One of the best parts of the holidays is the food, especially the pie. Specifically the homemade variety created by someone with a tried, true, and consistent process… Grandma’s finest beats the store-bought variety every time. Believe it or not, color management is much like pie construction. Blend the right components to roll out a great foundation (the delicate, flaky crust), adjust files to print properly (create a flavor-packed filling with just the right thickness), and print multiple jobs using the same process (pecan, apple, chocolate cream, etc.).
We’ve taken some time to research in-house color management processes at a variety of digital printing facilities over the past few months. Our findings show the same core principle is true in both printing and pie making: process is everything. Prints done without a good color management process are akin to the “poser-pie” that looked decent in the pan but turned out to be soupy and tough-crusted when served. While both the print and the poser-pie pass a visual evaluation, it took too much effort to complete the job, and no one wants to run it again (or go back for seconds).
In printing, an initial calibration is done with specific printer, ink, and media combinations to achieve balanced color and maximize gamut. This is the foundation for any great print. When a customer submits a job, the pre-press department prepares the file to print accurately using that printer, ink, and media combination. Before producing the job, scanning a quick test print ensures the output device is within spec. This eliminates surprises during production and greatly reduces the need to re-run jobs. Without these three procedures in place, production becomes an inefficient guessing game with unpredictable results.
Likewise, the perfect pie doesn’t come together without a great recipe, the right ingredients in accurate amounts, and a specific baking time and temperature. Without controlling these three things, a pie turns out to be a poorly assembled mass of calories that looks better than it tastes.
Adopting a data-driven color management solution is not a difficult process, because color is a science. It can be monitored and accurately controlled with data. This leads to efficient, high quality printing. Cooking shows aren’t filmed before the crew knows the workflow and prepares everything required to make a quality end product. When it comes to printing, having the right process in place and verifying printer performance before running jobs will pack your prints with efficient, delicious accuracy. And every customer wants that.