Many people including me are captivated by everything Color. Many like me have made careers out of this topic, yet the subject confounds most, including those who are in the business of selling color in one form or another. For those in the printing business color is one thing that can be extremely profitable when equipment, materials and knowledge are optimized to create a production process that is understood and repeatable,
In many cases that is easier said than done. Many customers that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years are all to familiar with the seemingly never ending cycle of Calibrating and Color managing their systems only to have them deteriorate over time finally requiring the entire process to be repeated. This is caused by the fact that there isn't a complete understanding of Color by anyone responsible for maintaining the process, and the individual employees, while they may be very capable in their own area of expertise, don't understand the system as a whole.
It should be easier than it is most of the time! Technology can do really miraculous things, but if the system is "broken" then the perception is that the technology doesn't work. For many years I was responsible for training people in production on the latest and greatest technology. Rarely did I get the opportunity to teach anyone that they really didn't need the technology to optimize production and create extremely profitable color reproduction at the highest quality level. Don't get me wrong, when properly implemented and understood the technology is indispensable for realizing the utmost levels of production optimization, but most don't understand that the proper foundation must be laid before that technology will be effective, When the proper foundation is in place the profits and improvements in production and quality will easily justify the investment in the technology.
It is one of my favorite things to see a company embrace the fundamental steps required to obtain this state and realize all of the benefits that go along with it such as:
- Increased Product Quality.
- Increased Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty.
- Improved confidence and capabilities of everyone in the production process.
- Markedly improved production capacity.
- A continuous cycle of increased quality at faster throughput with reduced waste,
There Ain't no VOODOO in Printing!
So what prevents most companies from reaching a state of stable and profitable Color Reproduction? Well, in one word the answer is COLOR! You would be surprised at the number of professionals in the printing business who believe that there must be Voodoo or other form of Magic in Color Reproduction.
Color is and should be a very objective and mechanical process - BUT - absent formal training and at least a basic understanding of the "Science of Color" by everyone involved in the production process, Color will remain an extremely Subjective and Emotional topic.
A good friend of mine always said "there ain't no Voodoo in Printing". Those words have stuck with me over the years and I find them useful when people in production start to become defensive or distrustful. When someone from the "outside" comes in to help the perception is that they are upsetting a system that took them a decade or more to learn how to react to when things go wrong.
It is Human Nature and to be successful people need to learn that the procedures that they just learned work and that those procedures will make their jobs easier. Most commonly everything does work great for awhile, but then in the heat of a hectic production schedule something WILL go wrong and people will react by reverting to whatever worked for them in the past. That is why it is essential that they get several follow up sessions where operators will learn how to properly deal with whatever issues they experienced correctly without throwing their hands up and reverting to what "worked" last month!
In the current economical environment there is no better investment than optimizing your existing equipment, production process, and operator knowledge. While it can be a modest investment in both money and commitment it will ALWAYS produce an immediate and substantial return on investment.
I would be very happy to help anyone interested in optimizing their processes in order to increase quality and profitability of the products being produced. Please feel free to contact me using the contact information provided on the business card below!