Three questions with Paul Sherfield…

02 May 2019

Three questions with Paul Sherfield…

In our latest blog, we talk to colour management expert and print industry consultant, Paul Sherfield about the importance of colour management and what visitors can expect from FESPA’s newest feature, Colour L*A*B*. Paul will also host some of the expert-guided tours of Colour L*A*B* during FESPA Global Print Expo 2019.


What advantages does good colour management offer print service providers?

Colour quality and continuity are two of the most important considerations in the print industry.

Customers from brand owners to interior designers have high expectations of consistent or common colour appearance, regardless of the printing process or material used. One of the most effective methods of ensuring consistent colour that meets customers’ requirements is by implementing colour management software.


Importantly, once print service providers (PSPs) have invested in the process and it is up and running, good colour management delivers tangible business benefits including better predictability, greater production flexibility, reduced waste and improved customer satisfaction and retention. It also allows PSPs to quantify their capability, print efficiently and save money while producing better work.


What tools are essential to achieve good colour management?

There are a number of components that make up a colour management workflow and numerous pieces of equipment that PSPs should consider investing in. A few things that PSPs should think about when implementing a colour management system include:


A monitor with IPS (in-plane switching) should be researched carefully to ensure they have a wide colour gamut, ideally Adobe RGB 1998, and are of sufficient quality to be calibrated reliably.


It’s advisable for PSPs to invest in a spectrophotometer to read the colour output of their devices. Most standard spectrophotometers are designed to work with reflective materials such as paper or board. However, depending on the final output, PSPs may need to consider one that handles transmissive materials such as backlits, while textile print service providers will need to consider one that handles fabric.

The importance of bespoke device profiles for each press / substrate combination cannot be overstated if colour is to be correctly controlled and printed.


Standard lighting conditions are also an important element for colour management and therefore PSPs will need viewing cabinets for soft proofing and for print inspection. Good RIP software that is capable of good colour management as well as software for ICC profile creation editing, are also essential tools.


What can visitors expect to take from Colour L*A*B*?

Colour L*A*B* has been designed to help visitors improve colour management practices in their print businesses.


The feature will offer visitors a structured overview of all individual elements contributing to professional colour management including monitors, measurement and calibration tools, lightboxes, hard and soft proofing, software solutions and print output devices.


The walk-through showcase will feature technologies from a range of specialist suppliers including: Barbieri, CMA Imaging, Eizo, EFI, HP, Pantone, Techkon and X-Rite, all of which will be supported by explanatory graphics and a printed guide describing the processes and technologies. Test files will be used in live demonstrations to illustrate different printed outcomes across a range of media.


Visitors looking for more detailed information on the technologies can participate in free, pre-bookable, guided Colour L*A*B* tours, which will provide explanations of the processes and answer visitors’ questions on how they can improve their own practices. The guided tours can be booked here.


In addition, Colour L*A*B* will also include a conference area that will offer a focussed programme of free educational presentations from a range of subject matter experts, including Dr. Andreas Kraushaar of FOGRA and Paul Lindström of Digitaldots.org. The Colour L*A*B* seminar programme can be viewed here: https://www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com/features/colour-lab/colour-lab-programme


For any PSP looking to implement colour management processes or to improve on existing processes then Colour L*A*B* will offer the insight in the form of a technology showcase, seminars and live demonstrations for them to improve colour management practices in their businesses.


For more information on Paul click here.

To register to attend FESPA Global Print Expo 2019, click here. Use code FESM918 for free entry.

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FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 in Munich is Europe’s largest exhibition for screen and digital wide format print, textile printing and signage. Over 4 days visitors have the opportunity to experience the latest products and innovations on display from over 700 exhibitors.