Let us guide you in the flow of information regarding what Colour Management is. In today’s very competitive business world, you will definitely need to be aware of this phenomenon. Why? Why is Colour Management important? Let’s find that out as well! Also, let us inform you the workflow of Prepress at NDigitec specifically, for you to get the idea how professionally we perform it. Lots of valuable information is waiting for you to be consumed! Heads up!
Colour Management: What and Why
Colour Management is defined as the process of ensuring color consistency and quality no matter on what device or media the color is reproduced. Putting it in more simple words, Colour Management in printing allows you to accurately get prints that match the exact image on your monitor whenever and on whatever you print it.
As colours can have very different looks depending on the devices and surfaces they are printed on and even the lights they are viewed in, having a color quality control in place is an essential part of brand communications. The consistency in color production of a brand’s communication materials allows consumers to recognize the brand at every contact point with it, without having a second thought on it.
Take Starbucks, as an example! If Starbuck’s logo, printed on a coffee cup, billboard advertising, loyalty card or a document sent in the mail, is visually different from one medium to another, then consumers are going to have a hard time recognizing it as the Starbucks brand. In two words — brand confusion: customers not being able to perceive the credibility of the brand that has been built all along! And, that’s no good news! As customers usually buy from brands they are familiar and have a trustful connection with, not being able to make a consistent brand communication across various media is going to hurt the brand’s sales. No good news at all!
Prepress Workflow at NDigitec: Colour Management.
Having over two decades of experience in Colour Management, we fully acknowledge the importance of it for brands across platforms, thus taking the whole process of Colour Management very serious! We mean it! Absofreakinlutely serious! NDHD (unprecedented custom built process driven quality platform designed by NDigitec) serious!
Have a look at NDigitec’s Prepress process chain yourself!
Now, let’s explore each stage one by one.
The 1st stage is the “Job Order,” during which we communicate with the client all the requirements about the Prepress project via WebCenter: dedicated parameter fields, specific instructions, remarks, due dates… This stage is the base for implementing the job successfully, a.k.a. according to the desires and needs of our client.
In the 2nd stage of the Prepress process, we customize the workflow for “Preflight.” What does that mean? It means checking all the documents thoroughly with respect to the requested parameters before sending them to press, in order to avoid any problems with the output. Checking thoroughly, on its end, means making sure all the images are converted to PRESS color profile (ICC & color strategy); all the fonts are present and correct; there are no rogue spot colors in the documents; no RGB (red, green and blue model for electronic systems) images mixed in with CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black) model for colour printing); no low resolution images etc. You get it, don’t you?
The 3rd stage is “Pre-press,” which includes the process of taking into account the technical features and maximum capabilities of the final printing system in preparing every single material for print production. Be it plates, color proofs or any other material, the preparation of these according to all the final printing conditions is a must for ensuring the perfect match between the original graphics and the final printed designs.
Artwork assembly; color correction according to the customer’s required parameters; automated Step and Repeat with auto smart marks; minimum dot selection according to Anilox; trapping; Flexo fixing; layout design are all the sub-stages of Pre-press.
So, summing up, it is the Pre-press department’s responsibility to build up the original idea into a printable artwork.
“Quality Control” is the 4th stage of our Prepress workflow, incorporating the comparison and verification of the artwork with specialized tools and applications, plate and print preview on screen and registration fault simulation for proper trapping.
The “Approval” — 5th stage refers to the complete Approval cycle between sales and production. Viewing layers, channels and separation while annotating with remarks and live notes are an integral part of this stage of Prepress workflow at NDigitec.
The “Proofing” system of our 6th stage employs the color database for all press profiles in order to create the appropriate color profile to be applied to incoming profiles, enabling the resultant proof to come out exactly like the anticipated final print. We customize dot gain and color strategy for each type of board. Then, we implement a simulation for dot gain and a special Pantone color strategy for each Anilox volume. Pantone perfection!
Then, we refine out of gamut inks indicated by the system, suggesting proper ∆E tolerance, followed by checking and recalibrating for defect values. Voilà!
At this stage we present to our client the final vision of how the printed artwork will look like, ultimately proceeding on a contractual agreement. Very critical and responsible moment!
At the 7th stage comes the “Plate Production.” Being the first Company in the Middle East that is full HD certified, we offer super reliable and robust engraving solutions with HD, Full HD, and Lamination technologies. In fact, NDigitec has the first 50×80 Full HD Cyrel Digital Imager (CDI) in the region. That’s how we do it!
Remember our NDHD (unprecedented custom built a process driven quality platform designed by NDigitec,) seriousness? Good! Now, learn by what means NDHD platform helps us in “Plate Production” stage and allows to serve Prepress solutions to our clients beyond perfection!
- Combination of all types of engraving methods.
- Surface screening and flat top dot.
- Roundtop for smooth vignette and highlights.
- Highly durable and sustainable plates.
- Excellent highlights and less dot gain.
- Up to 70% reduction in flute effect.
- Very good ink transfer onto the media.
- Durable dots specifically created by NDHD platform and custom made for each press and flute type.
Finally, the 8th stage of our Prepress workflow ensures the “Final Quality Control,” during which we use 3D Plate dot inspector device to check for minimum dot micron size and check with the final proof. Color separation and a content check are also included at this stage, overall, ensuring the accuracy of the physical plate production checkpoints.
All done! Now, it is fair to say: Think Colour Management — Think NDIGITEC.