Wide-format Printing: Common colour management mistakes

11. Not addressing process control from the start.
Any system to be colour-managed must be repeatable and kept at a consistent, normalized state, which needs to be documented. There is no possibility of colour-managing a system that is out of control.

Changes may be mechanical or caused by day-to-day temperature and humidity fluctuations. A standard colour bar will help track variations, determine whether or not they are within accepted tolerances and, if they are not, expose the causes so they can be fixed.

“If a system isn’t in control and verified as such, then it is in an uncontrolled environment and colour management will happen poorly at best,” says Herb Jones, an art director and prepress manager certified by IDEAlliance in G7.

12. Poor training.
Expensive equipment often comes with free training, but given the installer’s time on-site is limited by budget, the process involves little more than, “Watch this!”

Print professionals should not cut corners on colour management training. It is worthwhile to invest in quality trainers—not just the technician who installs the machine—and give them enough time to work with the given staff. The investment will quickly pay off in uptime.

Mike Ruff is a certified G7 process control and conformance (PCC) expert, certified G7 expert instructor, chair of the Academy of Screen and Digital Print Technology (ASDPT) and owner of Mike Ruff Consulting Services. For more information, contact him via e-mail at mruff@mikeruffconsulting.com.

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