You have to FEEL the soft touch UV coating that we are applying to our new business cards. People can’t keep their hands off these cards!
Let’s talk about how these are produced and how to prepare files for soft touch UV coating.
You will need to prepare two files for each side of the business card: one for the CMYK image and another file for the spot UV coating. The CMYK file will be the content of the image, while the spot UV coating file will be made with 100% black in CMYK file. There cannot be any other colors inside the spot UV coating file. Also, make sure there is no other data in the K (Black) channel, such as highlights or soft edges.
Here is an example of how this card was made with CMYK file and spot UV coating file:
As you can see, the spot UV file is made with selections filled with 100% black. Be creative with these selections. The more clever use of spot UV makes the cards really dramatic. Be careful not to overuse the spot UV because that will take away the feel of the soft touch coating on the balance of the card. The best results occur when using spot UV coating sparingly for impact.
Note: Be careful to line-up files exactly. Drop me a note if you have a question on how to line-up these two files.
As far as how the soft touch UV cards are printed, they are printed on 20 point stock using high-pigmented CMYK inks. The images are screened with 20 micron stochastic imagery, resulting in continuous tone images. Just like a photographic print!
Here is the final printed business card:
Want to print soft touch UV? Drop me a line HERE and I will take care of your printing.
How would you like to use this coating style? Please leave a comment below…
Yes, penguins and pandas sure are cute, but in search marketing, they are cute little animals you want nothing to do with.
Panda and Penquin are two of the larger algorithm changes that Google has applied to their search results.
In essence, Panda is penalizing websites that display too many advertisements above the fold and duplicating content across multiple domains. The algorithm uses artificial intelligence, learned form human behavior, to monitor high quality and low quality websites that build trust with visitors.
The Penguin update is penalizing websites for over-optimization, or keyword stuffing and cloaking, amongst others. Many sites have benefitted from over-optimization by fooling the search algorithm with multiple usage of keywords and cloaking. Cloaking is fooling a search engine spider with content that would not be served up to the user in their browser.
Remember you are Google’s customer and they want to provide you with the best experience possible and provide what you’re looking for. Always create great content that people will return and recommend through social sharing.
These algorithm updates have made pay-per-click more beneficial than organic listings.
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…
I can’t stress enough how important it is to calibrate your monitor properly. If a picture is worth a thousand words, now you know what those words are telling you. Watch how to calibrate a monitor using i1Profiler software along with the i1Pro2 spectrophotometer on your Mac OSX.
Select the proper white point (color temperature) of your display. Adjust settings for proper luminance (brightness) that will match your prints or press sheets to your screen display. Mount the i1Pro2 to the monitor and run the color control patches. The i1Profiler software will read the known color values and create an accurate ICC profile of your monitor/display and store the new calibrated profile in your system.
Take the first step in matching your screen to print on your Mac OSX.
Do you have challenges matching your prints to your display? Please leave a comment below…
[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com.
Today we’re going to go through the process of calibrating your monitor using the i1Profiler software suite and the i1Pro2 spectrophotometer from XRite. Once you’re inside i1Profiler, we’re going to click the Display Profiling box, and we’re going to take it into the Settings mode. In here, we’re going to select our display, which is our color LCD, and pick our white point of our monitor.
[0:30] We have multiple options here. I suggest that you go with the D65, which is 6,500 Kelvin temperature. Our luminance, we want to set this to 100 candelas per square meter. This will simulate more of the process or the environment looking at your printed material. Most monitors are too bright, causing your prints to come out too dark when your monitor calibration is incorrect .
[0:56] From here, we’re going to leave the ambient lights mark control sensor off. We’re going to click the Next button.
[1:06] From here, we’re going to calibrate the i1Pro2 spectrophotometer. I’ve placed the spectrophotometer on the white point balance point, the calibration target, and I’ll simply hit the Calibrate button.
[1:21] From here, the spectrophotometer will be referencing a known white point that is neutral. That will balance out the sensors inside the spectrophotometer.
[1:34] From here, we’re ready to start the process. At this point, we’re going to leave our Automatic Display control checked. The Adjust Brightness/Contrast and RGB Gains…we don’t want to mess with this button right here.
[1:49] Here’s our different color patches that we’re going to be displaying on the screen, which will be read by the spectrophotometer. We’re going to start the measurement process. At this point, I’m going to hang the spectrophotometer onto the monitor to begin the calibration process. The device is now connected to the display. I’ll hit the Next button.
[2:16] At this point, the software is going to run through approximately 100 different control patches, which are going to display a known LAB value, RBG value to the screen that the spectrophotometer is going to read.
[2:32] Through the calibration process, through the process of creating the profile, it will read the displayed values and what they should actually be displayed on the screen. It’s a relative database comparing the two. That’s what creates the calibration process for your monitor.
[2:47] We’re going to speed up the process to go through these colors. We’ll be back in just a minute.
[2:53] OK. We are done with reading our color patches. By the way, that process takes upwards of six to seven minutes. Obviously, we edited it down so we don’t have to bore you to death with that process.
[3:22] Up on the right hand side of the screen here, these are the patches that we read. You can notice that they’re cut with a diagonal line. The value on top is what the actual color should render as. The color on the bottom is what the spectrophotometer actually read our uncalibrated monitor actually reading.
[3:45] That being said, what we’re going to do now is create a relational database between the known color values and what was displayed, and then sync those up together. We’re going to do that by clicking the Next button.
[4:00] At this point, we’re going to name our ICC profile. This is going to be the MacBook Pro and today’s date. That way, I know just by looking at that that that’s for my MacBook Pro. By having the date in there, I can choose the most recent profile.
[4:22] From here, I can set a reminder that reminds me every four weeks to actually create the new profile — a reminder for me to go back and double check my calibration. From there, I click Create and Save Profile. My ICC profile has now been generated.
[4:40] You’ll notice the change with the screen. Look at the gradient here, my gray scale, my gray ramp. From before, and after. Now I’m balanced all the way through my tonal range with the proper gray.
[4:56] That is it. I can’t stress enough how important monitor calibration is. I have a saying that if a picture is worth a thousand words, this will tell you what those thousand words are telling you.
[5:08] Until next time, thanks again and have a great day. [/learn_more]
As a general rule, I will use sRGB for anything that has skin tones or the image contains a softer mood. I use Adobe RGB for landscape, food, architecture and any other natural setting where I want maximum color.
Watch and listen to the differences explained in 3D wire frame of the color volume for each profile.
[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”]
Today we’re going to explain the differences between the two common RGB color profiles, sRGB and Adobe RGB. Right now you’re looking at 3-dimensional wire frame of the sRGB color profile.
[00:18] If we take a look from the top down, along the bottom you’ll see an outline in two dimensions of the size of the color gamut.
[00:30] Within Color Think, we can quantify the number of colors in the gamut. You’ll notice here that the gamut volume is approximately nine hundred thousand different colors. A very big color profile.
[00:45] sRGB is known as the lowest common denominator so depending on whether you have a high-end Eizo monitor or low-cost Dell monitor, whatever it happens to be, it kind of dummifies the color so that the color looks consistent on each of those devices.
[0:01:00] Now when we move up into the Adobe color profile, (going to turn on here) notice along the bottom that it’s gotten much larger and you can see all along the bottom here, especially in the cyan and the green, that it’s pretty much proportional in that you can see its much larger.
[0:01:20] What I’m going to do here is I’m going to turn up the opacity and you’ll notice that the Adobe RGB color profile will pretty much encompass the entire sRGB profile. And notice how much larger it is now. And to give you an idea as far as to quantify the colors within Adobe RGB, we’re looking at 1.3 million colors. Almost forty five percent more colors them which you’re going to get with sRGB.
[0:01:50] Now how does this apply within Photoshop working with your images? I’m going to boot-up Photoshop and hide the background. And you’ll get an idea when I bring in an image here, the image looks really good.
[0:02:08] This is shot outdoors and we’re going to assign our profile. You’ll notice right now that we are in the sRGB color space and the image looks very good. If we toggle into the Adobe RGB color space, notice what happens with the color.
[0:02:28] The color greatly enrichens and it makes it much more lively. You’ll notice where our sample points are that the data itself will not change. So we’ll toggle back and forth and notice the color shift but the data itself did not change. That’s important to note because what’s happening is the Adobe RGB color profile is sending a different signal to Photoshop to display the color in a much more vibrant color space.
[0:02:57] Personally when I do anything with portraits or skin, I will use the sRGB color profile and if it’s outdoors or food or architecture I will go with the Adobe RGB profile to get a much more vibrant looking print when i go to press.
[0:03:16] So that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and leave a comment.[/learn_more]
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.
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…
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.
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.
This VIDEO will show you how to get the most dynamic and sharpest images in your printed marketing material. This is a two-step Photoshop sharpening technique that will show you how to create the sharpest images without creating noise in smooth midtone areas of your photographs.
This is one of my favorite Photoshop sharpening tips in reproducing beautiful photography on press. All images are not as sharp as they can be when converted from raw files. These days there is a lot of post image processing that needs to be done with digital images. One of the key things that is overlooked is how sharp the image is. We now work with incredibly sharp LCD displays and images seem to jump off the screen. Unfortunately, when an image goes through the RIP (raster image processor) process in prepress, the image is naturally softened in the screening process.
Remember, your photography is only as good as the printer you choose!
Let me know what you think. Please leave your comments below…
[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] Hi. This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com.
Today, we’re going to talk about one of the greatest Photoshop sharpening techniques to take your photographs from a good photograph to a great photograph.
[0:13] Notice the transition there. This will demonstrate how to take a great photo and make it into a true high definition color print when it’s printed on press.
[0:25] All right, let’s get started here.
[0:27] As you can see, I am working in the LAB color space right now. You can work in RGB and get the same results. I prefer using LAB. Just keep in mind you want to convert to CMYK at the very last moment so always work in RGB or LAB.
[0:43] First things started, we’re going to do a Select All and we’re going to copy and create a new Alpha channel here and paste our document or image into our new Alpha channel.
[1:03] We select that and we’re going to Filter, Stylize and click the Find Edges. Now what Find Edges will do is look at all the sharp contrasting points in the image and basically highlight those and create a line drawing for you.
[1:21] From here, we’re going to go on to our curves, which is our Command M and we’re going to alter this channel.
[1:30] First thing you want to do… In a nutshell, what’s happening here… We’re going to sharpen the darkened areas. The white areas will not be sharpened so we’re going to maintain our smooth, crystal clear, creamy midtones and not create any noise in there from excessive sharpening.
[1:49] First thing, you’d want to grab our shadow end of our curve and bring this over all the way up to 50%. At the same time, you’d want to take our highlight end of our curve and bring this up to about 20% or so.
[2:09] You can see right now we’ve created a much higher contrast now in this line drawing. And again just to make another adjustment here, we want to make our black areas a little wider as possible so we’re going to add some more density to that black and kick it up. You can see they’re almost intersecting each other.
[2:29] At this point, we’re going to click OK and we’re going to go into Filter and create a Gaussian Blur on this image. The blur will spread the black areas to create a subtle transition between these smooth areas and the sharpened areas.
[2:50] So, select Gaussian Blur and use anything… I prefer to use two and a half pixels. That seems to work fast for me. So, select 2.5 pixels and click OK.
[3:04] Now back to curves again. You could see we softened up the image.
[3:07] Now we go back to curves and harden up that edge a little more. So we’re going to bring our shadow end of our curve all the way up to 50% again. You could see how much darker we made that so we’ll get more sharpening in the areas. There is no information in our white areas here so those areas will not be affected by the Photoshop sharpening filter. Click OK.
[3:32] At this point, we’re going back to our full color image and go to Select and Load Selection. Notice we’re going to select our Alpha channel that we’ve created and click OK. Now that selection is brought to place. We’re simply going to hide the selection just to save on our eyeballs there.
[3:57] And now we’re going to do our sharpening. The selection is going to just isolate the areas that we want to sharpen. Go to Filter, Sharpen and I’m a huge fan of Unsharp Mask. It goes back to the old days of running the old color drum scanner. At this point, I’m going to play around with the amount.
[4:21] Now the amount is how much the adjoining pixels are affected. I like to go real high on this number, anywhere between 150 and 200. For this tutorial, I’m going to select 200 and it’s a high number but keep in mind we’re only affecting those images in the selection itself.
[4:41] You’d want to keep the radius anywhere between half a pixel to one to one and a half. If you go any thicker, you’ll create a severe halo effect around your images. If you’re looking for an artistic point of view, you may want to do that but I would not ever recommend doing that. So we’re going to stick to one pixel.
[5:06] Our threshold determines which pixels are sharpened and which are not. A higher threshold value means that there’s a huge contrast difference between pixels that are affected. Since we have our selection, it’s a moot point so it really doesn’t matter. So I’m going to stick with a threshold of zero.
[5:26] You can see as I move through the image and click on and off, you’ll notice that there is a great deal of sharpening happening in the contrasting areas but look at the midtone areas. They’re perfectly clean and not affected at all. Just an incredible cool little tool to utilize to create dynamic looking photographs. So click OK and we are done.
[5:53] At this point, we’ll go ahead and save our image and just to show you up close, we’ll zoom in here and you can see the difference between the two. Turn on… And turn it back off again… And turn it back on. Just an awesome looking sharpening job.
[6:15] OK, thanks for tuning in. Look back for more tutorials in the future. Take care. [/learn_more]
This VIDEO tutorial will step through the confusion of which RGB color profile to use with your images in Adobe Photoshop CS.
Most digital cameras save images with sRGB color profile. sRGB color gamut is smaller than Adobe RGB. While the RGB color values stay the same, the resulting color that is displayed is significantly different. For higher color saturation, choose Adobe RGB color profile. While not for every image, Adobe RGB is a preferred color profile to assign to your images.
All RGB profiles are not the same and will produce different color when printed even though the RGB values are the same.
In conclusion, I prefer to use Adobe RGB on most everything except portrait photography. Try both and see which one works best for you.
Have you had profile challenges before? Please leave a comment below…