By Cassandra Balentine
Many print providers use a variety of equipment to remain competitive. However, with multiple vendors and printers, attention to detail—including color—is critical.
Established in 1992, Ryan Printing Inc. is a print solutions provider offering offset, digital, wide format, and fulfillment services. With the help of 25 employees, the shop targets a local customer base, spanning NY, NJ, and CT, but also attracts large corporations with a national and international reach. Based out of a 40,000 square foot facility Blauvelt, NY, the company serves a variety of customers, including advertising agencies, independent marketers, and small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations, non profits, and industries such as real estate, publishing, banking, beverages, and fashion.
“We are always looking to make our clients’ jobs easier,” say Alfred Ryan, president; Peter Nix, account executive; and Mark Halpin, account executive, Ryan Printing Inc. “One way to do this is to provide as many services as possible in one location. When they don’t have to look for multiple sources, it is much easier for them and we find our customers really appreciate that.”
Among its product portfolio, the company operates a Heidelberg Speed Master CX102 five color plus coater offset press, an HP Indigo digital production press, a Xerox iGen 150 digital press featuring 14×26 inch sheets, and HP Designjet Z6200 and HP Scitex FB500 wide format printers.
With a diverse range of equipment and clientele, color management is a critical component of the business. The company is G7 certified and is able to ensure consistency across its devices.
“Color is always critical, even if it is just pleasing color,” suggest Ryan, Nix, and Halpin. “We’ve invested heavily in color technology to make sure what we print meets all expectations.”
In terms of color matching, the team understands how important it can be to a brand and they take extra steps to ensure the most accurate color reproduction as possible, whether printing on an offset or digital device.
To obtain predictable color, the shop looks to its Heidelberg Prinect color management solution, which transfers color data from prepress directly to the press console. “This brings us within industry standard color tolerances very quickly. We then make minor adjustments on the fly to match a particular proof or Pantone color,” note Ryan, Nix, and Halpin.
On the digital side, the company says both its HP Indigo and Xerox iGen presses can match Pantone colors to within 90 to 95 percent accuracy. “This is at a fraction of the cost for shorter runs as compared to offset printing,” they state. “This works for most of our customers.”
Ryan, Nix, and Halpin explain that achieving color consistency is a matter of discipline. It is important to follow the same process on each job, making sure that plates, digital presses, and other equipment are properly maintained. “Our plates are calibrated to our offset presses based on testing in collaboration with Heidelberg service technicians. Our digital presses are served routinely and have built-in color calibration software that works to ensure accurate reproduction from job to job, month by month. We save color curves that are job specific when necessary, and can call in the color curve anytime the job repeats,” they share.
G7 certification qualifies the company’s color management claims. The shop turned to G7 a couple of years ago with the installation of its Heidelberg CX press, along with all of its front-end color management capabilities through Heidelberg Prinect. “The certification just affirms what we’ve been doing for many years, which is making sure color are consistent to customers’ standards and from job to job for both offset and digital jobs,” state Ryan, Nix, and Halpin.
The team says the G7 certification allows new customers to be confident in the organization’s process and its attention to critical details so that they don’t have to worry about whether they are taking color concerns seriously. ”We always have and always will, it’s what we do,” they state.
Color in Action
To illustrate their attention to color, Ryan, Nix, and Halpin recall a recent job for SolarImpulse, a new customer that wanted to create a “newspaper-y magazine” look and feel for a log book meant to document the historic around-the-world flight of its solar-powered plane.
The job required 3,000, 44-page plus cover 8.5×11-inch booklets. For finishing, the books were saddle stitched.
This particular job was best suited for its offset equipment, and was produced using the Heidelberg CX102-5 and Heidelberg Prinect Software. For paper, they chose Soporset 60# Smooth text to achieve the desired look and feel.
Ryan, Nix, and Halpin admit that color reproduction can be difficult on uncoated text sheets due to dot gain, paper opacity, and ink absorption into the paper, which could create drying issues. “With Heidelberg Prinect software controlling the color settings on press, we are able to get the best possible reproduction based on the defined paper substrate, even when the paper itself is less than ideal for high-end color printing.”
Ryan, Nix, and Halpin say one challenge for this particular job was to print the color imagery as well as possible while projecting the newspaper-y magazine look and feel the client was going for without showing a contract color proof to the customer. The team says the job’s tight turnaround requirements were challenging and forced reliance on PDF proofing only. “We knew we would rely on the color management software to yield the best results,” they attest. “The color management software ensures the most accurate reproduction possible based on a supplied, print-ready PDF and adjustments are made based on the uncoated paper used in final printing,” says the team.
The entire job took about seven days from submission to delivery.
Delivering on Color
Hybrid print environments often aim to offer a one-stop shop for customers. However, convenience can’t be undermined for quality. Ryan Printing relies on its color management software and skills to deliver quality output no matter what equipment is used for production. DPS
Jul2016, DPS Magazine