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CHROMiX ColorNews Issue #11 - Color Management Myths 6-10

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C H R O M i X C O L O R N E W S

Issue #11
February 26th, 2004


Welcome to ColorNews, a periodic update on things related to Color
Management. We are striving for a regular consistent newsletter of high
value to our customers. Please let us know what your interests are so we
can address these concerns in our coming issues.

This month we would like to draw particular attention to three items:

** We've taken over ProfileCity to become the largest profiling service, details below.

** It's Back!!!! The FREE Eye-One Display promotion continues through June
30, 2004. Also, the Eye-One competitive Trade-In special is ending February
29th, so don't miss out. See details below.

** '5 More Color Management Myths', an article written by CHROMiX
President Steve Upton that you'll want to read.


Table of Contents


1. CHROMiX News
2. Color & Product News
3. Industry News
3. Shows and Events
4. ColorFAQs - this month's FAQ is '5 More Color Management Myths'
5. CHROMiX USED items for sale
6. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)




Since our last ColorNews issue (December 2003) many things have happened at
CHROMiX that are worth mentioning:

CHROMiX is 5!
In the rush of a very busy December we forgot to mention that CHROMiX is now 5 years old. We've been building profiles, selling color management equipment and training people since November 1998. Quite a few changes have taken place in color management since 1998 as we've been honored to be along for the ride. We are also grateful for the wonderful customers we've had along the way.

We are excited to announce that we assumed ICS's ProfileCity custom profiling service.
For years CHROMiX and PROFILE CITY have traded spots as the #1 and #2 custom profiling services.
CHROMiX ColorValet profiling service is now the largest profiling service in the world!! Here's the news release:

If you're an organization, association, manufacturer or large end user, give us a call to discuss how we can customize a profiling program to meet your and your customers' needs.
Call Rick Hatmaker at (866) CHROMiX or (866) 247-6649

The FREE Eye-One Display promotion continues!!
At the end of December we were sad to say goodbye to the $200 Eye-One upgrade coupons. It turns out that the promotion continues until June 30th, 2004!
If you are in the market for an Eye-One Photo, Publish, Beamer or Pro, we'll throw in an Eye-One Display for free!
If you bought an EyeOne Display, you now have until the end of June to use the $200 coupon toward the purchase of an EyeOne Photo, Publish, Beamer or Pro Bundle.
Furthermore, CHROMiX will kick in another $50 towards your upgrade purchase! It doesn't matter where you bought it. That's $250 total savings!!! So take advantage before it's too late!

CHROMiX Partner Program has had a very successful 1st quarter! We will have commissions checks in the mail very soon. We've noticed that several Partners have made significant commissions!
Way to go! If you're not already in the Partner Program, get on board now to enhance your revenues with this opportunity. Simply go to to find out how to 'get with the program', or check out Steve Upton's article focusing on the Partner Program in ColorNews issue #9 at

** Steve Upton will be speaking at the following events:

March 10th, 7:00PM. Pixel Printers, Seattle, WA. Update on latest trends in
Color Management.

July 2004. Steve will be speaking at MACWORLD Boston, MA. Seminar times and
dates to be announced.


Color & Product News


Fujifilm introduced ColourKit Profiler Suite 4.0 at PMA Las Vegas, NV.
ColourKit Profiler Suite v4.0 is one of the first color profiling software
solutions to be developed in accordance with the new version 4 ICC
specifications. The 'Wizard-driven' ICC profiling can be purchased as
separate modules or as a complete suite. The full suite includes
profile-making and profile-editing modules for the monitor, camera and
scanner as well as for RGB and CMYK output. An image processor and image
editor can also be purchased separately.
For more information about Fujifilm and ColourKit products at ColorGear, go to:

Or to download a FULL working 3-day demo of ColourKit, go to:

X-Rite, Inc. announced its Monaco OPTIX(XR) has been awarded Photo
Electronic Imaging (PEI) Magazine's "Cool(2)" Award for its Color Management
Hardware category, and has been recognized by PC World magazine with its
"Best Buy" nod for monitor calibration. Monaco OPTIX(XR), which launched a
few months ago, is designed with the latest patent pending technology to
produce highly accurate ICC profiles for CRT and flat panel color displays.

In PC World's round up review, X-Rite's Monaco OPTIX(XR) was compared with
GretagMacbeth's Eye-One (TM) Display, Integrated Color Solutions' BasICColor
(TM) Display 2.5 and Pantone ColorVision's (R) SpyderPro (TM). PC World
contributor Mark Rutherford writes, "X-Rite's exceptional performance earns
it our Best Buy nod. It achieved the deepest shades of blue and the finest
gray-scale transitions -- allowing our LCD to match the subtleties that
previously only high-end CRTs could achieve." Rutherford continued, "The
X-Rite (solution) is fairly easy to navigate; and it has more-advanced
functions, such as the ability to calibrate for a custom color temperature
or according to ambient light conditions." For more information about
X-Rite/Monaco OPTIX XR products:

GretagMacbeth has just announced ProfileMaker version 5 Professional Color Management Solutions at PMA. Las Vegas, NV, February 4th, 2004. This is the largest and most significant announcement from GretagMacbeth since releasing the EyeOne product line a couple of years ago.

New ProfileMaker 5 software is now packaged in three vertically focused solutions: ProfileMaker Photostudio, Publish and Packaging. All three are profiling and editing compliant with version 4 ICC specifications and are projected to ship by end of March 2004.

Here are the highlights of each:

- ProfileMaker Photostudio includes LCD/CRT monitor calibration/profiling, RGB, CMYK, Hexachrome(r) and CMYK+Red/Blue output device profiling, enhanced Color Picker module, the newly reformulated Digital Camera Module and Digital ColorChecker SC (semi-gloss).

- ProfileMaker Publish includes LCD/CRT monitor calibration/profiling, RGB, CMYK, Hexachrome and CMYK+Red/Blue output device profiling, enhanced Color Picker and Measure Tool modules plus a new Adobe PhotoShop plug-in that supports multicolor separations and soft & hard-copy proofing. There are also new process control functions that enable working with gradation curves, dot gain and optical density measurements. Also includes new and extended gamut mapping capabilities and a new test chart generator with which users can generate custom test charts optimized for individual output devices.

- ProfileMaker Packaging was developed for packaging and textile printing applications. It includes all of the modules and other features included with ProfileMaker 5 Publish plus a new Multicolor module that supports a limitless n-color multi-color profile generation for up to 10 channels. Also included is a new generic output profiling technology that lets users replace inks in existing profiles instead of making new test charts and re-measuring/re-profiling to avoid times and costs of recreation of plates, cylinders etc. for new test charts. Instead, it is possible to take a spectral measurement of a new color and integrate it into an existing profile - a must for the packaging industry where colors change frequently.

Also new from GretagMacbeth is a New DeviceLink Module for ProfileMaker 5 that has a new Preserve Black function as well as Clean Black and Clean Primary options for RGB/CMYK workflows. It can automatically adopt ink coverages and tailor DeviceLink profile generation to specific needs. Inks can also be saved by redefining the separation data without losing the overall characteristics of a device. Projected to also ship by end of March.

Adobe Systems Incorporated announced a new Camera Raw plug-in for Photoshop(R) CS, extending raw file support to 14 additional digital camera models. Available as a free download from Adobe's Web site, the plug-in builds on the raw file functionality integrated in Photoshop CS, adding new support for digital cameras from leading manufacturers such as Fujifilm, Kodak, Leaf, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax and Sony. It can be downloaded for free by going to the Adobe Web site at




March 5-8 Professional Photographers of Oregon Convention & Trade Show at the Embassy Suites in Tigard, OR. For more information go to

March 8-10 OnDemand AIIM 2004 in New York City. The Digital Printing & Automated Production Event, ON DEMAND is the largest industry conference and exposition event for digital printing automated production, marketing and
communications, and IT professionals. Manage, produce, print, and deliver content that is personalized, timely and relevant: Understand the convergence of communications, digital printing, and automated production:
Optimize workflow for super-efficiency to drive down costs: Leverage technology to deliver lucrative value-added services.

March 13-16 Professional Photographers of Washington Conference & Trade Show at the Red Lion Inn in Olympia, WA. For more information go to

March 18th - The Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group
() will be having a User meeting on March 24th at
6:30PM at Hart/Dahlstrom Studio. The event is titled 'Back to Basics' and
will focus on the fundamentals of Color Management (again). This session is
intended to help re-focus those who have been practicing Color Management
and introduce sound fundamentals to those who are new to Color Management.
For more information or to RSVP:

March 29 - 31, 2004 VuePoint 2004. Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC.
VUE/POINT sessions are panel discussions exclusively composed of users and
industry peers who share first hand experiences.

June 17 - 19, 2004 Guttenberg Festival. Long Beach Convention Center, CA.
Now in its 32nd year, this annual Southern California event is the hot spot
for graphic design, digital prepress, printing, publishing converting and
digital equipment professionals. Over 200 exhibitors will be on-hand to
display products on over 60,000 net sq feet.

October 10 - 13, 2004 GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO at McCormick Place
South, Chicago, IL. This is the largest, most comprehensive prepress,
printing, converting and digital equipment trade show and conference in the

March 17-19, 2005 Graphic Arts 2005. Charlotte Convention Center, NC. This
recent trade show and conference brought in thousands of industry
professionals from the Southern USA. View the many highlights of the 2003
show edition and sign up to be reminded of the next show in Charlotte, NC.

September 9-15, 2005 PRINT '05 at McCormick Place Complex, Chicago, IL
Because of its mammoth size and international presence, PRINT occurs only
every four years and will take the place of GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO
in 2005.




Each month, our President Steve Upton will take time to answer questions
we receive on a regular basis. If you have specific questions or
comments, please see below for how to make submissions.

This Month - 5 More Color Management Myths

As there seems to be no end of strange color management advice offered these days, it seemed like a good idea to dispel a few more myths we've run across recently.

Please see ColorNews Issue #9 for the first 5 myths:

Myth #6: You need to be a color scientist to use color management

Not true! although it helps....

Seriously, color management still isn't quite at the "cookbook" stage - where you can just press buttons and it all works - but it is getting close. We regularly sell and install monitor calibrators, profiles and other color management gear in clients who don't really want to know too much about it - and they're happy with the results.

Those who have entered into the world of color management will agree that the water is very deep. There seems to be no limit to how much you can learn and how far you can go in the pursuit of "perfect color".

Rest assured though, you can get into color management and take control of your imaging without breaking either your bank account or your brain!

Myth #7: Setup Photoshop with your monitor profile as the working space.

While this seems to be happening less often as in the past, a recent article in a popular photo magazine article contained this dubious piece of advice.

If you set Photoshop to use your monitor profile as your working space, all new RGB documents will be created using your monitor profile as their gamut definition. This is a bad idea for a handful of reasons:

1. All colors will be limited to the gamut of your monitor. As all ColorThink users know, the gamut of your monitor (and sRGB for that matter) tends to be smaller than that of most output systems. Inkjets, presses and photographic output methods typically contain cyans, greens, yellows and even some reds and magentas that monitors cannot display. Photoshop 5 and later versions effectively disconnected your RGB file from your display, allowing non-displayable colors to pass through Photoshop and be printed. This is a good thing, don't undo it.

2. Each time your re-profile your display you will have a different working space. Color management is enough of a moving target without changing your working space every 2-4 weeks (you are re-profiling every 2-4 weeks right?).

3. Exchanging files with your monitor profile embedded will cause confusion. The reactions from people who receive files with embedded profiles range from "wha?" to "amateur!". As mentioned in past ColorNews newsletters, when you exchange files with other people you should convert to standard color spaces such as Adobe RGB (1998), sRGB and so forth. Refer to ColorNews issue #8

Myth #8: Use perceptual intent for all Photographic-style images

This falls in the "When in doubt, be very very safe" realm. All rendering in Photoshop 4 was relative colorimetric so any out-of-gamut colors were clipped. One of the benefits of Photoshop 5's inclusion of ICC technology was the availability of the perceptual rendering intent. Almost overnight, anyone who grasped ICC profile use was recommending the perceptual intent for photographic images and relative colorimetric for spot colors. In fact, some applications go as far as calling the perceptual intent the "photo" intent.

I think a little rendering intent background would help here...

When an ICC profile is calculated, the color conversions are "hard wired" into its internal tables. This means that the gamut-shrinking capabilities of the perceptual intent are built without any idea of any actual image content. It is a sort of "generic" conversion that is intended to work for any image.

Trouble is, if you have an image that is entirely in-gamut for your printer and you choose the perceptual intent, your image will be desaturated unnecessarily. The can range from a barely noticeable shift of near-neutrals to a significant dulling of saturated colors.

Configure Photoshop's Proof Setup with your printer profile. Then invoke the gamut warning (shift-command-Y Mac or shift-control-Y Win) prior to converting your file. If you see a bunch of out-of-gamut colors in important areas of your image, choose the perceptual intent when you print. If few colors seem affected, chances are that relative colorimetric (with black point compensation ON) is a better choice for your image.

Myth #9: The Saturation rendering intent sucks

"Use perceptual for shrinking your gamut in a friendly way, relative colorimetric for color accuracy and absolute colorimetric for proofing. Don't bother with saturation unless your doing business graphics like graphs"

This has been the line about rendering intents that has been passed around a lot. I have to admit that I had been one of the ones passing around until a few years ago when I started to actually test the saturation intent of profiles we were building.

Most profiling software creates the saturation rendering intent in the same manner as the perceptual intent. So the most likely time you will want to use it is if you are shrinking the gamut of your image and you want to retain details in out-of-gamut colors. In our experiments we've found that the saturation intent will map out-of-gamut colors to brighter and cleaner colors rather that more accurate ones. The color shifting performed by the saturation intent will differ between different profiling packages so your results may vary.

At any rate, if you are not satisfied by the saturation in your profile's perceptual rendering intent, give the saturation intent a try. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Myth #10: Profile Rot or "A good profile gone bad"

We build a lot of profiles here at CHROMiX and with the assumption of ProfileCity's profiling business we expect to build a lot more. A big part of building profiles for people is supporting them. It's something we feel differentiates us from the rest.

One question that seems to crop up regularly in our support team is that of the "freshness" of profiles. People call to ask how long their profile will last or to explain a problem and wonder if their profile has gone bad.

Profiles are hermetically sealed, antibacterial, non-fungal, disease resistant, fade-proof, rust-proof, colorfast little wonders. That is (I guess it needs to be said) they do not undergo any change as they sit on your hard drive and will not experience wear and tear even with years of use.

The devices they represent however, are a totally different matter. If your profile worked well one day and then poorly the next, something in the path to (or from) that device has changed. Most problems seem to arise from a change in consumables. Other common problems include updated software or a maintenance issue - like clogged inkjets with a printer.

When your print profile was first built, a certain CMYK/RGB combination produced a certain Lab color. All the profile knows is that relationship and if anything changes the color produced, then the profile is no longer appropriate for the printer.

There are some cases where all the testing of a profile was with a certain image type so the entire capability of the profile/device was never tested. A similar thing can occur when, for example, a CMYK profile is successfully used for proofing and months later, when the profile is used for separations, a problem shows up. In both these cases the flaw was always present in the profile and incomplete testing lead the user to believe it was a good profile when in fact it was not...


Well, that's another 5 myths. Even as I wrote this article I remembered new ones so keep a lookout for future issue to cover new and interesting color management misunderstandings. As always, feel free to send us some feedback or questions for future ColorNews newsletters.

Steve Upton
Feb, 2004


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