21 Jun 2018

Digital Information to launch SpectroPocket for Android at IPEX 2014

Spectropocket Packshot Lfr

Swiss manufacturer Digital Information will be unveiling its new SpectroPocket for Android, the world’s first system for measuring single colour patches on different substrates using commercially available spectrocolorimetry and displaying the recorded colour values on any mobile Android device, at IPEX 2014,  on booth N4-B359.

Prior to the release of the SpectroPocket, PC hardware and operating systems such as MS Windows or Mac OS restricted flexibility and mobility when measuring colour. The introduction of Digital Information’s SpectroPocket for Android represents a great stride in the portability and functionality of colour measurement technology. For the first time, it is possible for smartphones or tablet computers to connect directly to scanning spectrophotometers via an external USB interface. Users can now measure colour virtually anywhere with lightweight equipment — on-site at a customer facility, in the office, at the laboratory, on press — or, wherever your business takes you.

SpectroPocket for Android is a compact, portable, box-shaped device with integrated software and rechargeable USB battery which connects directly to the spectral measuring device via USB. Communication between the SpectroPocket and the mobile Android device is transferred via Bluetooth technology. Spectral values are then interpreted and displayed on the Android smartphone or tablet computer using an Android App.

All display modes necessary can be viewed on the Android device: spectral remission values as figures and curves, as well as LAB, density, XYZ and RGB values. Colour differences between two measurements are shown as Delta E. Perfect colour densities derived from spectral measurements are calculated by the BestMatch function. For further use on the web or in the Cloud, the entire series of measurements can be easily exported or imported as standard CxF™ (Color Exchange Format) format files, or transmitted to another Android device. Currently, SpectroPocket for Android supports the i1 Pro™, i1Pro 2, and ColorMunki™ Design scanning spectrophotometers from X-Rite.

The cost-effectiveness of purchasing the complete SpectroPocket for Android solution bundle including the SpectroPocket hardware and software, supported spectrophotometer, Android-enabled device, and SpectroPocket App represents a significant savings over the purchase of far more costly portable measuring instruments currently available on the market.

Looking ahead, Digital Information will be launching SpectroPocket Report, an Internet-based database. Evolving from Digital Information’s world-class InkZone Report, SpectroPocket Report is a colour database developed to enable customers to view and manage the color data from their SpectroPocket on the web.

SpectroPocket for Android™ Technical Specifications:

  • Supports i1Pro, i1Pro 2 and ColorMunki Design from X-Rite via USB.
  • Runs on Android from version 4.1
  • Delta E calculated from CIE 1976, CIE 2000, CIE 1994 and CMC 2:1

SpectroPocket for Android™ will be available in the second quarter of 2014.

The Norwegian Opera & Ballet achieves striking success with Wasatch SoftRIP TX

Wasatch Opera Lfr

The Norwegian Opera & Ballet has achieved great success by combining Wasatch's SoftRIP TX software with a d.gen Artrix GT Digital Textile printer.  Developed exclusively for textile printing and producing rich vibrant colours on fine fabrics, Wasatch SoftRIP TX has enabled The Norwegian Opera & Ballet to create extraordinary costumes and accessories for their productions. SoftRIP’s powerful colour tools and ease of use allow for complete control so the creative design is never compromised.

SoftRIP TX gives the Norwegian Opera & Ballet all the features they need to get their complex production running smoothly. The demand for premium colour is no problem with SoftRIP’s 16-bit rendering and PSS halftoning. The highest quality of colour is reproduced with the greatest level of intricacy. SoftRIP’s efficient workflow, easy setup, and real time status of each job with Queues Management allow the Norwegian Opera & Ballet to focus on what really matters - their performances.

The specialised tools in SoftRIP TX give the Norwegian Opera & Ballet flexibility to be creative without worrying about reaching beautiful life-like colours. Plus, with Wasatch's Efficient Repeats they can customise their design directly in SoftRIP with advanced drop and slide controls, saving time and reducing file size. This is possible with SoftRIP’s halftoning and re-sampling algorithms that ensures seamless repeats.

"Wasatch SoftRIP and the d.gen Artrix printer give us more possibilities. We now can customise our costumes to exactly how we envision them,” says Kari Alette Baekkevold, the Head of Print and Dyeshop. “We print on a wide variety of fabrics. For our last production we printed on silk, viscose velvet, and silk pongee. It made beautiful costumes!"

Since detail is important, Swarovski stones and gold elements are added to the costumes resulting in exquisite designs that leave a lasting impression.

SoftRIP’s easy-to-use color management tools make it effortless to achieve the desired colour. When an exact colour is needed, Kari Alette utilises the Color Atlas Generator by specifying a range of colour swatches and printing on the target fabric. She then uses the Spot Color Replacement tool to enter LAB values. The result is a perfect colour match.  Another feature Kari Alette finds useful is SoftRIP’s Correction Curves. Easy colour adjustments are made in the Color Transform window to make the colours really pop.

For more information on The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, please visit www.operaen.no/en.

[Photo caption: Wasatch SoftRIP and the d.gen Artrix GT printer create crisp designs with rich blacks. The company only picked fabric that could withstand many performances and washings.]

Elmwood 'revolutionises' global packaging proofing with GMG technologies

Gmg Elmwood Lfr

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]

GMG announces availability of OpenColor 1.1

Gmg Logo

GMG has announced the availability of GMG OpenColor 1.1. Designed to enable brands and packaging press specialist to accurately predict spot colours, GMG OpenColor has won high-level recognition, including the 2013 InterTech Technology Award, the 2013 Flexographic Technical Association Technical Innovation Award and an Innovation Award from the ERA - European Rotogravure Association.

New features in GMG OpenColor 1.1 extend its functionality still further and include extended import of measurement data and further adjustment capabilities to the GMG OpenColor profiles.

The use of multi-colour printing and the increasing complexity of jobs that use different combinations of inks, substrates and screening, amongst other variables, is a continuing trend in package printing, Consequently, one of the critical challenges facing Brand Solutions and Packaging Prepress providers is the ability to accurately and reliably communicate colour throughout the entire supply chain - from the brand manager to the printer.

Until now, to accurately communicate a mix of colours, every combination would require a specific test chart showing the different combinations - a costly process that involves colour fingerprint charts, the making of plates, and lengthy testing.  GMG OpenColor resolves this complex packaging problem and provides highly accurate colour profiles, with less information. By using OpenColor, users avoid printing combinations of overprints. They just print single colour patches and combine the colour and substrate properties within the software.

“This has been an exciting year for GMG and GMG OpenColor,” says Victor Asseiceiro, Director, Business Unit Packaging at GMG. “It has received significant recognition by respected associations and, more importantly, has been adopted by a number of leading companies throughout the world. However, we are not complacent and will continue to build features that will make GMG OpenColor even more powerful and easy to use.”

The new GMG OpenColor 1.1 offers powerful data import functionality that automatically averages data, which is especially helpful when importing data collected at different press run times. As a result, any possible deviation is included in the final profile calculation.

This new version of GMG OpenColor provides tools to adjust color intensity and dot gain. Users can define a target dot gain from a specific printing process or adjust dot gain measurements to compensate for possible faulty printing conditions, which can occur during reference print runs or colour standard productions. By avoiding re-runs, users save time and money.

Flexo pre-press companies, particularly, will profit from this colour and dot gain adjustment.  They can define target dot gain for a spot colour or for a complete data set. Plus, they will be able to adjust dot gain and ink density to suit optimal press condition. Operators can adjust parameters and modify highlight, mid tone or shadows are per channel and colour as needed for production.

GMG OpenColor 1.1 also gives users the ability to correct the substrate white point and add dot correction to the profile - without the need to recalculate the profile - to simulate the correct substrate colours and produce Contract-level proofs.

Schawk! USA Inc standardises on GMG ColorProof and GMG OpenColor

Gmg Colorproof

Schawk! USA, Inc. has signed an agreement to standardise on GMG ColorProof and GMG OpenColor as the primary proofing and colour management technology for all Schawk! locations worldwide.

Schawk! produces brand assets and protects brand equities to drive brand profitability. Leveraging its 60-plus years of industry leadership, Schawk! identifies and deploys scalable solutions to address a brand's complex production and delivery needs through proven expertise in workflow, resourcing, colour management and imaging. Schawk! joins a growing list of GMG packaging customers around the world who have adopted GMG ColorProof and GMG OpenColor.

In recent years GMG ColorProof, the multiple award-winning proofing software, has established itself as the most professional software solution for producing colour-accurate contract proofs for the complex needs of packaging producers. GMG OpenColor creates high-quality multicolor profiles simulating printing behavior of diverse printing technologies, media types, and screening technologies, without requiring ‘proprietary chart based’ press fingerprinting. GMG OpenColor helps achieve significant optimization of the entire package printing process chain. With proofs that both represent pure spot colours precisely and simulate their complex overprinting behavior, it is now much more simple to prepare and verify print data.

Schawk! had expressed a strong desire to standardize its global proofing process with a consistent system that would accurately represent colour—no matter the ultimate print process, ink, or substrate used. Schawk’s internal workgroup, the Color Task Force (CTF), spent more than a year conducting extensive testing and analysis before it decided to work with GMG’s colour solutions. GMG OpenColor, a 2013 InterTech Technology and FTA Innovation Award recipient, was a critical component of this decision due to its groundbreaking spot colour overprint prediction capabilities. CTF also was impressed with the ability to perform worldwide remote proofing at customer and print sites—as well as global Schawk! locations.

Schawk! is currently in the process of implementing the GMG proofing system worldwide.

Platinum Print installs GMG solutions to streamline proof production and increase output accuracy

Gmg Platinum

Platinum Print has recently integrated GMG software solutions to streamline proof production and increase output accuracy and consistency across its Epson, Mimaki, Ricoh and Konica digital printers and B2 Komori offset printing presses.

Celebrating its 25th year in business, this Harrogate-based print services provider offers a range of personalised direct mail, fulfilment, large-format and general commercial print to clients ranging from SMEs to national blue-chip companies. Since implementing GMG ColorProof, GMG ColorServer and GMG InkOptimizer, Platinum Print has been awarded Fogra certification, giving its clients an even higher level of quality assurance.

“Prior to installing GMG software, one of our biggest issues was maintaining consistent colour across all our output devices,” says Production Director Mark Plummer. “The front-end RIPs on our various devices delivered different results from each other, and did not offer the level of control that we were looking for. I was already familiar with industry standards such as Fogra and ISO 12647, and I was looking for a solution that could streamline and automate our production, all the while making the process of colour and profile management as easy as possible for our operators.”

GMG had been on Mark’s radar for a while as it was, in his opinion, one of only a handful of solutions on the market that could address all the issues surrounding colour management, device-independent output and ink optimisation. “GMG were one of the few suppliers that were able to come into our plant and demonstrate - with live samples - exactly how its solutions could address our issues,” says Mark. “Nobody else was able to do that. The results were head and shoulders above anything that we had seen from anyone else, and the system was very easy-to-use.”

“Thanks to GMG ColorProof, not only do our proofs match output with a higher degree of accuracy, but the subjective visual appearance of the proofs are quite amazing. Being able to both image and control output from the entire physical gamut of every device has enhanced our customer value offering.”

Platinum Print also installed GMG ColorServer, to deliver accurate and consistent results across different devices. “One of our requirements was the ability to quickly and easily deliver identical output no matter which device we print to. Using GMG ColorServer we can standardise and automate colour space conversions, to deliver fast and consistent results regardless of output device or substrate. The result is more efficient production, easier operator use and a reduction in time and material waste.”

Finally, Platinum Print invested in GMG InkOptimizer – but not just for reducing their ink costs –   Mark explains. “The vast majority of our work are short-to-medium run lengths, so we are certainly saving ink by using InkOptimizer. However, the more beneficial feature is the savings in ink drying times that the software enables. Often we’re asked to turn around jobs very quickly, and the reduced drying times that InkOptimizer delivers allows us to meet those challenging deadlines more easily.”

“GMG ColorProof, together with ColorServer and InkOptimizer, have allowed us to up our game by delivering higher quality and more accurate results to an ever more demanding client base. Together they are clear testimony to GMG’s commitment to providing solutions that not only address the needs of commercial offset, but also the specific demands of digital and large format print.”

Toby Burnett, MD GMG UK, says: “Platinum Print is a perfect example of a next-generation PSP needing fast, accurate, device-independent output that’s easy to use and maintain. GMG provides the perfect solution - removing output inconsistencies and standardising on a single user interface across all devices brings significant colour management and productivity gains.”

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