Achieving Consistent Color Across all your Print Processes

By | March 16, 2016

Contributed by: Ed Jansen, Vice President, Professional Services at Canon Solutions America

As a print service provider, you want color to remain consistent and repeatable, especially when you use multiple devices or print technologies. Ensuring that the color on the proof matches the color on the final output at all times can mean more efficient proofing and production cycles, reduced manual labor involved in color management, reduced waste and rework, and increased productivity for improved profitability.

An increasingly popular way to best analyze color and printing-related issues to assure repeatable, predictable results is to become a G7 Master qualified facility.

G7® is an internationally accepted set of best practices for achieving consistent color reproduction across a wide range of proofing  devices, printing devices (both digital and offset), and substrates. It’s a method to achieve a common visual appearance for output, even when it is produced on completely different print systems. It does this by focusing on a specification for tonality and gray balance. The result is visible improvements in color output, such as:

  • Detailed saturated colors
  • Smoother gradations
  • Improved ¾ tone print contrast
  • Improved highlight detail
  • Improved ¼ tone rendering
  • Gray-balanced neutral imaging.

According to Wikipedia, the G7 method was created by Don Hutcheson, chairman of the IDEAlliance GRACoL (International Digital Enterprise Alliance, General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography) in 2006. IDEAlliance®, a leading non-profit industry association, identifies best practices for efficient end-to-end digital media workflows – from content creation through distribution. It offers a number of qualification levels including G7 Master Qualified Facility (granted to physical facilities qualified to use the G7 Proof-to-Print Process) and G7 Expert (a person certified in the field of color management, process, and quality control for proofing and printing equipment and authorized by IDEAlliance to train in the areas of color and print-related issues).

Canon Solutions America offers a G7 Master Qualification service, which helps guide an organization through the process of achieving G7 Master status. G7 Expert Production Analysts will:

  • Perform a broad-based assessment of an organization’s entire print environment, including a detailed evaluation of color management processes,
  • Provide a gap analysis of areas in the print environment that may be costing the organization money or contributing to color inconsistencies, and
  • Train the organization’s staff on implementing changes to create a G7 compliant workflow and facilitate G7 qualification for the organization.

Customers tell us that achieving G7 Master status not only increases internal efficiencies and productivity but also adds to their credibility in color management among customers, differentiates their business, and even attracts new clients.

If becoming a G7 Master qualified facility is something you would like to investigate, you can learn more from the IDEAlliance website at http://www.idealliance.org, or by visiting the Color Management Professional Services section of the Canon Solutions America website at www.csa.canon.com.

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