Mar 182011

Q) I have to match an existing sign vinyl or colour swatch, and don’t know what colour to print. What can we do?

A) cielab offer a service where we can measure a patch of what you’re trying to match (similar to a paint shop) and tell you the best colour values to use (Results require that you have calibrated and profiled your system to get the colour up front). We can measure absolutely anything as long as we have access to it for measurement, including fabrics, metal, plastics, paint and anything else you can think of.

Mar 182011

Q) This all sounds very complicated, how can we learn more about colour in our environment?

A) cielab have a comprehensive free database of useful information on this web site in the learn section in the menu above. But also run customised training that can be done in-store with you and your staff to give you the maximum benefit from the training possible to suit almost any budget.

Mar 182011

Q) Can’t I download a free profile from the internet and achieve the same thing?

A) Profiles are incredibly specific and will only work accurately for that 1 precise combination. So if you can find the exact profile for the media/ink/printer/rip/resolution combination you are using, then that will definitely improve your results.

But what many people overlook is the calibration stage that comes before a profile. Every different printer is slightly different, and to overcome this for best results you should re-calibrate each printer. This can only be done with measurement equipment on your exact printer.

Alternatively HP Designjet printers contain an embedded spectrophotometer and in some workflows will do a “closed loop calibration” where the printer itself will maintain its own internal colour stability. HP call this “Dream Color”

Cielab offer a membership solution called “ColourCLUB” where our customers are given member only access to cielab managed colour profiles to be used in conjunction with HP Designjet printers using Dream Color technology. For more information about this service contact your Cielab representative or call 1300 243 522 (within Australia)

Mar 182011

Q) I’ve never had trouble with my results before using the default setting that came with my system, so why should I have a custom setup built for me.

A) While you may feel everything is going fine, it’s a fast paced marketplace that is not what it used to be. There is a lot more competition for the same work now, and the customer’s expectations are increasing – especially when it comes to producing accurate and colourful results. Custom calibrated systems produce more consistent results that will keep your customers happy. Don’t wait until you loose your customer to find out you have a colour problem.

Mar 182011

Q) The print quality that comes out of my printer is very poor and I’m thinking about buying a new printer to resolve this. Is this the right thing to do?

A) Sometimes the answer to that is yes, but often bad print quality is because of a poorly set up and calibrated system. Things like bleeding, dull print colours, even media failing in some cases are actually profile related. If you are unsure, you should contact cielab before making an expensive purchase that may not actually be necessary, and may not actually solve your problem.

Mar 182011

Q) How can I tell what spot colours I can produce?

A) If you have a custom ICC profile for your printer, then you can load the profile into Adobe Photoshop and there is an “out of gamut” view that will show you anything in the file that you will not be able to print. Cielab can set this up for you. Another useful tool is the Pantone Bridge book. Previously called “Solid to Process”, this book shows both the true pantone colour, and what is expected from most CMYK printers (you may be able to do more or less than this book shows, but it’s a great way to show your customers what is the expected result if they don’t understand Pantone.

Mar 182011

Q) I’m trying to print a spot/pantone colour for my customer but I just can’t get the printer to print it accurately. What can I do?

A) Have you calibrated and profiled your printer to the media you are printing onto? If not, you are unlikely to be able to accurately print spot colours without a lot of labour to modify the setup or file. If you have calibrated, perhaps the spot colour is “out of gamut” meaning that your media/printer/ink combination is simply not capable of producing that colour.