Print Quality Consultants
Color Reproduction Issues
Process Control & Calibration

Color Problems that Agencies Face
An agency's print production group must coordinate the efforts of many suppliers. This includes photographers, art studios, prepress houses, and printers, as well as the agency's own design and prepress departments. With so many players, there are bound to be color issues. Here's a list of common problems we've seen.

  • Printers can't match agency supplied proofs.
  • Printers each have different color standards.
  • Agency has no internal color standards.
  • Art studio proofs don't match prepress proofs.
  • Photographer's proofs don't match prepress proofs.
  • RGB images don't print as expected.
  • CRT and LCD monitors don't match proofs.

Consequences of Color Problems
An agency and its suppliers are like an orchestra. Each player must be in tune to produce beautiful work. When color is out of tune, it can be costly. Here are some examples of what can go wrong.

  • Color editing of previously approved images.
  • Charges for unexpected color alterations.
  • Long and difficult press checks.
  • Long hours spent overseeing print work.
  • Jobs pulled off press.
  • Delivery dates missed.
  • Quality expectations not met.
  • Reprints.
  • Disappointed creative staff.
  • Unhappy clients.
  • Erosion of reputation.

Color Standardization Programs for Agencies
When there are color problems, who should pay to fix them? The client, the agency, or the agency's suppliers? That's a very tough question. Perhaps it's better to ask, which party is in a position to prevent color problems?

An agency is responsible for spending its client's money wisely, which is a good reason to implement a Color Standardization Program. Our program is tailored to your specific needs, and implemented, over time, with the involvement of your staff. Here is the outline of a typical Color Standardization Program. The work begins internally, and moves outward, towards your suppliers.

  • Audit internal color processes.
  • Define and realize an agency color standard.
  • Match internal proofing systems (hard and soft) to the agency color standard.
  • Match monitors and LCDs to the agency color standard.
  • Audit outside suppliers (photographers, art studios, prepress houses, and printers).
  • Work with photographers and art studios to implement color management.
  • Standardize the conversion of RGB images to CMYK.
  • Work with prepress houses to adopt the agency color standard.
  • Work with printers to adopt the agency color standard.
  • Implement color transform system for non-standard input/output.
  • Match selected outside suppliers.

Supplier Quality Certification Program for Agencies
If you buy printing for an ad agency, you probably receive many calls from printing salespeople seeking your business. Generally, this is a nuisance, but when you are actually seeking a new supplier, it's a good idea to assess the technical competence of possible candidates. This is a time-consuming chore, and it is difficult for a print buyer to devise and evaluate meaningful tests. A supplier quality certification program will help you make the right decisions by providing accurate and impartial data on your potential vendors.