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CHROMiX ColorNews Issue #40 - Photo Books

SmartNote: 50114
Type: ColorNews
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Welcome to ColorNews, a periodic update on things related to Color Management.
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C H R O M i X C O L O R N E W S

Issue # 40
December 3rd, 2009


Table of Contents


1. CHROMiX News - Curve2! Virtual Press Run, CurveCore, Maxwell, DisplayWatch and ColorValet Pro
2. Shows and Events
3. Color Industry News
4. Forum Topics, etc.
5. Tech Notes #1, #2, and #3
6. Photo Books - an article by Pat Herold
7. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale **See our USED spectrophotometer Sale**
8. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)




And here's.... Curve2 !!

Curve2 - the new version of IDEALink Curve - has shipped!!!

Now, the details:


IDEALink Curve, a joint-development between (CHROMiX) and HutchColor, ushered in the age of G7 calibration and helped propel it into a mainstream press calibration technique that is the basis for today's North American characterization colors in GRACoL #1, SWOP #3 and SWOP #5 (and more to follow). We've been working on the underlying technology and new features for almost two years now. The results are worth the wait.

Over 50 new functions and features have been added to Curve2. A new document format holds a series of press runs in a single file, allowing Curve2 to double check run-to-run consistency, check how well a run meets G7 metrics, and base one set of curves on another. Iterative tuning becomes as simple as selecting the previous run. The accuracy of the underlying algorithms is also significantly improved.

Graphing has seen a complete redesign. Curve 1.1 users will be happy to see that all Curve2 graphs have integrated zoom, pan and expansion tools. You can view Curve2's corrections vs control points and optimize the control points sent to the RIP for the most effective corrections possible.

Curve2 can now export some important formats such as device link profiles, Photoshop(tm) curves, text files and RIP configuration files. Curve2 can also display the "Measured" percentages required by some RIPs, instead of the more common "Wanted" percentages.

As a surprise to some users, Curve2 can also calculate ISO-standard TVI curves instead of G7 curves. TVI calibration was the number one request from European users. Including both methods allows users to compare the TVI and G7 methods of calibration and makes Curve2 a more flexible tool.

There are too many features to list here so please visit the new Curve2 section of our website for more information, pre-release sales and upgrade details:

We would also like to express our many thanks to the valuable beta testers that helped test Curve2. Without these folks, Curve2 would have been further delayed.

Finally, we've created a technical forum devoted especially to Curve2 and IDEALink Curve: Curve2/forum

This will be the main place to get support, answers and discuss any issues for Curve or Curve2. The forum is free to all users.

Virtual Press Run (VPR):

G7-calibrating a press requires multiple, dedicated press runs right? Not any more.

Our VPR technology has been under development for more than two years so we're excited to finally reveal this powerful new tool. The environmental and financial impact will benefit small and large printers alike and we expect the ROI to be realized on the very first job.

Without VPR, obtaining a press profile from a G7-calibrated press requires at least two press runs; one with null plate curves to calculate the G7 calibration curves, and a second to print the profiling target through the resulting plate curves to profile the press.

VPR typically eliminates the need for the second press run. The G7 curves calculated from the first run are applied mathematically to the profiling target measurements of the first run, producing measurements that appear as if they were produced on a second "virtual" run. The savings can be huge. The first press run can be used to print on a number of different paper types. If VPR eliminates the second runs for each paper, one press run might be all that's needed to G7-calibrate a group of papers.

Virtual Press Run is an add-on module to Curve2. VPR has now entered beta testing and should ship in January-February timeframe.

CurveCore Development Kit:

CurveCore is a new toolkit enabling developers and manufacturers to include G7 curve calculation and evaluation in their products.

In response to numerous requests, we are now making the core technology inside Curve2 available for integration into new and existing Graphic Arts products like RIPs, printer drivers, workflow solutions and analysis software. To a developer, licensing CurveCore means shorter development times and virtually no research costs, because the complex gray balance and curve fitting algorithms inside the original IDEAlink Curve software have already had three years of practical field testing in hundreds of end user sites. The core algorithms have been further enhanced for even greater accuracy and functionality in Curve2.

Another benefit of licensing CurveCore is that IDEALink Curve is the defacto G7 reference implementation, so G7 conformance testing or certification should go very smoothly. We will ensure that Curve2 passes IDEAlliance's planned G7 conformance testing, so any application using CurveCore should also pass as long as developers follow the SDK development procedures.

Our friends at SpotOn! Press have already announced support for CurveCore, announcing this week that their SpotOn pressroom monitoring and trending tool will include CurveCore's G7 curve calculation capabilities in a future add-on module.



Curve2: A webinar demonstrating Curve2 and discussing its many new features is scheduled for Tuesday December 15th, 2009 at 11:00 am Pacific US. Send an email to webinars(at) and we'll send you connection information. If you've responded about previous Curve2 webinars, you'll get notification about this one as well.

Full press releases:

Curve2 PR/curve2
Virtual Press Run PR/VPR
CurveCore SDK PR/CurveCore

MAXWELL, ColorShuttle, and DisplayWatch:

Have you ever wished that you could be automatically notified when your monitor needs calibration or, more importantly, when it is out of tolerance?
Or do you need the ability to ensure users calibrate their monitor on a regular basis? Or be notified if they have not calibrated?
Or, would you like to know if your customers' Remote Proofing monitor is out of tolerance?
Then DisplayWatch is the perfect solution for you and is now in final testing.

DisplayWatch is the unique combination of Maxwell and ColorShuttle applied to a monitor instead of a printer. ColorShuttle interacts with your system and monitor to accumulate every calibration made, and automatically uploads each file into a Maxwell 'Track'. Then, notifiers (that you set) will let you know when the monitor is out of tolerance. And much more...

Overview of the latest Maxwell features:
- DisplayWatch for monitor tracking (New!)
- Immediate print verification with Pass/Fail calculations and reporting in ColorShuttle client (New!)
- Pass/Fail Reporting and Labeling (New!)
- Customizable Labels (New!)
- Long Term Trending Reporting & Graphing
- Notification of Tolerance Failures
- Streamlined measurement process (4 clicks from measure to label)

For complete Maxwell product information, go to

If you'd like to register for a free one month trial Track, email us at or call CHROMiX Sales at (866) CHROMiX ext 1.
Find out for yourself how easy it is to use, and how much time and money it can save you.

For users, check out the discussion area for Maxwell and ColorShuttle:

Our top PROFILING services compared: ColorValet Pro and ColorValet Print (Which one is right for you?)

ColorValet Pro ($199 for 18 months):
- UNLIMITED profiles for ONE RGB-controlled printer
- Access to other profiles for your printer via ColorPool
- A free Maxwell Track for 1 paper
- A quick and easy-to-use submission target for the 'Tracked' paper
- Trending Report for the 'Tracked' paper for performance or conformance
- Email Notification of Tolerance Failure for the 'Tracked' paper
- Support via Email, Forum, ColorWiki
For more information about ColorValet Pro go to: ColorValet Pro


ColorValet Print ($99 for each profile, $396 for 5-pack, $699 for 10-pack):
- RGB or CMYK profile
- Highest quality
- Money Back Guarantee
- Deep-Color measuring
- Full CHROMiX Support (Phone, Email, WebEx, Forum, ColorWiki)
For more information about ColorValet Print go to: ColorValet Print

The website includes a comprehensive FAQ that should answer all your questions. We've also created a matrix to help differentiate between ColorValet Print and ColorValet Pro ColorValet pro compare

PRICE MATCHING POLICY: Through the years, many people have purchased 3rd party color management products from CHROMiX because of the additional value that CHROMiX provides (pre-sales advice, post-sales help, support, and a fabulous sense of humor). In most cases, we've been able to price match (or come close) if asked. We never want price to be an issue if you want to buy from CHROMiX. In an effort to make this policy more visible, we've added a 'Price Matching Policy' star burst near the price for most 3rd party items for sale on our website. If you have any questions, call us toll free at (866) CHROMiX, ext 1.




December 6th-8th, 2009, Printing Industries of America (PIA) presents the 11th Annual Color Management Conference, The Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix, AZ. Attendees include beginners to experts for this ALL color management only conference. New this year: a Full Digital Track (color management for printers) produced by the Digital Printing Council, a Pre-Conference Session focusing on color management processes for sheetfed, flexography, web printers, and finally a Pre-Conference Annual Off-Site Photo Shoot for both beginners and experts. CHROMiX will be attending as both a vendor and with Steve Upton as a speaker at this event. PLEASE STOP BY OUR BOOTH AND SAY HELLO!
For more details or to register colormanagement conference

January 21st, 2010, 6:30 - 9:00 PM at The Oregonian, Downtown Portland, OR, the Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group hosts 'Digital Camera Profiling' presented by past CMUG advisor Michael Neumann. Michael is an expert on camera profiling and has countless hours of what works and what doesn't work (products, DCs, processes). Attendees are invited to bring your digital camera as Michael also gives some real life walk-throughs of some important functionalities. Event to be held at 6:30 PM at The Oregonian, Portland, OR. Members $10, non-members $20. For RSVP and more information: PNWCMUG

January 18th-20th, 2010, Premedia Spectrum 2.0, at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club, Naples, Fla. This event is a merging of the Gravure Association of America's Premedia conference and IDEAlliance's Spectrum360 conference. This new event addresses the convergence of premedia across multichannel digital supply chains.
WhatTheyThink Article: Premedia Spectrum

January 23rd - 24th, 2010, Photo Partners, LLP presents Navigate Photography Seattle, Lynnwood Convention Center. A conference focused on photography issues for both professionals and amateurs alike. Steve Upton and Pat Herold will be featured speakers for both Saturday and Sunday. CHROMiX will also have a booth exhibiting. Hope to see you there. Navigate Photography Seattle

> February 25th - 26th, 2010, FOGRA Colour Management Symposium, Konferenzzentrum Sheraton Muenchen Arabellapark, Germany. Our very own Steve Upton of CHROMiX will travel to Germany to be a guest speaker at this event.

February 25th-27th, 2010, Graphics of the Americas, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, FL. Presented by GAIN. ==================================================

Color, Product & Industry News


Apples mini-DisplayPort video connector was adopted and ratified by the VESA board:
Hopefully this will cause more rapid development and adoption of DisplayPort.

Apple seeded third Mac OS X 10.6.2 beta and then released 10.6.2 later:

Eizo released version 5.3 of its Color Navigator calibration software (which allows full hardware level calibration for its ColorEdge series). Version 5.3 is Snow Leopard and Windows 7 compatible. One particular feature called Light Box Brightness Adjustment integrates an Eizo ColorEdge series model with the JUST USB Interface and allows direct control of an JUST Normlicht Color Communicator 2 light booth. This combined technology allows for a much more accurate screen to proof color matching by closely matching the light box's brightness to the desired target value of the monitor. For more details:

Microsoft launches the much anticipated Windows 7. Early reports are very good.

Pantone released myPANTONE iPhone application

X-Rite released ColorChecker PassPort this last quarter. $99 introductory price. We love this product and it really works well.
Press release:
Seth Resnicks 'Overview' video:
Buy at CHROMiX:

X-Rite Announces Out-Of-The-Box ISO 12647-2 and G7 Support for 500 Series Handheld Spectrodensitometers
!See Trade-In Ad above.

X-Rite continues to lose less money:


Forum TOPICS, Random Findings, Recommended Readings, Etc.:


Using ColorThink Pro for the analysis, Earl Robicheaux illustrates the rendering differences between Lightroom and Capture One Pro.
Valuable information and an excellent usage of ColorThink Pro.

Francisco Inchauste has written a great article worth reading: 'Color: The Next Limited Resource?'
Check it out:

On the X-Rite i1Display2 website:
It seems that the initial releases of Apple's Snow Leopard operating system, versions OSX10.6 and OSX 10.6.1 at least, do not support ICC version 4 profiles.
For checking applications for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility, check this website out:

Regarding the 'Pantone for my iPhone' app, Eddy Hagan at The Flemish Innovation Center for Graphic Communication (VIGC) did a review of it and shreds it.
For more reasons than just the screen too.
It's mentioned here: thedigitalnirvana
The study is discussed in more detail here:

For those that couldn't make Print09 in September, here is a quick overview:



TECH Notes #1: Turning Off Color Management in Mac OS X ColorSync - Pat Herold


CHROMiX has found that certain combinations of Epson printers with Photoshop and the Mac operating systems have a problem ensuring that color management is turned off. In this condition, even when the settings say that color management is off, there is still some color conversion going on "behind the scenes." Ironically the way to fix this is to intentionally put a certain profile into place in Colorsync.

This is a vital issue to check if you are creating profiling targets (through ColorValet Profiling Service or our ColorShuttle software), or are printing through Photoshop (and want to be sure that your printer profile is the only conversion happening.) For a Photoshop-specific work-around, see Tech Note #2 below.

Here are step-by-step instructions:


1) Open the ColorSync utility inside the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder.
2) Click on the Devices button, expand the Printers list, and find the printer you are using in the list.
3) Expand the list under the printer you are using. With Epson drivers, you will see listed some profiles representing different paper types. One of these will represent the media type you are using. It will most likely be the default or current profile. (Hit "expand all" if necessary.)
4) Click on the Current Profile: (>) arrowhead, Choose "Other...", and browse to find and choose the "Generic RGB.icc" profile. This profile is usually found here: HD/System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/
Note also that the default profile indication will not change in the 'Registered ColorSync devices' window, but the current profile will be changed to reflect the new Generic RGB profile.

This procedure works on all Mac operating systems BEFORE Snow Leopard (10.6). --> As of Snow Leopard and following OS's, follow same procedure as above but choose the "sRGB profile" in step #4 instead of "GenericRGB". <--


TECH Notes #2: Printing Without Color Management through Photoshop using Mac OS X ColorSync


Mark Dubovoy recently posted a work-around in Luminous Landscape which solves the problem of how to print a profiling target without color management. This work-around accomplishes the same result as Tech note #1 above, but specifically uses Photoshop instead of ColorSync. Mark provides excellent background and walk-through of the process. Here is a link to his solution:


TECH Notes #3: A ColorThink Solution: How can I extract P2P information from a profile? - Steve Upton


A customer asked this question recently, so we wanted to share this with others:

- open the P2P text file into ColorThink. It will open into the Color Worksheet.
- drop your profile onto the list of numbers (or click the "+" sign and open it from there)
- if CTP asks about replacing / etc choose "Assign" to replace the Lab values in the file with those from the profile.
- select abs col as the rendering intent
- click the popup above the list and select "save"
- select "Source" and "Destination" & save.

that's it. Any CMYK/RGB CGATS text file (all the reference files from ProfileMaker etc) can be used to generate Lab values from any profile. Then you can graph them, apply additional profiles, etc, etc.


This Month's Feature Article:

Photo Books


A few years ago a revolution happened.
Almost all of the people who used to shoot photographic film in their cameras all switched to digital cameras within a few years. Revolutions have a way of upsetting industries, and many of the large companies that specialized in film development have closed or found a way to change with the times. People in the industry saw it coming of course. In the beginning, digital cameras were expensive and had fairly small mega pixel counts. But it was easy to see where the trend was going. The idea among industry heads was that yes, it was pretty cool to see your images on a computer screen, but deep down inside everybody will want a piece of paper to hold. Everybody is going to want to print these digital images and all the people in the "film developing" business can just switch over to the "prints from memory card" business.

Then a funny thing happened. Nobody printed. We all got our point-and-shoots and happily clicked away, seldom feeling the need to print the images out - so long as we could feel assured that we had them somewhere. In fact, since we could take so many more pictures digitally than we ever did with film, we certainly didn't want to print all those pictures and just add to the pile of shoeboxes in our closet. In addition, Moore's law contributed to the equation. Just about the time our memory card was getting full, along would come a new generation of cards with 2 or 4 times the memory of the last card.

The industry tried to encourage the consumer to print more. There was a price war among online photofinishers. 10 years ago, you would have paid 50 cents to make a 4x6 reprint from film. Today you can get an online 4x6 for less than 10 cents. We even reminded people that printing your digital images is a form of backup which very few of these new digital shooters are doing. Unless you back up your images, the memory cards could become corrupted, and you'd loose it all. Even so, actual 4x6 printing of digital images is today a fraction of what people expected it to be.

Then about 5 years ago, the ability to use digital presses to print variable data had advanced to the point where they could be pulled into service to print consumer images. This has taken the form of stationery, personalized greeting cards, and in particular: photo books. These books are printed on some form of digital press, and can come in a variety of shapes and sizes - from 5x7 paperbacks for about $10 to very high quality hardbound books at $70 or more.

This is getting to be a popular item and there are a lot of uses for these books:
- A gift book for Christmas or birthdays showing what the family has done during the year.
- A very nice gift book for a present any time of year, which can be easily re-ordered if others want one too.
- A portfolio book which a photographer can use to demonstrate his work.
- A way to document club activities, family reunions, birthdays, vacation memories, funerals, memorials, etc.
- A proof sheet. (For about $10 you can make a paperback book that can be easily populated with over 40 pictures in a 20- page format.)

A great number of online companies offer these photo books.

Some of these companies started out as online digital print providers (Snapfish, Kodak Gallery, PhotoWorks) and have added photo books to their line of products. Some do this as their main product (My Publisher, Blurb). Some do all their own production in-house (Shutterfly), and some interface closely with an outside printer to handle the actual fulfillment of the books (Snapfish and Lulu are printed by outside printers.)

Don't be put off by a service that uses an outside printer. Many of these are "vertically integrated" with their printers. The customer service rep you talk to can tell you at what stage your book is in the process in the lab, and can even pull up a report on how accurate the press was that your book was printed on.

The book building process takes different forms. MyPublisher and Blurb have client software to download onto your own computer which walks you through the process of organizing the files for the book. Then, when it is complete, the client program uploads your book to their website and they take over from there. Other companies that specialize in storing your online images have a web-based wizard that walks you through the process. In either case, the idea is the same: Figure out what pictures you want on which pages, what text you want to go with the pictures, what "theme" your book will take - the colors and graphic elements that accentuate your images. It pays to figure out what works best for you, since this process of populating the book tends to take the most time.

You will also have a lot of choices to make. With the book covers, you can choose from soft (paper) cover, soft (pillow-like) hard cover, hardcover with a customized die cut window in the front, or a paper "dust cover" for the really nice hardcover books. The better companies will score the dust cover slightly to make it easier to fold onto the book. This makes a bigger difference that you think!

Here are a few practical issues to discuss when looking to make a photo book:

Do they have a variety of designs? Do you like the designs they offer? Some companies specialize in graphics that are tasteful and attractive for many occasions. These designs can greatly enhance the overall impression of the book for those who receive it. It's not just pasting pictures on a page. Do they allow for you to control your design? Submit your own graphics? What level of customization is available to you?

Color Management Questions:

Do they accept embedded profiles? Most photo books are intended for the average point-and-shoot consumer, and so most of these companies expect all images to be in the sRGB working space. If an untagged image (an image without a working space profile embedded in it) is to be printed, it will be considered in the sRGB color space. Some book manufacturers honor embedded profiles. A few honor the AdobeRGB working space and handle it appropriately through the workflow. Since the vast majority of photo books are printed using short-run, variable-data HP Indigo presses, there can be a gamut limitation depending on what you're expecting. The sRGB working space is adequate to define most of the colors these printers can print. The only exception is with saturated greens and cyans. If you are printing a photo book with a lot of greens and cyans, and full saturation is important to you, look for a company that will honor AdobeRGB images. AdobeRGB fully encompasses all the colors these printers can print.

Can they supply you with a printer profile ahead of time so you can "soft-proof" what your images will look like? (Hint: Some companies will supply you with a "SWOP" profile which has a rather constricted gamut, for the express purpose of allowing you to be pleasantly surprised when you receive the actual book!)

Finally, when you get your book, check your binding. Are the book blocks sewn and glued, or glued only? Are the pastedown end leaves (attaching the pages of the book to cover) applied neatly and square to the corners? Did the handlers use gloves? There's nothing quite as disappointing as seeing your new book with fingerprint smudges on a shiny black dust cover surface.

If everybody likes your book, can you order more for the rest of the family? Will they look the same? Are there controls in place to ensure that the subsequent books look the same?

Some players in this business are putting together a Digital Color Consortium. Reischling Press in Seattle formed this Consortium last June as an effort to standardize best practices and workflows between the folks who offer photo books on-line and the print service providers that print them. A website is reportedly in the works, but was not posted at the time of this article.

(Thank-You to Rick Bellamy and Henrik Christensen of RPI, Inc. for their contribution to the content of this article.)

Thanks for reading,

Patrick Herold

Don't forget, you can discuss this article and anything else from this newsletter in


There is much more information on these subjects in our ColorNews archives in previous articles and color management myths, so check out the Reserved Articles section of for more information.


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Entire Contents of CHROMiX ColorNews (c)2009 CHROMiX, Inc. CHROMiX, Maxwell, 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. You may not copy or reuse any content from this newsletter without written permission from CHROMiX, Inc.