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Color Management

Why It’s Important and What to Look For

Color management is a crucial element of the book manufacturing process and begins with an understanding between you and your printer about your color expectations. Most publishers and designers expect their print vendors to reproduce color accurately and consistently. Without a color management process in place, you are at greater risk for inconsistent reproduction, potential color mistakes, last-minute corrections, production delays, and unexpected additional costs

Color management is a process used to accurately reproduce your specified colors across all printed materials on both digital and offset print presses. The process of color management starts by understanding the basics. It’s important to communicate your color expectations with your printer and understand industry standards for color accuracy.

Book covers, printed wraps, dust covers, and book interiors require different devices, substrates, and print processes when they’re produced. Color accuracy verification usually includes a process requiring high-end equipment and a high degree of print color sophistication—for both you and your printer. 

Printers typically use a spectrophotometer to check color accuracy. This involves having the printer and customer agree on acceptable color levels. A printed color control strip is inserted in the spectrophotometer or an on-press scanner to derive its Delta-E, a metric indicating how close the color is to the established standard. 

Spectrophotometer, Exact Print Measuring Tool

Consistent, accurate color reproduction is a high priority for us. If we discover color problems in your files early, it can help give you a chance to remedy the file problems and avoid expensive reprints and delays. At CHG, our prepress specialists will preflight your files to confirm that they’re set up correctly.

Speaking to your print partner before production is essential. Some things to consider when speaking with them include:

  • What are your expectations from the files you provide?
  • Are you matching to a previously printed sample or contract proof?
  • Do you need a match to a Pantone color?
  • What kinds of color issues have you faced in the past?

Establishing your expectations ahead of time will save you time and money. The printing process has multiple points for potential errors, with color management being a top concern. At CHG, your print project and its production are our highest priority. We are here to help you along the way, from beginning to end.

If you have questions about color management or would like to request a quote for an upcoming print project, you can contact us using the information below.

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