Monthly Archives: September 2012

Color Confidence Autumn 2012 review – part 1

Welcome to part one of our autumn 2012 update, reviewing product developments over the last year combined with explanations of the technology.

This first posting actually looks forwards slightly as we prepare for the upcoming Packaging Innovation’s Exhibition in London, on the 4-5th October.

Entry to the show is free, and we’ll be there on stand GB1 to showcase our expertise in colour management, and the latest developments from Pantone, NEC monitors, Just Normlicht (viewing booths) and the new interactive RealVue 3D Packaging Software from FFEI. Here’s a brief overview of what we will be showing:

Pantone:

336 new colours have been added to the Pantone Plus range. If you own the Pantone Plus series of guides, this is your opportunity to update your guides whilst the 336 supplements are available. It’s also a great opportunity to see the Pantone Capsure in action, and indispensable tool for capturing colour from any surface and matching to the nearest Pantone reference.

RealVue 3D Packager:

Interactive packaging visualisation software ideal for design, through to production. Take a test drive with us – send us an illustrator file and experience it in RrealVue 3D.

Viewing booths for colour assessment:

See a range of viewing booths including the Just Normlicht Color Communicator 2 for soft-proofing and the Pantone 5 Light for product/packaging colour assessment.

NEC – SpectraView colour accuracy:

See a range of professional colour accurate desktop monitors from 23” through to the 55” new NEC 552 presentation display model. Furthermore, see the SpectraView Reference with Just Normlicht Color Communicator 2 integrated soft proofing solution.

You can read our full article about the show here.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our Autumn review post next week.

Why don’t my printouts match my screen?

This is probably the most frequent question we get asked at CC HQ…

Whether on the phone, at Focus on Imaging, or at one of our Drop-in days; “why does my printout look different to what I see on-screen” is a frequent query from photographers and designers alike, particularly those that are starting, or wanting to print from home.

There are no single reasons for this, there are often multiple factors coming into play, such as; an un-calibrated screen, your working environment lighting conditions, system set-ups on your monitor or printer, the list goes on…

Luckily, there is a simple solution to this problem in the shape of the X-Rite ColorMunki Photo.

ColorMunki Photo has been designed to be an all-in-one spectral device for monitor, printer and even projector profiling – basically, a device that will ensure what you see on your screen is replicated as closely as possible when you print out.

It does this by calibrating/profiling both your LCD/CRT monitor and your printer.

Firstly, working like a ‘conventional’ monitor calibrator, ColorMunki Photo will create a custom profile you can save and apply to your monitor. It will integrate your display contrast settings and brightness into your workflow, giving you accurate on-screen colours.

Secondly, ColorMunki Photo will calibrate your RGB or CMYK printer by getting it to print out a series of test charts. The ColorMunki will scan the first test chart, learning how your printer behaves with these colours. Once this is done, a second chart is produced and scanned by the ColorMunki, thus creating a printer profile to save to your printer.

That’s it.

Colour accuracy is now achieved across your workflow from monitor to printer.

Learn more about ColorMunki Photo and how it can benefit your workflow here.

Colormunki Smile – monitor calibration that puts a Smile on your face

Today marks the release of the X-Rite ColorMunki Smile…

A name which lends itself to a host of puns and cheesy marketing gimmicks – although to be fair, I think we were fairly restrained with our efforts at CC HQ!

Anyway enough of that…

If you are completely new to the world of colour management, image editing or photography and are starting to require a solution to produce greater on-screen accuracy, then this is the solution for you.

Have you ever wondered why the pictures you took on your camera don’t look the same when displayed on your monitor? Well, monitors aren’t prefect; displayed colour can vary from monitor to monitor or even drift over time. This means the image you view on screen might not be a true reflection of what you actually captured.

Monitor calibrators are designed to solve this problem by optimising your monitor to display colours as accurately as possible.

The ColorMunki Smile has been designed with simplicity in mind. Unlike its bigger brothers; ColorMunki Display and i1Display Pro which offer a host of advanced features to play with, the Smile is as straight-forwards as plugging into your USB and letting it get on with calibrating your screen. This means you don’t need to have an expert knowledge of colour science to get the results you want.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYeXdpL6HNY?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

In a nutshell – this is the ideal monitor calibrator for a beginner.

In summary you get:

  • The ability to calibrate one, or multiple LCD & LED laptop or desktop displays
  • An easy and intuitive wizard interface – simply plug in and click
  • Powerful calibration technology found in X-Rite’s professional calibration solutions
  • Before and After image comparison
  • Easy to follow help videos and guides

You can learn more about and purchase ColorMunki Smile here.

Happy calibrating!

J5Create – tomorrow’s technology today…

… Literally!

A few weeks ago we blogged about one of the latest additions to our product range – J5Create.

J5cCeate produce a range of USB display adapters and cross-platform connectivity devices enabling users to share keyboard, mice and files across Mac/Win/Tablets and docking stations for laptops. It’s one of those useful things you imagine you should be able to do fairly simply anyway – transferring files from one OS or device to another – but in practice it isn’t that simple.

Well, J5Create have produced an effective and workable solution.

This week we’ll take a closer look at the J5Create Wormhole Station; a cross-platform keyboard, mouse and file-sharing station.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kRRJOdSaWs?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

The Wormhole Station is a plug and play interactive terminal working between different operating systems.

It enables Mac and Windows to transfer files and share a keyboard and mouse inputs, including keyboard compatibility with the iPad. Also included are multiple card readers, providing convenient storage solutions.

In addition, two USB3.0 ports expand connectivity with the data transfer rates at 5Gb/s. Most importantly, the file transfer capability is done without any third party software or lengthy installation. Files can be drag/dropped and/or copied/pasted between computers (Mac to Mac, Windows to Mac, or Windows to Windows) at 480Mb/s.

In summary, the Wormhole Station features:

  • USB3.0 SuperSpeed Hub/Card reader
  • Mac and Windows cross-platform file and input sharing
  • KM Switching and keyboard for iPad

We find the Wormhole Station particularly useful when doing design work. We have the Adobe Creative Suite’s for design work set up on Mac systems, with our files stored on Windows machines. Using the Wormhole we can seamlessly work on Mac and Windows machines simultaneously, sharing files between each computer, across dual screens.

Extremely useful.

You can learn more about the J5Create range here.

Get stunning Black and White images this September

Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 – save 10% off this September

Silver Efex Pro 2 is Nik Software’s flagship image enhancement plug-in software which gives you the power to create truly stunning black and white images.

A major upgrade from their award-winning Silver Efex plug-in, many professional photographers considers Silver Efex Pro 2 to be the definitive solution for re-creating the intricate quality, depth and impact of traditional darkroom black and white photography.

Key features will give you the power to amaze:

  • Amplifying Blacks and Whites increases the presence of highlights and shadows adaptively throughout the image, creating a unique contrast effect
  • Visual Presets characterised by photographic style, provide great single-click starting points which can be edited and shared with others
  • Fine Structure brings out even the smallest details and textures resulting in more visible image detail without creating an over-sharpened look

Take a look at the product here, and don’t forget to save 10% off this September.

Why not come and see it in action for yourself?

Every so often we run a drop-in day at our Birmingham HQ which gives you the perfect opportunity to quiz us on all things colour management, and come and see our extensive product range in action, demoed by our expert technical team.

Our latest drop-in day takes place on Tuesday 25th September at our Birmingham head-office, come and have a look at:

  • Our extensive range of colour accurate, professional standard monitors
  • Exceptional image enhancement software packages
  • How to calibrate your display properly
  • How to match your screen to your printouts

And better still, our drop-in days are totally free!

Learn more, and register here.