorial and automatically convert all your images to CMYK upon exporting press-ready PDF. A remarkable workflow that will save you a tremendous amount of time and improve your color quality on press.

Drop me a note HERE and I will personally send you the HiDefColor Action Script…

Please post your feedback below in comments…

[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] Hi. This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com

Today’s tutorial is going be a quick instructional video on using the new Hi Def 3 action scripts within Photoshop to automate your image processing.

00:17 Inside Photoshop CS go under the window and select actions. In the actions window you want to select load actions and navigate to where you downloaded your Hi Def 3 Photoshop action script file.

00:35 Mine here is on the desktop, select the file, click open, and now the actions are ready to be used. So from here we’re going to open a couple of files.

01:02 Now with this action script, this action script will automatically assign Adobe 98 RGB color profile to your images. The Adobe RGB color profile is a much larger color gamut so your colors will be much more vibrant. I do not recommend using this for portrait photography. Use the sRGB color profile for portrait photography.

01:26 I will be uploading an action script Hi Def action script with the sRGB color profile in the next few days. So from here we want to go ahead and ignore the missing profile. The image will be brought in and simply select the Hi Def 3 action script and click the play button.

01:49 You’ll see the process is automatic. We have a much much greater better color balance here we got much more vibrant colors and notice the definition. Inside the images are incredible details. Almost giving the look of three-dimensional look because you can see here that the quarterback here is almost jumping out at you from the background. You see the background here the depth of field is much more greater than the original photograph.

02:22 Let’s take a look back here in our history and look at the old picture. This is what was published but with the simple action script this is what you could have seen. Some people may look at this and say is too sharp. Keep in mind, this is very important, when the image goes into the RIP – raster image processor – in prepress, and gets converted into a screen – with an FM screen we are running – the image automatically will soften up.

02:52 So to give you a better idea, look at it at the sixty-six percent and it will give you an idea of how that actually will look when printed. You can see it’s cleaned up a little more here and again very sharp.

03:04 And compare with the old, to the new, this’ll give you true high definition color in your next printed project. Combine this with the Never Convert to CMYK video at HiDefColor.com and your images will be saved with the correct RGB profile and converted to CMYK during the export out of InDesign.

03:29 Well, thanks for tuning in. Have a good day. Take care…[/learn_more]

 

Categories
Blog Design Featured Article Google Marketing

The Real Personal Computer

The year was 1981 and IBM just launched the 5150 Personal Computer. The 5150 started the personal computer revolution, but it took time to spread from the early adopters. It started with small businesses and built momentum when the Apple Macintosh was introduced in 1984. It wasn’t until the mid-1990’s, when the internet was made public, that made the personal computer popular to the average consumer.

The iPhone is the new personal computer
Image courtesy Apple Inc.

While this was all happening, we witnessed the revolution of the cellular phone. The cellular phone started as a large briefcase bag that you had to carry around with you or leave inside your car. They morphed into large cordless ‘bricks’ which look really funny these days.

Which brings us to today. These devices, that we cannot get away from, are tethered to our bodies and have become indispensable to our daily lives. Our cell phones are not telephones, they are our new personal computer. Smart phones are powerful computers that allow us to make phone calls through the internet using a technology called voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP). They not only allow us to communicate via voice, but also allow access to text messaging (SMS), email, video calling, social media apps, photos and browsing the internet. People claim that if they leave their home without their wallet they will continue driving, while they will return home to grab their cell phone. As social media, games and apps build even more momentum, people will be even more attached to their phones.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is now being built into new smart phones. NFC will allow us to start our cars, make purchases and allow for customized content. Near field communication is a sensor/chip inside a phone that uses a customized short-range frequency that is dedicated exclusively to your device. We have been using this technology for many years with devices such as keyless office entry or ‘speed-pass’ payment methods. This technology is now being built into smart phones for your convenience. Think about this: wallet, keys, phone; two of them are going away – pick one.

One note to keep your eye on, cell phone service providers are now charging data usage by your usage in kilobytes. For those of you that are not aware, or have unlimited data plans, each time you visit a website on your smart phone, you are downloading the html code/data of that site through your phone’s internet browser. This data that you download is being tracked by your service provider and you will be charged based on the amount of data that you are downloading. I don’t like this trend and we need to support service providers that allow unlimited data plans. If all the service providers switch away from unlimited data plans, we, the consumer, will pay significantly with higher cell phone bills. Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of internet browsing with the old ‘dial-up’ connections?

Furthermore, if you own a business or you’re a marketer, you need to get your business online. With the emergence of the Real Personal Computer (our cell phone), there are tremendous opportunities to those that can be found through search engines. The day will come when your potential client uses their phone to search for what they want to buy. Your business needs to have a web presence and a mobile friendly website to take advantage of new business and lead generation opportunities. Think about the potential of mobile marketing with everyone glued to their phones…

An analogy would be to compare the computer revolution with the telephone industry. We’ve gone from using large desktop workstations to small handheld devices.

They are now one.

How often do you conduct Google search on your cell phone? Please leave your comments below…

 

Categories
Blog QR Code

Determining ROI on Print Marketing Material

I’ve been researching QR codes for the last six months and I have come to conclusion about how they can benefit you in your marketing efforts. QR codes, short for quick response, are gaining popularity at a fast rate and that’s beneficial to all of us in the marketing business.

QR codes are scanned by smart phones. Visit: http://get.beetagg.com in your mobile browser and automatically download QR Code reader software.

Studies show that by 2012, shipments of smart phones will exceed personal computers and all phones will be data-capable.

What does this mean? It means you need to have a presence in mobile marketing right now and QR codes are the link between offline marketing and online marketing.

By placing QR codes on your printed marketing material, you now have an effective way of determining the ROI of your print marketing campaign. There are many clever uses of QR codes in print. The main take-away of using these 2-D codes is that once they are scanned from a cell phone, they will direct the user to a landing page where they are prompted with a special offer or call-to-action. By creating effective landing pages, the visitor is now engaged with your product or service and is converted from a visitor to a lead and is now within your sales funnel.

It’s imperative that you have a mobile version of your website for your landing pages. You want to make sure that the visitor has a pleasant experience and embraces the new technology; it will boost the engagement with your brand.

Here’s the ROI: the landing pages with be tracked with your web analytics account. You will have first hand statistics on how effective these codes have reached out to prospects and have converted into leads for your salesforce. In return, you have built an initial experience with a prospective client and have built a foundation that you are an expert in your field.

By simply adding QR’s to your print marketing material, you are extending a form of engagement with your prospects with minimal investment.

What are your plans with QR codes in your print marketing?

 

Categories
Blog Color Management Media

Free Color Correction Will Make You Hungry

As an introduction to HiDefColor.com, I am offering free color correction services to trigger emotional responses to your print/web marketing production.

Drop me a note to take advantage of this free color service and improve your marketing effectiveness.

For a visual comparison:

George Mokbel Everyday Gourmet Plate
Original image in camera raw format.
George Mokbel Everyday Gourmet Plate
Same image with HiDefColor correction free service.

Which dish would you order?

Categories
Blog Printing Video

VIDEO: 3D Printing May Solve Organ Donor Crisis

 

Where will printing take us next? The future of print is brighter than some may think.

3D Printing is a new and exciting development in the world of inkjet technology. It works on the premise of printing 3D models layer by layer; akin to layer cake.

In the case of creating human organs, the sequence of layers is derived from MRI scans ensuring the exact dimensions of the replacement organ. The human cells are harvested form the recipient and stored in an ‘oven’ that replicates the environment of the human body, from temperature to oxygen levels. The living cells are then ‘printed’ with the data from the MRI scan. Instead of printing with ink, the printer is printing with human cells. Truly fascinating!

So the question needs to be asked, can we grow organs instead of transplanting them?

Categories
Blog Color Management Featured Article Media Video

VIDEO: How RGB Color is Converted to CMYK in Photoshop

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…

[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”]

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 color profile. Most monitors display in sRGB; sRGB is preferred for any type of Internet or Web application.

[2:27] And look at this thing spinning here. And you can see the volume of the colors that you can reproduce from this additive color model. Obviously, since it’s dealing with projecting light, they’re very bright colors and they’re very saturated.

[2:44] Now when we bring in and display the CMYK GRACoL color profile, you’ll notice when I turn it on the sRGB encompasses the whole CMYK color gamut beside this area of cyan and greens through here.

[3:03] If you look down on the color model, you’ll notice that the circumference of the model is projected along the bottom here. You can see the outside perimeter of the sRGB color profile.

[3:17] The brighter colors are just not capable of being reproduced with the CMYK color gamut. You can see what happens when you get these real dark blues. There’s no blue for you to hit in a CMYK color model.

[3:30] What I’m going to do is I’m going to take our sRGB color profile, and I changed the opacity, so you can see the difference that we’re dealing with here. As you can see the volume of color on the RGB color profile is nowhere near what can be reproduced in a CMYK color profile.

[3:53] So what we have to do is we have to do our best job of remapping these colors, or what is known as tonal compression, to bring this sRGB color model into the CMYK color space.

[4:06] This is why–I’ll stop right here–when you look at a blue sky, you may always be disappointed with the results you get because when the photograph is in RGB, you’ve got all these deep bright blues and more of the colors you see in the horizon.

[4:30] When they’re converted to CMYK – you’ll notice when I change opacity, all those bright blues have to be condensed into this little area here of the blue hue that’s reproducible in CMYK.

[4:42] There’s a sacrifice there, and that’s where you get into using either relative rendering intent, or the perceptual color intent. That will help you resolve some of issues you have with converting your dark blues into the CMYK color space.

[4:58] Let’s turn this opacity back up, and you’ll get an idea, again, of what we’re dealing with here. We need to take all of this color and condense it into this little area right here.

[5:12] And this is the GRACoL color profile. The GRACoL color profile has more colors than the SWOP profile, so we’re going to get a better representation of some of those more juicier RGB colors when they’re converted to CMYK.

[5:27] So let’s bring this up again and show you the difference of converting all of this into this little area here. This is why color management is so important and knowing what profiles you’re dealing with.

[5:41] Your safest bet is using the sRGB color space and converting into the coded GRACoL profile. Keep in mind that dealing with your print provider, they will produce, or they will provide the correct color profile based on their printing condition.

[5:58] A profile is a recipe, or the characteristics of a particular printing condition. Based on the press, the inks, and the paper that they use that will produce a profile.

[6:10] Well thanks again for tuning in. I hope this clears some things up. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment on the blog. And we will see you next time.

[6:21] Have a great day.[/learn_more]

 

Categories
Blog Color Management Video

VIDEO: Choosing CMYK Color Profile/Gamut Explained

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…

[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] 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, greens, to our subtractive primaries our yellow, cyan and magenta. And from the top down – looking straight down – you can see that we plotted the outside circumference of our color space, so you can see our color a little better, along with our three-dimensional wireframe.

02:27 The second option is the GRACoL color printer profile. Now, i’m going to bring that in. You will notice that when i click this on, that the GRACoL color printer profile completely engulfs the SWOP color printer profile.

02:41 Looking down here at the bottom – follow the cursor – you’ll notice from the top down the shadow, or the circumference, is much larger than the SWOP color gamut, meaning that you have more color that’s accessible when you convert from RGB to CMYK. You’re going to get a larger color gamut and this is displaying graphically what the larger color gamut is with the GRACoL color profile.

03:04 It’s important to note that you can’t just choose a profile. You have to understand what profile or what specifications your printer is running to. So if you convert to a SWOP profile and you’re printing GRACoL, there’s going to different results.

03:19 So again, what I want to do here is i’m going to change the opacity of the GRACoL so you can see better how much more color is available resulting in a larger color gamut.

03:31 We’ll get this spinning here so you can look around the different colors and look at the top down and also look at the wireframe to see how much more color. There’s more volume of color for you to work with to get a better reproduction in CMYK when you convert from RGB.[/learn_more]

 

Categories
Blog Featured Article Printing

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…