Color-Logic has announced that the naming conventions in their Process Metallic Color System have been adopted by EFI for use in the popular EFI Fiery XF RIP. Commenting on the matter, Color-Logic Director of Sales and Marketing Mark Geeves said: "Use of the Color-Logic nomenclature clearly establishes Color-Logic as the standard for metallic printing and special effects. We are particularly gratified that EFI adopted our naming convention for both silver plus CMYK and white plus CMYK separations. Widespread use of Color-Logic nomenclature means that graphic designers and printers using a wide variety of processes-including offset, flexo, toner-based digital, and inkjet-can be assured that their designs will be executed properly, particularly on the most modern digital output devices.
"We believe that special-effect applications such as metallic ink printing present huge growth potential," said Stefan Spiegel, general manager of EFI's inkjet applications group. "Our Fiery XF RIP is widely used in innovative applications everywhere, and by adopting Color Logic's nomenclature, we are helping our customers deliver predictable, high-quality output irrespective of the printing system used."
London-based imaging software manufacturer Shiraz Software has announced that it will be launching an updated version of its Shiraz Focus package at the forthcoming Photokina show in Cologne, Germany, which is running from September 21st to 26th. The company will be demonstrating the versatility of its raster image processing (RIP) software for wide-format photographic and fine art output with OEM partners Fujifilm, Innova and Permajet, as well as on the HP stand (hall 04.1, stand J045) in association with key distributor Kisters AG.
"Photokina is an invaluable platform for imaging professionals and enthusiasts alike to encounter new products, discuss emergent trends within the photographic market and address the manner in which innovation can be driven forward," enthuses Ramin Shahbazi, business development director at Shiraz Software. "We're looking forward to introducing Focus to a new audience. It's such a unique product because whilst it meets photographers' needs for refinement and precision it also harnesses the power expected of wide-format RIP software."
The latest update to Shiraz Focus provides a raft of image control and production options for photographic and fine art output. A new component has been added and provides pre-print editing, such as adjustments, filters or effects, while the main application now enables users to save and recall jobs, add a variety of frame and crop marks and apply changes across batches. The reliability of Shiraz Focus v3's colour profiling tool also ensures that any images viewed on a monitor will simulate the printed output perfectly. Users with any level of print expertise can operate Shiraz Focus v3 in a variety of working environments, using either Macintosh or Windows up to their latest versions.
Photographers can also take advantage of Shiraz Focus's print management facilities to keep their costs down and reduce production times. Recognising the expense incurred through purchasing both inks and substrates, the software features improvements to the nesting tool, whereby images can be automatically positioned with minimal gaps to reduce media waste. This works in conjunction with precision ink allocation to diminish print costs. A queuing function boosts efficiency as it enables operator-free printing across large job clusters, necessitating less manpower and increasing production speeds.
"Shiraz Software understands that rich and striking results are paramount to photographers. Consequently, Focus is designed to allow users to create high calibre, exhibition quality images through an accessible user interface," explains Shahbazi. "The faithfulness between the image viewed on the monitor and the printed product is a key to the success of Shiraz Focus and vital for any photographic output. Users can rest assured that the software will help produce images consistent with their expectations, thanks to fully integrated precision colour management."
Shiraz Focus v3 adds powerful functionality for photographers and fine artists with a new variable data printing facility. A text box can be placed anywhere within the file and filled with user text or metadata from an external source, meaning that images can be numbered in sequence or printed with EXIF data. Frames and borders can also be added and there are several options for canvas wrapping, including the automatic mirroring of edges, and precise fitting.
"With Shiraz Focus v3, we have combined our rigorous approach to research and development with an understanding of the quality and functionality needed by photographers," continues Shahbazi. "We have incorporated industry feedback, as well as our independent knowledge of the technical evolutions and new demands within the digital imaging market and have built a product which addresses and supports these requirements with intuitive, user-friendly software suitable for even the most challenging of creative undertakings."
In addition to Focus v3, Shiraz Software also creates Shiraz RIP Server, currently at version 6.7, a powerful and robust option for sizeable production environments which operate multiple devices, with a demanding workflow, and Shiraz Signature v7.5, an accessible package aimed at companies with single-device workflows. Shiraz Focus v3 and all previous versions can be upgraded to either of these packages according to the user's requirements and new drivers and resources are available through the website, as is an online, remote support package.
"Photokina is a wonderful opportunity for Shiraz Software to acquaint a new audience with the full range of benefits offered by the Focus v3 package," asserts Tom Mooney, business development manager. "The company already has an extensive global customer base, with distribution agreements in operation throughout many territories. However, we recognise the opportunity to fortify and extend our international business channels and would be open to discussing these possibilities with interested parties at the show."
Specialist distributor for Barbieri Electronic, IGS UK has announced new additions to the portfolio of RIPs supported by the Italian company’s colour management and digital imaging products. The highly regarded Spectro LFP Series 3 and Spectro Swing Series 2 spectrophotometers can now benefit users of Mimaki, Roland and Agfa printers, as well as those working with EskoArtwork’s Kaleidoscope colour engine and Four Pees’ ProofMaster and PrintFactory.
Additional support will be implemented in the near future by Barbieri Electronic to include CadLink’s Signlab in the wide-format sector, plus Amica’s ColorPrint, Serendipity Software and Inedit’s Nèostampa. These solutions will bring increased user benefits to all digital print companies who want to save time and increase throughput by optimising their colour accuracy and profiling.
Barbieri Electronic’s families of spectrophotometers are designed to be cost-effective and easy to use, enabling users to profile their output devices efficiently and accurately for consistent results on all materials. By being able to measure flexible and rigid materials, including options which handle transparent and reflective media, users can create their own linearisation and ICC profiles and fine-tune their results to effect ink savings whilst maintaining full colour integrity.
Amongst the extensive list of existing RIPs already supported by Barbieri Electronic in the wide-format market are the Wasatch SoftRIP, Caldera’s Linux-based products, ColorGate ProductionServer, EFI Fiery XF and eXpress, Mimaki’s RasterLink and Roland’s VersaWorks. The company also produces options for other graphic arts sectors with products supporting DuPont’s Cromanet CS, GMG’s ColorServer and Heidelberg’s PrintOpen.
IGS UK specialises in sourcing, developing and bringing to market innovative products for the design and production of wide-format print, working with proven reseller channels throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. With the emphasis on greener practices and reducing waste, the company recently launched the Elements family of printers which incorporate proprietary environmentally-friendly heat-cured resin-based durable inks.
Further information and details of your nearest Barbieri stockist is available from IGS UK. www.igsuk.net
Eden at Night, Torch Ginger - Rutenberg was able to achieve images of great vibrancy and precision whilst shooting nocturnally with the help of Shiraz Focus
Versatile print and image control software solutions manufacturer Shiraz Software has recently supported Canadian photographer Linda Rutenberg’s exhibition Eden at Night, which is currently showing at Cornwall's The Eden Project. Through use of RIP software package Shiraz Focus, an application built for photographers and fine artists who are reproducing their work on a wide-format printer, Rutenberg has been able to create work of wonderful clarity, definition and vibrancy from photographs taken in challenging nocturnal conditions.
Rutenberg's current exhibition explores the rarely witnessed life of plants after dark in The Eden Project's famous biomes. The innovative work leads on from two books, The Garden at Night and After Midnight, which were shot in North American public gardens.
"The only logical path to follow was to do the third book in England," Rutenberg observes. "It is the quintessential place for gardens and flowers. I did a lot of research on which gardens I wanted to include, and Eden kept on coming up as a unique and extraordinary place. When I arrived, it was obviously different from all the other gardens I had ever visited. The amazing biospheres, the ideas, and the sheer scale of the concept were astounding. I liked their mission and the fact that they are so keen on the idea of art and nature combined."
As an expert with high expectations of quality, it was imperative for Rutenberg to choose the correct RIP. She was attracted to the Shiraz Focus software because of its combination of assets for the professional photographer; while it boasts the complex technical engineering required for wide-format output, the needs of artistic users are kept at the forefront, such as precise colour management. Consequently, Rutenberg was pleased to note the accuracy attainable through the package, which helped her to bypass many of the problems inherent in producing images taken after dark, all within an accessible, easily controllable interface.
"These photographs have extreme contrasts, a huge tonal range and the darkest blacks against the multiple bright colours of the flowers," explains Rutenberg. "Given that my blacks need to be very saturated and that the luminosity of my colours is key, Udo Machiels of Imaging Experts felt that Shiraz Focus was the only RIP that I should consider," she explains. "As the images rolled out of the printer one after the other exactly as I wanted them, I grasped the power of the software."
Shiraz Focus incorporates numerous features to ensure optimisation of quality, as well as cost- and time-saving. The nesting tool aligns multiple jobs to ensure maximised use of media, which for photographers is often expensive, while job queuing facilitates simple and unsupervised operation. Central to Focus's popularity is its usability and accessibility for all types of digital artist, reflected in its clear and coherent design. This combines with the robust software engineering expected from wide-format production houses. Other notable functions include advanced pre-print image editing and the option to work with multiple jobs simultaneously. Colour and contrast manipulation capabilities are integrated into the software, as are useful effects, such as sepia and greyscale.
Shiraz Software worked in conjunction with an East Sussex-based company specialising in colour and imaging management to help Rutenberg achieve vivid results with the rich hues and contrast that she sought. Imaging Expert's team calibrated Rutenberg's hardware enabling her to print images that were consistent with those seen both on her computer monitor and also through the lens. As Rutenberg notes: "No help was needed from then on – everything ran perfectly."
"Shiraz Software is delighted to have been supportive to Linda's vision of producing crisp and striking images of such unusual subject matter," enthuses Ramin Shahbazi, business development director at Shiraz Software. "The Focus package was engineered with challenging applications in mind in which reliable image management was paramount. The sharpness of the achievable results makes it an indispensible product for artists and photographers. We hope that Linda will use Focus on her forthcoming work."
Rutenberg did all her own printing using an Epson 9800, a product favoured by photographers, designers and artists for its consistent ability to print at resolutions up to 2880 x 1440dpi. Combining this technology with Shiraz Focus, she was able to produce larger photographs than she had in the past, and with great ease. She also found that there was no need to make adjustments to her computer and printing settings; instead, once the basic editing process was complete, she could leave the machine to run autonomously.
"The Focus package has had an enormous impact on my work. I think that historically, the most frustrating area for photographers was the consistent variables in printing that did not allow for revisualization," reflects Rutenberg. "What you saw on the monitor was not what you ended up with. Software like Shiraz RIP changed all that. I think the largest impact has been speed, reliability and the ability to reproduce with confidence."
"Although I had no prior experience with Shiraz Focus, I would definitely work with it again," she concludes. "It was a real pleasure to use and made my project so much easier. The types of results enabled by this package open up entirely new opportunities for photographers who wish to push their creative boundaries."
EFI and Roland DG Corporation have announced that Roland DG's newest and most popular inkjet printers are now supported by EFI colour management/production software including Print Pack 2 for EFI Colorproof XF and Fiery XF 4.1 RIP. Roland printers now supported include:
VersaUV UV-LED printer/cutters featuring CMYK, White and Clear ECO-UV inks
All SOLJET PRO III XJ and XC printers including white printer/cutter
VersaCAMM VP-i and SP-i series 4-colour printer/cutters
VersaArt RS 4-colour printers offered in eco-solvent models
Roland wide-format inkjets are designed for applications ranging from signs, banners and vehicle wraps to labels, packaging prototypes, digital contract proofs for offset, roto-gravure and flexography printers, continuous-tone and halftone proofing, membrane panels and even custom interior décor items. Integration with EFI software solutions enhances their productivity and offers added benefits for users of white & clear inks included with VersaUV LEC and SOLJET PRO III XC models.
Using the 1-bit TIFF option, VersaUV and EFI Colorproof XF provide the perfect solution for contone and halftone package prototyping, achieving highly accurate colour matching across virtually any type of packaging material. By layering clear ink, VersaUV produces premium results including gloss and matte finishes, embossed effects and spot varnishing.
EFI XF v4.1 supports Roland's "back to origin" feature, which boosts productivity for CMYK, white and clear/gloss printing by minimising the need for user interaction. XF v4.1 also supports Multi-Layered Printing for the VersaUV, allowing users to print CMYK, white and clear/gloss inks, and contour cut designs automatically without any user interaction.
Key features in EFI XF v4.1 include superior colour processing and matching; workflow automation, versatility and ease of use; flexible ink handling for clear and white ink; adjustable ink coverage between 10 and 500 percent for clear and white ink; easy routing and inverting; clear ink surface control, print order control and more.
With EFI's RIP, users can connect seamlessly to EFI's MIS software, Web-to-print and Web Control Center solutions for remote printing and proofing.
Roland printers without the cutting unit are driven by EFI XF v4.1 via the "Printer Option XXL" and Roland printing and contour-cutting devices via the "Print & Cut Option."
Building on its global presence as a leading RIP solutions manufacturer for all types of wide-format production environment, London-based Shiraz Software has announced the appointment of Tom Mooney as business development manager. Mooney, who brings in-depth technical knowledge of print production and extensive account management experience to his new position, will head up the company’s initiative to identify and appoint new distributors in key territories world-wide, including France, Germany, Russia, Turkey and Eastern Europe, renewing sales and service channels for customers in those countries.
Shiraz Software’s scalable and powerful RIP solutions – Shiraz RIP Server, Shiraz Signature and Shiraz Focus, all of which were updated to their latest versions in May this year – are used by a variety of customers on both PC and Macintosh platforms around the world. Mooney hopes to increase support by co-opting with distributors who have a native understanding of the requirements of their home markets.
“The latest Shiraz packages are built with a number of flexible features for large-format output. Users want to know that they have a reliable distribution channel that can demonstrate the power of the solution in situ and relate the product to their local market,” explains Mooney. “The next logical step for Shiraz Software is to build on its recent successes by extending its dealer network.”
Business development director Ramin Shahbazi explains that Shiraz Software has established a reputation for outreach with its customers, and that the use of its RIPs in various environments and territories will inspire the packages’ future generations. “Tom is a perfect fit for Shiraz, and joins us as we seek greater insight into the highly individual needs of a diverse set of international markets,” comments Shahbazi. “New distribution channels will allow us an improved understanding of our customers and Tom is perfectly positioned to establish and grow those sales and support streams.”
In his previous role as OEM account manager with print and imaging technological solutions provider Software Imaging (formerly Software 2000), Mooney engaged with printer manufacturers to develop tailored strategies for the optimisation of printer output and efficiency, as well as the promotion of products into vertical markets. His advanced knowledge of the printing industry and its rapid development were immediately attractive to Shiraz Software, which views technological and business evolution as inextricably linked and mutually beneficial. Mooney was keen to implement his experience within a dynamic new environment and recognised the potential for an exciting business relationship when he met the company at this year’s Ipex.
“Shiraz’s solutions allow graphic arts production to be taken to the next level and I am thrilled to join a company with such exciting and dynamic products,” concludes Mooney. “My challenge is to evangelise these innovations to end users and the wider creative community. I am looking to appoint additional distributors, build a global network dedicated and committed to customer service, and help all types of wide-format user realise their work on a grand scale using Shiraz’s software.”
Having gained his undergraduate degree in printing in Manchester, he completed a masters degree in digital imaging at the University of Westminster, providing him with a deep-rooted understanding of both the software and hardware aspects of the graphic arts market. Upon graduating, he began his career as an engineer with Software Imaging. His business skills were enhanced by a move into technical sales within the same firm selling the software he had written. After ten years Mooney left to join Samsung with responsibility for driving innovative print solutions on their embedded software. This increased his interest in and understanding of the relationship between sales, marketing and profitability – assets which Shiraz Software was keen to bring into the fold.
“We are delighted to welcome Tom to Shiraz Software,” continues Shahbazi. “He possesses both specialist technical prowess and a broad overview of the printing industry as a whole. His passion for Shiraz’s software makes him the perfect individual to fortify the company’s international network and innovate new ways of familiarising customers with its products. His skill set is further enhanced by sound business acumen and a genuine enthusiasm for the applications made possible by our products. In addition, his commitment to a personalised customer service model gels with Shiraz’s ethos and will further enhance our user-focused approach to business.”
Large Format Review provides daily breaking news on digital printer technology as used for commercial production of print for wide-format sign and display, dye-sublimation textile and fabric printing, packaging and industrial applications. We also cover 3D print and additive manufacturing.