Color Management SOP for Print

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A conceptual standard operating procedure (SOP) for color management in print media

A conceptual standard operating procedure (SOP) for color management in print media

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  • 1. Standard Operating Procedure: Output Preparation Processing A Color Management Example Nick D. Barzelay December, 2007 Rochester Institute of Technology Warning: Use only for reference; not for production. This is not a complete end-to-end workflow.
  • 2. Objectives • Ensure that final output consistently matches proof • Minimize color variation throughout the workflow • Establish a workflow that meets quality standards: – Repeatability – Predictability – Reusability – Measurability – Verifiability – Improvability – Sustainability 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 2
  • 3. Approach PURPOSE: Minimize or eliminate random color inconsistencies prior to production output • Implement a color management workflow by: – Standardizing the processing environment – Standardizing work processes – Sampling for compliance • Targeted processing areas: – Design  In-house  Customer (with recommendations) – Pre-media – Prepress – RIP 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 3
  • 4. Concept Source Destination 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 4
  • 5. Standard Toolset PURPOSE: Minimize the introduction of variable inconsistencies generated by application software and operating systems • Approved Operating Systems: – Mac OS X 10.4+ “Tiger” – Windows XP Professional • Standard Application Software: – Adobe Photoshop CS2 – Adobe Illustrator CS2 – Adobe InDesign CS2 – Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional – Adobe Bridge 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 5
  • 6. Standard Environment PURPOSE: Establish a normalized work environment across application software and processes • Profile Connection Space: CIE LAB • Cross Application Color Settings: – North American Prepress 2 – AdobeRGB (1998) – CMYK: US Web Coated (SWOP) v2 • Color Management Policies: – Preserve Embedded Profiles – Always embed profiles in objects • Color Management Engine: Adobe (ACE) • Standard Conversion Rendering Intent: – Production: Relative Colorimetric – Proofing: Absolute Colorimetric • Black Point Compensation: On • Gamma: 2.2 (PC) or 1.8 (Mac) • Standard Viewing Conditions: – D50 (5000K) or D65 (6500K) 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 6
  • 7. Standard PDF Creation PURPOSE: Insure that portable files are rendered in a single color-managed format • Acrobat (Distiller) Configuration – Most presets usually suffice – Use Postscript Color Management for intermediate output – Use Acrobat Proof Setup for proofs • Creation Process – Print to a Postscript file, then… – Use Acrobat Distiller to convert EXPLANATION: This provides the same color management capability as printing to a physical printer  The color is left unchanged  Color control is done during Postscript creation, not PDF creation 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 7
  • 8. Acrobat/Distiller Details PURPOSE: Maintain color, detail, and resolution in documents • Compatibility: Acrobat 5.0 (PDF1.4) • Object level compression: tags only • Color Images – Down sampling OFF to protect detail – Compression OFF to protect detail • Grayscale Images – Down sampling OFF to protect detail – Compression OFF to protect detail • Monochrome Images – Down sampling OFF to protect detail – Compression OFF to protect detail • Fonts: Embedded • Color: North American Prepress 2 • Standards: – Intermediate file standard - none – Production output files - PDF/X-1a – Default Profiles - none (already embedded) 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 8
  • 9. Quality Assurance PURPOSE: Measure, understand, and regulate the operational environment to optimize repeatable consistent color production • Calibration – Schedule and assist in device calibration at regular predetermined intervals • Profiling – Schedule and assist in device profiling at regular predetermined intervals • Variance Tracking – Record device performance – Identify and resolve inconsistencies • Standards Compliance – Conduct reviews and spot checks to insure that standards and procedure compliance – Identify and improve standards, procedures, and working practices to enhance the workflow and results 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 9
  • 10. Calibration & Profiling PURPOSE: Insure consistent optimal device performance • Definition: – Calibration - device tune-up to achieve optimal operational state – Profiling - maintaining a record of device capabilities for producing color (what it an and can’t produce) • Devices: – Source Devices  Digital Cameras (if appropriate)  Scanners – Bidirectional Devices  Monitors and LCDs – Destination Devices  Proofer  Printers  Presses 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 10
  • 11. Workflow Proofing Steps PURPOSE: Verify at major color management milestones the consistency or variance of colors • Measurements: – CIE L*A*B* – deltaE 2000 – RGB values (including Chromatic Gray) • Interval Workflow Steps: – Origination: Original file measurements – Conversion Proof: Work space profile conversion file compared to original measurement – Correction Proof: Corrected file compared to profile conversion measurement – Color Conversion Proof: Color conversion (RGB to CMYK or sRGB) file compared to correction measurement – Soft PDF Proof: PDF proof file compared to color conversion measurement – Hard Proof: Production PDF proof print compared to conversion measurement and the original file measurements 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 11
  • 12. Process Overview Creative: • Content Generation Design Hand-off • Handoff to Pre-media Pre-media: • Workspace Conversion Acquisition • Conversion Proofing • Correction &/or Enhancement • Correction Proofing • Color Conversion Prepress • Color Conversion Proofing • Proof PDF Generation RIP Hand-off • Soft Proofing • Production PDF Generation • Production (hard) Proofing 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 12
  • 13. Creative/Design Hand-off PURPOSE: Move content from design area or customer into the production workflow • Pass content to Pre-media (Designer or Customer Handoff): – Photography – Artwork – Typography and Layouts – Media and Color Selections – Data and Text • Pass Job Description: – Options  Work Order Form  JDF – Special Instructions – Samples 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 13
  • 14. Pre-media PURPOSE: Prepare content for production work-up • Check file quality and confirm that all files (image resolution) are usable • Preflight – Scanned Images – Photographic Images (digital) – Vector Art – Document layouts – PDFs and any other • Make initial measurement to establish a baseline (CIE LAB, RGB) • Duplicate the original files for recovery • Convert to Workspace Profile (AdobeRGB 1998) • Measure conversion results and compare to original measurements – If unsatisfactory, identify color management issues and correct – If satisfactory, proceed to next step 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 14
  • 15. Pre-media (continued) PURPOSE: Apply corrective measures • Enhance or Correct Images – Repair damage or problems in scanned or photographic images – Adjust white balance in photographic images to correct original photo conditions or capture errors – Adjust overall contrast or tonal range – Remove color casts – Adjust color and tone in specific objects to bring out highlights, mid-tones, shadows, and desaturated colors – Sharpen overall image focus – Crop and rotate image to final size and orientation • Assemble content and layouts making any added adjustments • Preflight document and measure • Compare corrected image color to conversion measurements, accounting for enhancements or corrections – If unsatisfactory, rework or correct – If satisfactory, proceed to next step 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 15
  • 16. Prepress PURPOSE: Convert colors from workspace to destination space • Proceed to Prepress stage • Determine destination and convert colors: – Offset Litho  Color Conversion to CMYK  Color Separations – Digital Press  Color Conversion to CMYK – Web or Other Output Device  Color Conversion to Web RGB or sRGB (may not be necessary) • Preflight and measure • Compare converted image color measurements to corrected image measurements – If unsatisfactory, rework and correct – If satisfactory, proceed to RIP Hand-off 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 16
  • 17. RIP Hand-off PURPOSE: Final color verification prior to press production steps • Create a Postscript file of the document(s) • Create a PDF from the Postscript file using Distiller Proof Setup • Measure the results and compare with color conversion measurements – If unsatisfactory, go back and correct – If satisfactory, using the same Postscript file, create a production destination PDF with Distiller • Proof print the production PDF and compare measurements with the conversion results – If unsatisfactory, go back for corrections – If satisfactory, obtain proof sign-offs. • If approved, proceed to press production output 12/13/2007 Copyright © Nick D. Barzelay, 2007. All Rights Reserved. 17