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FLEXO Magazine : August 2008
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES Photo courtesy Left Dakota The Missing “Link” A Solution to Preserving Color Profiles Between Devices By Eric Magnusson I 62 CC-based color management that works well has been the Holy Grail in the printing industry for the last 15 years. While most people are familiar with the mainstay of color manage- ment—the ICC Output Profile (RGB or CMYK), many aren’t aware of other varieties such as ICC Abstract Profiles (which are used for making color corrections and edits inside the device-independent LAB colorspace), or ICC Named Color Profiles (which are used to define, control, and improve spot color matching.) In this article we’ll discuss a few color “challenges” faced by flexographers, what happens when they apply traditional color correction solutions, what happens when they try using standard ICC profiles, and a discussion of a very useful fourth kind of ICC profile—the ICC Device Link. Let’s start with two examples of complex color management challenges facing us today. F LEXO PROBLEM ONE: SIMPLE Most people immediately find ICC-based color management to be beneficial in making their inkjet proofing systems accurately predict how a job will print in final output. Because of the sto- chastic screening being used by inkjet proofing, it is impossible to see any real dot structure (even with a loupe), so most people nev- er encounter any show-stopping problems with that type of proof. Others, however, have high-end proofing systems, which out- put high-resolution dot proofs. Many owners of these systems initially believe that they want a “dot-for-dot” proof. Quickly they find that this doesn’t work, so they spend a lot of time applying dot-gain curves to the proof in order to simulate press conditions. After spending time perfecting those curves, most people find the color match still leaves something to be desired. They discov- er that the colors of the donors used in the proofing system don’t AUGUS T 20 0 8 www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g
Flexo Sustainable Fall 2008