Colour predictability and quality is something we take very seriously at Cambrian Printers, with much of our core business being colour critical. Whether this is high end Auction and Fine-Art Catalogues, or periodical journal and magazine, work where corporate colour is critical to the brand, accurate colour is essential – there is no margin for second guessing – it has to be right.
To this end, we work very closely with our clients when colour predictability is at the forefront of their needs. We don’t look upon colour as being a ‘black art’. Rather, by paying attention to managing colour throughout the workflow, a great degree of predictability is achievable.
In order to achieve this we work to the ISO 12647/2004 colour standard for offset printing and proofing. Our prepress applications are all set up using appropriate ICC profiles to ensure that what we produce is colour-correct. All our colour-critical processes are calibrated to the standard and then monitored on a daily or weekly basis. In addition, we undertake an exhaustive calibration check every 6 months, or whenever components critical to colour are updated or modified.
Our primary tool for generating press accurate proofs is an Epson 9900 Spectroproofer. Each proof is verified for accuracy against the ISO standard via its online Spectrophotometer. The successful verification results are printed out on every proof. This provides measurable reassurance that each proof is a good colour representation of your job.
Press standards are checked daily by measurement of dot gain, ink density and spectral data. This ensures that our presses are continually producing colour accurate work within ISO standard tolerances.
But further to this, each press has inline colour control that monitors every job on a sheet by sheet Basis. These devices measure a colour control strip on every sheet that runs on the press and automatically adjusts colour. This ensures that the press is running to colour very quickly, then once on the run, colour is monitored and adjusted in a closed loop system. This enables us to achieve our target of 95% of the run being within tolerance, giving you the assurance that virtually every copy of your job will match.
Our obsession with colour doesn’t start when we receive your files. We believe that to get predictability on the press-sheet, attention to colour management needs to be observed at every stage of the production process – from image capture and optimisation right through to DtP and page assembly. Especially when handling images from a variety of sources that may not always be optimised for printing.
We appreciate that this level of control is not for everybody, but if it is important for you then please contact Prepress at Cambrian Printers. We will be happy to provide you with the correct colour settings for your application and advise you on our recommended best practice for getting the best out of your images.