15 Jul 2020

X- Rite Announces New Graphic Arts Standard (XRGA)


X Rite Logo

X-Rite, Incorporated, the world leader in colour management, measurement and communication technologies, today announced XRGA, a new metrology standard for the Graphic Arts industry. Designed to take advantage of advances in colour science and new international standards, XGRA provides a way to reduce measurement discrepancies between legacy instruments previously developed by X-Rite and GretagMacbeth. The new XRGA standard will improve inter-model agreement so that users can enjoy high-quality data exchange between sites that use different instrumentation, regardless of their legacy affiliation.

“The former X-Rite and the former GretagMacbeth each had, for historical reasons, different calibration standards for graphic arts instrumentation.  While it was important to ensure both standards were maintained to guarantee continuity for both companies’ customers, our goal with XGRA is to eliminate systematic discrepancies between instruments so that all measurements taken for the same colour sample should be the same, regardless of the system used,” explains Francis Lamy, X-Rite’s Chief Technology Officer.

X-Rite has conducted a detailed study designed to quantify the systematic differences between measurements obtained using instruments from both former companies, to ultimately arrive at the definition of a new corporate X-Rite standard for its graphic arts instrumentation.  Based on the results, the XRGA was developed and now achieves the following goals:


  • Is applicable to all 0/45 and 45/0 instruments
  • Incorporates improved methods for calibration
  • Maintains traceability to the American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Offers best implementation with respect to existing international ISO standards Improves inter-model agreement for existing instruments
  • Preserves good agreement among former X-Rite instruments and former GretagMacbeth instruments
  • Provides a single standard for all future graphic arts instruments to be delivered by X-Rite
  • Improves data exchange


In addition to developing an improved single calibration processes internally for XRGA standard instruments, X-Rite has developed a set of proprietary matrix transforms to enable measurements taken by either a former X-Rite or a former GretagMacbeth instrument to be easily expressed in the new XRGA standard.

A number of X-Rite graphic arts products already conform to XRGA, notably ColorMunki Photo, ColorMunki Design and EasyTrax.  All future graphic arts instruments and software delivered by X-Rite will also conform to XRGA.  Because former X-Rite instruments are already very close to the new X-Rite standard, the switch to XRGA results in very small differences in measurement values, so many customers will not need to make any changes.  For customers who have experienced greater differences in measurement values between former X-Rite and former GretagMacbeth instruments, X-Rite will provide seamless means to move existing databases to the new XRGA standard.

Over the next several months, new orders of legacy GretagMacbeth and legacy X-Rite products, which are still available for sale, will begin to be manufactured to the new XRGA standard at the factory. Existing customers wishing to upgrade their current instruments can do by following the procedure for the instrument in question outlined at xrite.com/xrga/support.

Additional information and Frequently Asked Questions can be found at: www.xrite.com/xrga


Shiraz Software to premiere updated Focus RIP package at Photokina

Shiraz Focus Rip

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."


IGS UK Announces Additional Support from Barbieri Electronic

Spectrolfp S3 Igs
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

Corel Introduces The Ultimate Photo Editing Package

Corel Photo X3

Today Corel Corporation announced the release of Corel® PaintShop Photo® Pro X3 Ultimate, a new photo-editing software collection combining the power of Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 along with new creative tools that allows photo enthusiasts to easily produce professional-looking photos, custom websites, create amazing photo effects and inspiring digital paintings. This special-value package has a suggested retail price (SRP) of just £79.

The new Ultimate edition includes the recently updated PaintShop Photo Pro X3, featuring new performance enhancements, along with a selection of complementary software that broadens any photographer’s creative possibilities. These include: Incomedia™ WebSite X5® Special Edition, web creation software that makes it easy to design, create and publish your website in just 5 steps; Corel® KPT® Collection photo-effects filters; and Corel® Painter™ Essentials 4 for sketching, drawing and photo-painting. Customers who purchase the box version of Ultimate will also benefit from a comprehensive printed user guide*, empowering photographers to take maximum advantage of PaintShop Photo Pro.

The powerful tools and resources within Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate allows photographers to edit and share their photos in more ways than ever. Photo enthusiasts can edit photos, turn them in to works of art and share using unique printed photo books and eye-catching web creations. For example, a food enthusiast can edit and mix photos along with text to make a personal recipe book of their favourite dishes. Then, choose from over 1,400 templates and options to create a unique website or blog to showcase and share their creations online in just 5 simple steps.

Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate includes many value added extras:

  • Corel® PaintShop Photo® Pro X3: Built on performance and stability enhancements introduced in the recently updated version X3.2, Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 brings together professional quality organisation and photo editing tools along with photo projects, backup and high definition (HD) video slideshow capabilities to meet the evolving needs of today's photographer. New tools include the Organizer and Project Creator, along with the dynamic editing of the Smart Carver™, Camera RAW Lab, Object Extractor and more.
  • Incomedia™ WebSite X5® Special Edition: An outstanding tool that helps you to create your ideal website or blog including Podcasts and Videocasts. It’s packed with advanced tools and over 1,400 templates to help you create websites with all of the eye-catching features you see on the web’s best sites.
  • Corel® KPT® Collection: With 24 powerful Kai’s Power Tools plug-in filters, Corel KPT Collection gives photo enthusiasts a comprehensive set of creative tools for quickly producing fantastic effects.
  • Corel® Painter™ Essentials 4: Ideal for exploring digital art, the full Corel Painter Essentials 4 gives users realistic digital painting, drawing and sketching tools along with the unique Auto-Painting palette, making it easy to create a realistic work of art or automatically paint a photo in just three easy steps.
  • Comprehensive printed manual: Combined with the unique LearningCenter, the printed User Guide and colour Getting Started Guide gives PaintShop Photo Pro X3 users all the information they need to maximise their photo editing potential. *

All these additional renowned photography tools are designed to broaden the capabilities of the enthusiast photographer and allow  them to produce their most extraordinary photos yet at atruly exceptional value.


Shiraz Focus Supports Canadian Photographer Linda Rutenberg's Eden at Night Exhibition


Eden At Night Torch Ginger

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."


Caldera to show new version of FLOW+ at SGIA LAS VEGAS

Caldera Flow

The newest version of FLOW+ by Caldera to be shown at SGIA

FLOW+, the first Workflow software which interacts directly with the RIP spooler, will be displaying enhanced features at SGIA Las Vegas.

Caldera developed this business and production management software+ to help its clients and print shop owners access all the information from all the departments of the company: sales, production, finishing, logistics, accounting…

FLOW+ is a complete Wide Format Business Workflow solution, which provides information and control from quote to invoice, while managing the production process (printing and finishing), inventory analysis and planning, automation of the RIP, outsourcing, delivery notes, financial statistics and accounting synchronization.

In an ongoing effort to listen to client needs and develop products suited to their everyday business needs, Caldera has already improved the 2009 SGIA Product of the Year.

  • The interaction between Flow+ and the Caldera RIP has been reinforced. Within the RIP, users have the ability to monitor the files that have already been processed by Flow+, thus permitting users to easily identify which Jobs has already been printed or finished.
  • A complete mail server is now embedded inside Flow+ server. Users now have now the ability to send quotes and purchase orders directly from Flow+ without using another webmail.
  • All the documents that the system can provide (quotes, invoices, PO, production reports …) are now 99% customizable. Flow+  gives you the ability to have multiple templates for Quote, PO, Invoice …
  • The flexibility and fluidity of the Jobtracker has been enhanced. Full Jobs or parts of a Job can be returned to a previous step.
  • The ‘bridge system’ (between Flow+ and other software) is now improved and customisable