Color management part 2--press fingerprinting
Press fingerprinting for color matching lays the groundwork for a collective color vision.
WHEN YOU MAKE most of your living writing about technology, you have the privilege of picking the brains of some very well versed subject-matter experts. Opinions vary of course, but I've found that the most impassioned, most expressive leaders all have one thing in common: Vision.
A motivational speaker once told me that it was vision with a capital "V" that made it possible for U.S.-born Gertrude Ederle to become the first woman to swim across the English Channel in the 1920s. She described how each time Ederle started to falter along the grueling 21-mile crawl through icy waters in gale winds, her coach would show her a photo of her landing site. By keeping a very specific pictorial reference of her goal in front of her, Ederle not only conquered the Channel, she beat the best men's time by two hours.
I never forgot this inspirational anecdote, and I thought it would be an appropriate lead for an article that takes us through somewhat unchartered waters. Vision, both literally and figuratively, factors heavily into our mastery over color in printing. For while technology has given us a methodology and means for getting at the DNA of color (packagePRINTING September 2003, p. 12, "To Measure is to Know"), the ends to which we apply our knowledge is determined solely within human minds and judged ultimately by human eyes.
As suggested in last month's article, a color-managed workflow is one in which every color input and output device employed in the print production chain has been a) calibrated to its optimal performance under a given set of repeatable conditions; and b) has been profiled and is capable of employing industry standard ICC color profiling data.