A Polarizing Debate

Use of polarization filters in print color measurement Photographers use polarization filters to cut out glare. On color measurement devices, the use of these filters minimizes differences due to gloss. Differences in appearance from specular reflection can come from paper coating and from ink finish. Also drying of wet ink changes the appearance. Whether a surface is glossy or matte can impact color measurement. There has been debate about the use of polarization filters and…

Accurately Communicating Color from Design to Press

Accurately reproducing color from the digital artwork created by designers is an essential component to the success of any commercial or packaging print company.  Within the print production process there are typically 3 different methods of communicating color.  The first is the monitor as it is the medium by which designers create the original artwork.  The second is the inkjet printer as it is typically used to produce proofs that represent the colors to be…

A Functional Comparison of the Densitometer and Spectrophotometer

In deciding on the appropriate color measurement instrumentation, it is essential that you understand the operational characteristics, functional comparisons, and intricacies of both the densitometer and the spectrophotometer. This is best communicated in the in-depth instrument descriptions below. Densitometers Density is a measure of the absorbance of an ink at specific wavelengths of light. As an example, yellow ink has a maximum absorbance in the blue region, so its density is calculated using a filter…

A Short History of the SpectroDensitometer

Over the last 15 years, the trend has shifted from traditional CMYK densitometers to spectrophotometer based densitometers. This shift was mainly driven by more affordable, lower cost technology and the need to know more about the characteristic of the ink that is being printed. This has created a new class of products called Spectro-Densitometers. Spectro-Densitometers are catching the eyes of press operators everywhere. Historically, they’ve had to rely on their eyes to calibrate the press,…

Is it time to upgrade your densitometer?

In my travels helping companies achieve G7 Master Printer Certification I encounter lots of creative ways of managing color on press. Lots of folks have a densitometer at the press console to spot check sheets. While this has undoubtedly greatly improved the consistency of press color on each station over time it becomes obvious that some densitometers do not correlate to each other when measuring the same press sheet and ink zone. Which densitometer is…

Tricks of the Trade When Measuring Color

Here are just a few tricks of the trade when using a densitometer or spectrophotometer to measure color: Calibrate Always be sure to calibrate the device on its matched calibration plaque. Experienced users tend to get lazy or rushed and forget this critical step. And, often time’s new users overlook the importance of calibration. Handle with Care It is very important to hold the device down gently and evenly when measuring color patches; even slight…

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