ICC profiling poor working practice

One client had a pre-press area which had to diversify too much and did not allow any of its staff to specialize in one area of production like the Editorial and Advertising departments.

Much of the hardware/software that was in use in use was not flexible enough to allow better working practices to be developed and consequently a large amount of the work appeared to be repeated two or three times.

Picture profiling of editorial pictures

The company concerned did not have a proper ICC profiling workflow, but used outdated software which acted as a halfway house to profiling pictures ready for production, it was also down to a subjective view of how images should look and not from any physical data.

This had several significant disadvantages:

  • The process the pre press department used to create the profile for the set up for pictures was a subjective one. It was initially set up manually by looking at some previously printed material and did not involve using a Densitometer or any other spectral colour measurements, or the printing of a standard colour test form. This was normally carried out at the main print site;
  • The method of profiling involves a manual input. A pre press operative had to semi-retouch the picture and then place it into the workflow where the profile was added;
  • The colour operative had to wait, while the file is processed in the outdated software. While watching this process it was clear that the operative was increasingly frustrated at the time delay and was constantly checking the server for update;
  • After the profile was added, the operator has to finally retouch the picture again before passing it onto editorial;
  • It did not help that the quality of pictures being received is very poor, but this all seem to make things much more stressful.
  • The profiling software which ran on a server turned an RGB Image into a CMYK image. This meant that the final retouch on a picture was done in one of the smallest colour spaces. It did not leave the operator much room to manoeuvre when retouching poor quality pictures.

Colour Splash Recommendation
The process of finger printing and colour profiling a press these days is a very technical one. It does not involve subjective input. The data which is collated ensures the conversions are exact.

Colour Splash recommended a full ICC colour profiling finger printing exercise, to find out exactly how the presses were printing. From this data, we installed a one stop retouching exercise allowing the user to work in the largest possible colour space ‘RGB’, with the final change of CMYK being the last thing the colour operator did before saving the file for editorial use.

To sum up the benefits of colour management are:

  • Predictable colour;
  • Consistent colour;
  • Better colour space conversions;
  • Accurate in house proofing;
  • Soft proofing;
  • Re-purposing images;
  • Saves money;
  • Better communication;
  • Happier customers.
  • Easier Make ready and printing

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