Jun 092011

How to update a Cyclone Colour Profile:

  • Through the “Postscript File Downloader” load the 2 calibration strips “plotter 31 dark ink & plotter 31 light ink”
  • Wait 30mins for dry-back.
  • Scan in the “Dark ink” strips using the Cyclone Automatic Linearization System with the spectrophotometer.
  • Compare visually where the darkest light-cyan & light-magenta patches on the “Light Ink” strips match the density of the “Dark Ink strips” and note the number of that patch. Use the following conversion chart to find the correct setting for the Light-cyan & Light-Magenta crossover points.

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Apr 182011

I see and get asked very regularly why sometimes in digital printing you get a different colored box around drop shadows, transparencies and sometimes masks.

The reason is because sometimes the printer rip software allows a different “rendering intent” to be selected for images (bitmap) to vector (spot colours) and quite often the rip software will even default these to be different settings for the 2 things.

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Mar 222011
Hi Mike,
I am doing some work with REDACTED and we are having a discussion about what colour space is best used for Artwork that will be best suited for his machines.
For as long as I have had to do any print work I have used the CMYK colour space and RGB for anything to do with screen.
Any info to help clarify this would be great and more specifically about that printer of his.


Mar 182011

All printers will vary in colour and output between individual devices, even when they are identical printers, inks and substrates.

In cielab’s testing across identical Roland printers we have been surprised at just how substantial the colour difference is. Our testing was comprehensive and included 4x SJ740 printers and 2x SJ-745 printers, all with identical inks and print media, but with printheads of varying ages. We found that in most cases spectral calibration with external equipment did bring this into line, but it does show that generic ICC profile and media settings provided by vendors (not generated in your office with your printer and then calibrated into the other printers) will only get you so far. This is better than nothing however it’s unlikely that you will see consistent results unless you calibrate each individual printer onsite with high quality external measurement spectral equipment.

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Mar 182011

  • ALL solvent printers are toxic in some way and can be be harmful after prolonged exposure to the vapours (VOC’s) time and time again. To quote one common solvent ink “Proven to cause permanent brain damage”. You should always take safety precautions around these machines by wearing the correct breathing apparatus and using air filtration devices. Continue reading »
Mar 182011

  • When you load the paper into the machine, you should form feed & cut off the front edge of the media is the roll has been left exposed to the open air or handled to eliminate incorrect print from this area.
  • Media for these printers has a special coating and you should try to avoid touching the coated side of the media with your bare hands. Continue reading »
Mar 182011

While colour may not be your primary concern, with correct calibration and profiles the printer results overall will improve and the investment at this stage will repay itself very quickly by eliminating wasted labour and consumables trying to please a customer that’s unhappy with the results produced. It also gives you piece of mind, and faith in the results that come from your printer. Most people that have invested in a solution like this comment quickly that they are pleasantly surprised by the improvement in their results.

Rips all offer varied features and benefits, all of them with pros and cons. It comes down very much to your requirements and investigation into each rip. Often just because a printer is offered with a rip, the rip may not be the best selection for your needs. It’s well worth not only looking at each dealers printers, but also rips. Many people don’t realise they can often mix and match the two depending on their needs.

Many rips have features like Nesting, queuing, step and repeat, scaling, cropping, spot colour replacement etc. You should consider how your needs match the rip you are viewing, and also the companies ability to support you with custom calibration and profiling should you require – not all rips handle this well, or in some cases – at all. A bad choice can cost you dearly later.

Compare rip options from cielab colourshop, we have many rip brands and options to compare
even read or add reviews for rips


Mar 182011

Calibration (also known as Linearization) will standardise the result of a printer and also make it repeatable. Every printer, ink, and media each need to be independently calibrated to remain accurate.

If you use 3 of exactly the same printer in your office, with exactly the same ink, media & profile – without calibration you are likely to see 3 different results, whereas 3 calibrated printers in this same situation will match each other. This calibration will also allow re-calibration if there are any variances – this is what I mean by a repeatable state.

Climate also affects paper and printers drastically and with the climate changes between winter and summer as an example, the colour being produced will also change. Recalibration will bring the printer back to the state that it was originally calibrated to. Without this, a profile with no calibration or recalibration must be redone from scratch if there is any variance, causing valuable labour and consumables being wasted time and time again.


Mar 182011

The primary reason for purchasing and using a rip is to allow the absolute control of the colour output of the printer (this can not be done the same by using print drivers through the operating system). A rip will communicate directly (usually by network, USB or Firewire) with the printer in it’s native language, bypassing the operating systems drivers. OS drivers do not allow for the selection of both CMYK and RGB input profiles, this means that results may not be very accurate depending on your requirements. They also don’t have the feature that most rips offer of calibration the printer.

A printer usually has very little knowledge and would best be described inside as “dumb”. By this I mean that it knows only drop of ink, or no drop of ink. The rest is left up to where you process the file – without a rip this must be done by the operating system. As an example, Microsoft Windows makes some assumptions that cannot be controlled. Windows assumes that all digital files are intended only for viewing onscreen or over the internet (all RGB output, unlike print). This means that if you submit a CMYK file through a windows print driver, it will always firstly convert that file to RGB so that it can be processed, and then be converted to CMYK data for the printer to produce. This adds 2 conversion that will change the colour of your file and affect the output results.

Windows also makes the assumption that any files being created are likely to be office presentations or internet images, and uses “Saturation” rendering intent. This will shift almost all colour leaving little chance of achieving accurate spot colour reproduction.


Mar 182011

There are a few ways that you can control the output colour on a device.

Rip software is the best way to do this on a digital printer. Most wide format printers these days are sold with the option to buy rip software, although commonly due to lack of knowledge by the salesperson, is not explained properly to the buyer what benefit it offers and subsequently commonly not opted for at the low end of the market (up to $15,000 printer investment) due to the added expense (average purchase price for a reputable rip is about $5000).

What many don’t realise that it’s the rip that’s the difference between a good result most of the time, and an amazing result every time.