By Olivia Cahoon
Color management is an essential component of a successful print operation. With improved digital color capabilities, print providers are held continually to a higher standard for color matching.
Meyers is a print services company that designs and manufactures a range of printed output including signs, labels, cards, and three-dimensional displays to support retail marketing. Based in Minneapolis, MN, the company was founded in 1949 as a small print shop. It has evolved to a 250,000 square foot print provider offering flexographic, lithographic, digital print, and assembling and kitting capabilities. It employs a staff of 200.
Above: Meyers is a print services company that designs and manufactures a range of printed output to support retail marketing.
With a focus on promotions, labels, and wide format signage, color is especially important to Meyers. The company operates a Durst Rho P10, Inca Onset X3, HP Indigo, and MPS/Domino SymJet to meet its digital production needs.
Managing a range of technologies can be difficult for color-critical campaigns. To help assure its customers of its color expertise, the company recently received its 12th consecutive year of G7 Master Qualification from Idealliance.
G7 is a well-known standard that helps promote color confidence for the print provider and customer alike. There are three levels of compliance for G7 Master Qualification—G7 Grayscale, G7 Targeted, and G7 Colorspace. The organization says these levels demonstrate G7 Master capabilities by specified print condition and offer in-depth levels of distinction for G7 Master Printers around the globe. According to Idealliance, G7 Master Qualification is granted to a physical facility, equipment, or system. Qualification is valid for one calendar year and must be renewed annually.
“Receiving our G7 Master Qualification yearly is not only important to our customers, but also to our internal customers. Being a G7 Master Printer shows our customers that we care about the way that their brands and products are displayed for everyone to see,” offers Josh Schiro, prepress manager, Meyers. “We want to make sure that we are producing the color expected by our customers on every job and across our presses. Implementing the G7 process helps our press operators achieve good color balance and consistency,” he adds.
For Meyers, color management doesn’t really differ by device. “We have a linear output that you adjust curves or profiles so where device points to the specification you want,” explains Schiro.
Some of the biggest challenges the company faces in terms of color management is day-to-day variables such as temperature, humidity, stock, presses, and inks, as each has a significant impact on the overall process.
The company relies on good, calibrated spectrophotometers. “We use a combination of press variation software—including ChromaChecker and PressSign—on press,” offers Schiro. “This software is critical in making sure that our teams dial in to their press so they can print within the color specification and G7.”
Walking the Talk
While the company is confident in its color capabilities, the proof is in the pudding. Schiro walks us through a recent job where the customer required it to match many different spot colors. “For us to hit those on a digital press, color management is very important. We need to make sure that the press is calibrated every day and the color profiles are built correctly,” he explains. “We take daily readings to ensure the press is printing properly and the color management profiles are still correct.”
Customer files go through multiple RIPs, which require proper, built-in color management settings. This ensures the files come out consistent whether they are proofing or printing. “We use one type of spectrophotometer to confirm the press is printing correctly and another to compare the spot colors back to the master,” adds Schiro.
For this particular job, Meyers used the GMG RIP to manage color. It was then managed at press using press profiles so the final product matched the customer proof.
With a variety of service offerings focused on brand promotion, Meyers takes color management seriously. The company utilizes a range of tools to ensure proper color matching across a range of technologies. As a G7 Master shop, customers are easily able to trust that their color is well represented and reproduced correctly.
Mar2020, DPS Magazine