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Global brand design consultancy Elmwood says its recent installation of GMG FlexoProof and GMG ProofControl has revolutionised its digital proofing capabilities. Increasing colour accuracy and proof-to-proof consistency has compelled this fast-growing FMCG, Retail, Food / Beverage and Corporate agency to begin implementing GMG-powered Epson WT7900 proofing systems across its studios worldwide.

Elmwood has established production locations in London, New York, Singapore and Melbourne. Working with blue-chip international brands and clients such as Morrisons, Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, Anchor and Seven Seas, clearly accurate and consistent colour rendering is crucial to the company’s service.

“Colour is one of the most important elements to a brand’s strength in communication across all its assets,” says Peter Aldous, Creative Services Director at Elmwood. “Identifiable colour integrity in the reproduction of these assets needs to be set at an early stage. By using the powerful GMG tool we can assure the replication and quality our clients deserve.”

“Prior to installing GMG ColorProof, one of our biggest issues was the amount of resource we needed to produce consistent colour,” he continues. “Our previous RIP / colour management solution could not give us the quality that we – and our clients – expected, so there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing manually tweaking output settings to achieve the required output. What we needed was a system that could give us the quality that we wanted faster, and without as much manual intervention, day in and day out.”

Elmwood invested in GMG FlexoProof and GMG ProofControl to address its colour management and output issues. GMG FlexoProof is a colour proofing and calibration application designed for the specific requirements of the packaging and label printing industry. Featuring halftone digital proofing of flexographic / package print jobs, FlexoProof ensures accurate and consistent proofing output regardless of print device, colour space or substrate. FlexoProof includes the GMG SpotColour Editor for precise and repeatable colour matching of spot colours.

GMG ProofControl is a fast, tangible way to be assured that proofs are being produced to a measurable, predefined standard by incorporating target values from international industry standards such as ISO, PSR Gravure, SWOP and GRACoL.

“The results have been fantastic,” says Peter. “Being able to quickly and easily work to a predefined industry standard such as Fogra and ISO 12647 has increased colour accuracy and given us the confidence to produce identical proofs whether they’re needed the same day, or a year later. Using GMG technology has allowed us to implement a consistent, corporate-wide PDF standard which we can use regardless of the final print process, or print substrate.”

It’s not just Elmwood who are happy with the results. “We’ve been getting very favourable comments from our clients,” says Peter. “One particular client has said that we’ve revolutionised their proofing phase. They’ve told us that the quality of proof that we’re producing for them is far and away the best result to portray design intent, to the point that they want us to work with them to bring their other suppliers up to the same level. We even have two specific examples where designs that would have otherwise been rejected on the basis of the perceived colour quality have been approved as a direct result of being produced using GMG applications.”

Within a very short space of time, Elmwood’s GMG installation has become an intrinsic part of its production processes. “I cannot over-stress how much of a difference implementing GMG has made to the realisation of design intent to our clients,” says Peter. “It’s got to the point now where we cannot imagine how we lived without it.”

The next step for Peter is to roll-out the GMG-based proofing solution across the rest of Elmwood’s locations. “The combination of GMG FlexoProof and ProofControl has allowed us to both increase the quality of our value offering to our clients, while at the same time reduce production time, costs, errors and wastage. Implementing a standardised, corporate-wide proofing initiative across all our studios, and working closer together with both clients and printers to produce the best possible end-result, will help us stay ahead of the game and, hopefully, push forward the boundaries of what’s possible within the industry itself.”

Toby Burnett, MD, GMG UK, comments: “Elmwood’s passion in producing the best possible design and taking that all the way through to print is a perfect example of the new generation of services provider who works very closely with everyone throughout the production chain. Their work in removing output inconsistencies, working to a defined industry standard and pushing their new capabilities to clients helps raise the quality of proofing not only internally, but for the industry as a whole.”

[Image caption: L-R: Peter Aldous, Creative Services Director at Elmwood, and Will Hearn, Technical Sales for GMG Color Ltd]