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CHROMiX ColorNews Issue #30 - Color Management Answers

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Type: ColorNews
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Welcome to ColorNews, a periodic update on things related to Color Management.
We strive for a newsletter of high value to our readers.
Please let us know your interests so we can address these concerns in future issues.

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

Issue # 30 January 29th, 2008


Table of Contents


1. CHROMiX News - - - - Maxwell.... it's here!!
2. Shows and Events
3. Color Industry News
4. Color Management Answers - an 'article' by Patrick Herold and Steve Upton
5. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale
6. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)

CHROMiX News - M A X W E L L is here!


Maxwell is now official!

Last week, after several months of private Beta testing, CHROMiX released the Public Beta version of Maxwell. Since announcing Maxwell in December 2006, much of our time and energy has been devoted to developing its infrastructure to be as robust and powerful as possible.

Maxwell is a web-based service that will allow you to evaluate and monitor the status of any device (that has web access) from any web browser, anywhere. Maxwell is a color management system based on a central web-enabled color repository. You can easily upload and download color measurements (free) and structure your data, users, devices and locations (also free). On top of the color repository, Maxwell offers device trending, profile sharing and measurement services. After the Public Beta period, Maxwell will be available initially for a low monthly subscription price of $50 per 10 Tracks. A Track is any item (printer, paper, monitor, etc.) whose activity you want to monitor. Also, Notifiers within Maxwell alert you when this item falls outside of tolerances or fails to meet certain requirements. Enhanced Analysis and Reporting can be generated for almost any data. There is much more to come!

If you feel your company is a good candidate to test and report Maxwell Beta results (good and bad), please contact us at maxwellbetatester(at) We expect the Beta period to last one to two months.

Interested in seeing Maxwell for yourself? We will be holding a free Maxwell Training Webinar regularly. If you're interested in attending, please send an RSVP email to this address:

ColorThink Pro Training:

The next ColorThink Pro Webinar Training session will be held February 13th at 11:00 AM PST (2:00 PM EST). The WebEx class, which consists of one two-hour session and one one-hour session, is taught by Steve Upton, designer and developer of ColorThink. The first two hours cover fundamental and intermediate use, and touch on some advanced concepts. The second session, held at a later date agreed upon by class attendees, focuses on advanced concepts and questions. The class is presented in this manner to allow plenty of hands-on time with the program before the final hour of training. Interested? All you need is a current browser, and ColorThink Pro. Pricing: $349 for the Webinar class, $598 if you need an upgrade from ColorThink to ColorThink Pro and $748 if you are starting from scratch (no upgrade) for the training and the whole ColorThink Pro program. For more information or to register, call sales at 866-CHROMiX x1, or email sales(at)

The next 'second session' or '3rd hour' focusing on the advanced aspects of ColorThink Pro will be held February 20th at 11:00 AM PST (2:00 PM EST). This event is for paid attendees who have attended the first ColorThink Pro training session, and need to finish their training. If you have attended a past 'first session' but not attended an advanced 'second session', you will be contacted before the event. If you have any questions or to RSVP contact sales at 866-CHROMiX x1, or email

Have you seen the new CHROMiX website yet? We've received tremendous feedback... thank you! It was redesigned using the latest technologies available in the hopes of giving you, our customers, a better overall experience. The new site is located on our server farm - the same server farm that hosts our new Maxwell color management system. Check it out and let us know what you think!




January 31st, 2008 - February 02, 2008 - PMA 08 International Convention and Trade Show, Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall - Las Vegas, Nevada USA. PMA is the leading international conference and trade show for photography. PMA 2008 hosts retail entrepreneurial memory makers from around the world, including photo retailers, professional photographers, mass merchandisers, professional labs, custom picture framers, scrapbook retailers and professional wedding and event videographers. The PMA 08 International Convention features more than 200 sessions, encouraging the discovery of more opportunities, professional development, and the inspiration to act on emerging trends. For more:

February 21st - 22nd, 2008, FOGRA Colour Management Symposium 2008 'Science Meets Color', Arabella Sheraton Conference Center , Bogenhausen, Munich, Germany. The main focus will be on the methods for capturing, color transformation and hard/softcopy output for RGB workflows. Simultaneous German/English interpreting. For more information:

March 11 - 12, 2008, 31st Global Ink Jet Printing Conference, Corinthia Grand Palace Hotel, Budapest , Hungary. Over 40 related industry speakers discuss a variety of ink jet industry issues and problems. To register:

April 2 - 4, 2008, Photoshop World, Orange County Convention Center South - Orlando, Florida USA. Considered the biggest and best show of everything Photoshop related. For more:

May 29 - June 11th, 2008, DRUPA 2008 - Dusseldorf, Germany. This is one of the world's most comprehensive conferences for the printing industry held every 4 years. For more information:

April - September, 2007, National Business Media is promoting a unique Three Shows in One approach in multiple cites this year. The shows are one day each 9for 3 days total) and are called: The Sign Business & Digital Graphics Show (The Show for Sign Makers and Digital Printing Professionals), The Printwear Show (The Show for the Business of Apparel Decorating) and The Awards & Custom Gift Show (The Show for Awards, Engraving, and Custom Gift Professionals). Cities involved are Charlotte, NC (April 10-12), Fort Worth, TX (May 8-10), Baltimore, MD (June 19-21), Long Beach, CA (July 17-19) and Indianapolis, IN (September 4-6).
For more information:


Color, Product & Industry News


Many people were not able to attend the 2007 PIA/GATF Color Management Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona this last December. While many topics were discussed, GRACoL/G7 seemed to be the central theme. CHROMiX was also there showing final aspects of Maxwell before it's world release. Although nothing beats a first hand experience at a great seminar, here is a link to many of the presentations from the event:
And the conference brochure:


Elie Khoury of Alwan Color Expertise was in Phoenix at the PIA/GATF Color Management Conference showing CMYK Optimizer version 3. CMYK Optimizer standardizes and optimizes files for more consistent reproducibility, saving time and especially materials. There are 4 different versions for each distinct market: Photo, Publish, Print and PrintGold. For more:

EIZO has introduced several new FlexScan LCD wide-screen models including the luxurious new SX3031W-BK which is their new 30" LCD (expected street price ~ $3250). EIZO is also introducing a 30" ColorEdge model CG301W-BK which should dazzle high end color users needing more screen space. The CG301W will have a street price ~ $5200 and should be shipping Mid-February. We saw a prototype of it in December at the Color Management Conference and were impressed. It's very likely EIZO could be setting the standard yet again. To see the new FlexScan SX series and existing ColorEdge monitors go to:
Eizo monitors

LaCie has announced the new 324, a 24" LCD graphics monitor that fulfills the dual needs for affordability and quality performance for both still and motion graphics. The 324 is a 16:10 aspect wide-screen that employs a S-PVA panel and 10-bit gamma correction. It has 1920x1200 max resolution, 400 cd/m2 max luminance and has a contrast ratio of 1000:1. The 324 falls into the expanded gamut range category and LaCie claims it is 95% of Adobe RGB. It's response time is 6ms, it has 2 HDMI ports ,1 DVI-D port, and touts something called DCDi¨ by Faroudja - a video enhancing technology. We're told it should be shipping any day now. Price is expected to be around $1159.

Just NormLicht was in Phoenix at the PIA/GATF Color Management Conference showing their Color Communicator2 TNG system. The Color Communicator2 has software that automatically adjusts the brightness of the viewing cabinet to match the image displayed on the monitor. The target brightness of the viewing cabinet is determined and later measured with the same measuring device. First. the monitor is calibrated using adJUST software. Then the software calculates the optimal adjustment and sets the Color Communicator2 via a USB interface accordingly. Everything occurs automatically: the user simply puts the measuring device on the monitor and then into the viewing cabinet. The result is that a soft proof on the monitor and the proof in the viewing cabinet look exactly the same. For more:

Sun Chemical was in Phoenix at the PIA/GATF Color Management Conference showing SmartColour Brand Color Management System. Sun has developed a new suite of tools including: SmartColour DigiBase (an optimized color digital library), SmartColour DigiGuides (digitally printed color guides), SmartColour DigiProofs and SmartColour iVue (a Photoshop plugin). For more:

ColorVision (DataColor) started shipping the Spyder3Pro, it's third generation of monitor calibrators. The new device touts state-of-the-art optical design, and the industry's only 7 detector color engine and largest light aperture for unrivaled performance. Available in different packages: Spyder3Pro, Spyder3Elite, Spyder3Print and Spyder3Studio. For more information:


Other TidBits


Lithium-ion Batteries and Travel:
------------------------------------------- The U.S. Department of Transportation revised lithium battery rules for air-travel: In an effort to clarify lithium battery transport rules and reduce/avoid short-circuiting, on January 1, 2008, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released a statement whose bottom line is: carry spare camera and laptop batteries in your carry-on, and NOT in checked luggage unless they are installed in the device itself. Digital SLR camera batteries and Laptop li-ion batteries should be fine. This does not apply to alkaline batteries.

From USA today: A light-hearted forecast for trends of 2008, from lifestyle to attitudes.


This Month's Feature Article:

Color Management Answers
(or at least where to try to find them)

by CHROMiX's Patrick Herold and Steve Upton


I spend a good portion of my day answering questions from customers who need information about color management, or how to use the color management tools they have. A reoccurring theme in these discussions is 'how complicated' color management is. It's true. Color management can be quite involved - but a lot depends on how deep you need to go to get the answers you need. You don't necessarily need to be a professor of color geekology. It is possible to read a twenty-minute article that will cover most of the bases for getting your desktop printer to match your computer display, for example. I realize that a lot of users of color management don't necessarily want to make it a full-time endeavor, that learning color management is really just a tool to get you closer to what you want - whether you are a professional photographer wanting accurate prints of your shots, or a press operator wanting to please your customers.

So the real question is "Where do I go to get the information I need without having to read an entire library of color science manuals?" This newsletter article is intended to offer some pointers for where to go to get accurate, quality advice and information that you can count on - without spending oodles of time or gobs of money on it.


You've already come across a great source for education. This is the 30th issue of the CHROMiX ColorNews newsletter, which means there are 29 back issues of these articles available on our CHROMiX website, or at the ColorWiki website. We try really hard to make these articles relevant and useful - real information that you don't already know but can really use. And we keep the language down-to-earth so that it is hopefully a little entertaining as well as educational. The ColorWiki site makes it easy to browse around and find an answer to topics you are interested in.

==Color Management Myths==

Useful to experts and novices alike, reading over our list of color management myths will give you a broad understanding of what common pitfalls you should look for. It's surprising how easily we can fall into some of these wrong ways of thinking. This is one of those "lots-of-good-information-in-a-short-amount-of-time" things you could read.

Would you (or someone you know) describe yourself as knowing "just enough color management to be dangerous?" Reading through and understanding the Color Management Myths will go a long way toward keeping yourself from being too dangerous. Originally part of the ColorNews articles, we have recently broken them apart in the ColorWiki so you can browse all 33 of these topics easily by subject. Some of the topics are getting dated, but others seem to keep cropping up. To read some of the more "popular" myths check out :
- #10 "Profile Rot" myth.
- #11 Printing a target to evaluate a profile.
- #26 Graphing tools provide the same results.

==Manufacturer's Support==

Most of the manufacturers of color management products will have support pages on their website, even if their live technical support personnel are unavailable or not helpful. And these sites often have good, general color management answers in addition to support for specific products.

The "Support" section of the X-Rite website has a wealth of articles designed to answer common questions. These are linked together with X-Rite products, so you first need to enter an X-Rite product name into the search engine to have it search for support documents.

For example, if I enter "i1Match" into the search engine, it returns 114 links to software downloads and common questions including:
- Free, downloadable training videos, showing how to calibrate monitors, set up Photoshop, etc.
- Differences between LCD and CRT monitors.
- How to handle dual monitors on Windows XP
- How often should I profile a monitor?

EIZO Nanao
EIZO has two good articles worth a look:
- Choosing the Right Monitors for a Color Management System:
- Monitor Calibration:


There are quite a few forums on the net. Whether they are a source of accurate information depends on which forum you're looking at and what people are involved. Businesses who maintain forums that support their products will generally be monitoring the content to make sure it is accurate.

ColorForums, sponsored by CHROMiX:

Integrated Color Corp., makers of ColorEyes products:

Lets Talk Print forum, sponsored by the PIA/GATF:

Luminous Landscape, a Photography forum:

ProPhoto Home, a Photography forum:

Many forums are free. In many cases, you can't expect a very detailed answer from volunteers who answer your particular query. But forums can be useful in furthering your general information about color management, where the industry is going, who is doing what.

The Colorsync User's List has evolved over the years to go beyond Apple's Colorsync application, and has become a highly respected forum where the top color geeks around the world discuss color management, and thousand of others subscribe to the list just to read what they have to say.


Here are some web sites by industry veterans:

Andrew Rodney has an extensive library of pdf's covering many aspects of color management and Photoshop tips and tutorials. For example, there is a 4-page "Color Management Primer" that explains the history of, and why we have and need, color management. His opinions are informed and objective.


Bruce Lindbloom's site is more technical in nature. This is where you go when you want to know the math and the calculations that go into various aspects of color. The Info section has some evaluations and test images.


The foremost description of how to profile a scanner is on the Hutchcolor site, under the HCT section.
See the Free section for color management notes & test targets and images.



Real World Color Management by Bruce Fraser, Chris Murphy, and Fred Bunting.
This is often considered the 'bible' of color management.

Understanding Color Management, Dr. Abhay Sharma
One of the best books anywhere at demystifying color management in an easy to read, easy to understand format. Dr. Abhay Sharma explains the basics of color science and color measurement, and provides an in-depth look at the range of measuring instruments available to the end-user. He explains (ICC) profiles and uses (ICC) profiles for procedures for profiling scanners, digital cameras, computer monitors, inkjet printers, and printing presses.

Measuring Color - 3rd Edition, R.W.G. Hunt
This third edition contains the latest developments in the theory and practice of measuring colour. It also has a extensive Appendices that provide a review of photometric measures and tables of data necessary for colour computations, and a glossary of terms and full index.

Practical Color Management, Eddie Tapp
This book has simple but strong emphasis on color managing photography.

Microsoft Windows XP Color Management, Color Management in Mac Os X, both books (and others) by Joshua Weisberg
Josh Weisberg is a well respected writer and one who tackles OS level issues and topics.

==Quick Links to interesting things:==

Photographer Bob Johnson compares color management to setting your clocks: (1 page)

Ethan Hansen of Dry Creek Photo has written good, very readable articles on color management. He also has interesting comparisons between different calibration products and other advice worth checking out:

The Pacific Northwest Color Management User's group site has several free pdfs including Chris Murphy's popular "Introduction to Color Management" series. (medium length)

LaCie provides a short color management white paper that explains the scientific foundation for color and how that relates to computer displays. (3 pages)

Western Michigan University publishes a review of ICC profile-making software. Back issues are free, and the latest issue is $10.


Finally, and at the risk of patting ourselves on the back, one of the things CHROMiX is known for is its great customer support. CHROMiX will be here to help you navigate that sea of color management information and misinformation. When you are looking for a voice that you can depend on for accurate and reliable information, put forth in a way that is easy to understand, give us a call.

We know there are other sources for information on the web. This list was not intended to be exhaustive. Instead we hope it is an effective summary of our favorites in a size that isn't too daunting.


Thanks for reading,

-Patrick Herold and Steve Upton



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Entire Contents of CHROMiX ColorNews (c)2007 CHROMiX, Inc. CHROMiX, ColorThink, ColorNews, ColorSmarts, ColorGear, ColorForums and are trademarks of CHROMiX Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. CHROMiX ColorNews is intended as an informative update to CHROMiX customers and business associates. We are not responsible for errors or omissions.