Color Me Successful
Implementing a color management system will require you to work with more than one vendor, but the payoffs include material cost savings, color-consistent products and improved customer satisfaction.
by Caroline Miller
THE DECISION to implement a color management system was a no-brainer for Multi-Visual Products' owner Craig Graves. The Murrieta, Calif.-based company—which prints trading cards for youth sports leagues, magazine covers, calendars, magnets, stickers and mouse pads—had a color problem.
When MVP began eight years ago, it had a code blue calibration process, including a scanner and an output device. The company had to tweak the output devices as best it could, but there were many colors that didn't match the original.
"Our reject rates were very high," admits Graves. "We did a great deal of remakes, and the cost of remakes was expensive. A card that would normally cost 40 cents would cost $1.20 to remake."
Realizing it had a problem, the company entered the world of color management.
"We learned how to do all the procedures and developed a workflow that would work. In terms of cost savings, remakes dropped a third by utilizing color management. Aside from less material waste, our labor costs were also reduced," he reports.
Like many who take their first crack at color management, though, MVP's initial effort was not as successful as it could have been. The company continued to research color management options, according to Graves, and decided to integrate MonacoProfiler into its workflow. Every scanner, monitor, printer and output device, including two Indigo digital presses, are profiled and calibrated using the Monaco software.
With the previous solution, Graves estimates that in the year 2000 nearly 4,000 orders out of 800,000 digital products were reworks.
"The price tag associated with this effort was nearly $20,000 in direct costs, but immeasurable in lost customer confidence," he remarks.