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:

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 movements can cause erroneous readings. Remember not to rock the device!

Aperture Size
It is always best to use the largest aperture you can for the sample being measured as we all agree that more information is better.

Average Measurements
A great way to even out the inconsistencies in the sample and avoid measurement errors is to take three measurements and use the average measurement.

Instrument Care
Many users underestimate the importance of caring for the instrument properly. Always keep the instrument clean and dust free. This can be done easily by gently blowing off the optics with canned compressed air (oil and moisture free).

Measurement Analysis Software
The software application displays measured values to track the accuracy of what is being printed in comparison to target values. It will also generate a detailed trend analysis to demonstrate to the customer or in-house quality managers how well the press run performed.