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Color Management 101: Printer Consistency

Color Management 101 - Printer Consistency

Let’s be honest, no printing device is truly consistent. Print variance is inevitable. While minor variation over the course of weeks is normal, what you should be concerned with is either a sudden change outside the normal variation or a slow degradation over time. Some variation is mechanical in nature, like a print head getting clogged, and some variation comes from external variables such as temperature and humidity.

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Color Management 101: Process Control

Color Management - Process Control

When was the last time you spent hours selecting colors on your screen for a project to then send it to print and have your colors come out looking totally different? Color management is the key to keeping your color consistent. Companies who invest in managing their color workflows will quickly reap the benefits of accurate color, less waste and higher productivity!  
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What is a RIP and should you be printing with one?

What is a Raster Image Processor (RIP)

A computer and printer speak different languages. The computer language needs to be translated to the printer language so the final print matches what is on the computer screen. If you were to travel to China without knowing Chinese you would need a translator to communicate with the locals. If your artwork does not have a translator for its trip through the printer, the final result could be very unexpected and costly.

Technically speaking, a RIP is software used in a printing workflow. It produces a raster image also known as a bitmap from a page description language such as PostScript, Portable Document Format, XPS or another bitmap of higher or lower resolution than the output device. The bitmap is then sent to a printing device for output.

  • Quick Tip: What is the difference between raster and vector images?

    • Raster images are made of pixels and are a set resolution. Photographs and scans are raster images.
    • Vector images are made of points, lines, and mathematical formulas. Certain logos and illustrations are vector images.
    • Postscript is used by applications like InDesign, Quark and Illustrator to describe the
      page (art) that has been created. Art from these applications can contain both raster
      and vector images.

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