A crucial tool for digital printing professionals
Why do you need a spectrophotometer?
If you’re a print service provider, you are likely to produce for different markets and applications using a variety of machines, inks, and substrates. And let’s face it— a bunch of generic color profiles cannot reproduce smooth gradients and vibrant, accurate colors with all the different ink-media-printer configurations available on the market.
Color is paramount in the inkjet printing industry, and spectrophotometers have become a crucial part of the print workflow— especially if you’re diversifying your production and including new media types and technologies. Measuring colors properly will help you to improve the quality of your output and achieve homogeneous results no matter the printer or substrate.
In this article, we will explain to you all the benefits of having a spectrophotometer in your print production.
What is a spectrophotometer?
A spectrophotometer is a color measuring device that is widely used in the digital printing industry.
Color measuring instruments are critical to achieve saturated, vibrant colors and to produce smooth gradients. Moreover, they are a must-have if you need to match specific colors requested by your customers. You can use them to check your colors on physical samples before moving on to production.
When choosing a spectrophotometer, it’s important to find one that will meet all your needs based on what you’re measuring. Our partners Barbieri electronic & X-rite provide useful educational resources on their blog. Feel free to check them out for more information!
3 reasons why you should have a spectrophotometer
Here are 3 benefits of having a spectrophotometer for your daily operations.
Achieve vibrant colors
Probably the most obvious argument, but still worth mentioning!
Relying on visual color evaluation alone is very risky. The way humans perceive colors depends on several factors: luminosity, time of day, genetic factors, age, background colors, and more.
By contrast, a spectrophotometer is extremely consistent. It simulates the way we see colors without the confusion of vision anomalies, and external factors don’t influence its perception. As long as your spectrophotometer is properly used and maintained, it will give you accurate color data to help you in your printing operations.
- Having a spectrophotometer ensures you work with bright, vibrant colors, and helps to increase the quality of your prints.
- On the other hand, it can also be used to measure accurate colors, especially if you’re printing for brands and large accounts.
You don’t need to be an expert to color-manage your production
Purchasing a spectrophotometer is just the beginning of the journey. Using them on a regular basis will allow you to see the changes and to measure the impact on your production.
Indeed, the data given by a spectrophotometer is extremely valuable for digital printing professionals. It gives great guidance on whether it’s possible to match a precise color with your ink mix, or it can predict how the color will look under different lighting.
Print companies that use spectrophotometers to monitor and control their operations can find gold in data. Of course, the idea of analyzing all this new data can be daunting, but rest assured: you don’t need to be an expert to interpret the results and act on them.
Nowadays, most instruments and software make data analytics and comparison easy to understand using clear graphics. Instead of looking at complex data representing wavelengths of reflected light that make up a color, you’re getting graphics with practical, understandable information showing what to change to produce a consistent color. In most cases, companion software (such as CalderaRIP) will also inform you of exactly what needs to be done in the ink settings to ensure appropriate ink densities and/or to bring color back into tolerance.
The return on investment is indisputable
If you’re a print business owner, you are probably wondering what you can gain by purchasing one or several spectrophotometers for your company. In an industry where color holds such an important place, we believe that having the best color measuring instrument is non-negotiable, and that the ROI is guaranteed no matter what.
- Ink and media waste is significantly reduced when using spectrophotometers. Since mistakes are caught very early in the production process (and often eliminated completely), you can avoid reprints due to colors and gradients that are not bright or good enough and avoid having your jobs rejected by your customers.
- Preventing errors also reduces labor and other related costs. This is even more valid with the recent trends we’ve been observing in the printing industry. With the increase of print-on-demand and customization, print jobs tend to be smaller and on shorter-runs, so you want to avoid errors as much as possible to avoid unwanted errors and ensure a smooth production.
- Automating your color control process makes it possible to save valuable time across your production— and use it for other added-value tasks.
- Being able to produce accurate, precise colors no matter the application is a huge asset for your business, enabling
you to produce for brands and big accounts.
Use your spectrophotometer with CalderaRIP
Our entire spectrophotometers range is compatible with CalderaRIP to ease color management and deliver color-optimized results.
- Use it with the EasyMedia module to create high-quality ICC profiles to improve your color reproduction.
- If you’re printing for large accounts, use it with the PrintStandardVerifier option to check your color consistency.
Need more information about our products? Get in touch with our team!