The partnership between the two companies has resulted in a solution that allows packaging and label converters and designers to communicate color more efficiently. The EskoArtwork Color Engine manages SmartColour ink information and uses the full spectral ink profile data to calculate spot color overprints and vignettes, saving time and money by eliminating the need to fingerprint the printing press.
At any stage of the packaging preproduction process, SmartColour ink profiles can be used to preview spot inks correctly on screen as well as to produce color-accurate inkjet proofs. Brand color accuracy is achieved within the packaging workflow without the expense of spot color press trials, and without erroneous color expectations.
Customers can purchase a subscription to SmartColour data directly from the EskoArtwork sales channel, giving them access to the Sun Chemical SmartColour database.
The Color Engine, the Suite 10 color management software, uses the Internet to access the full spectral ink profile information directly from the Sun Chemical SmartColour database of ink readings.
From the Color Engine Pilot, the operator selects the inks to be used within a job and places them directly into an ink book. Once downloaded into the Color Engine database, the ink data is used in applications like PackEdge, ArtPro and FlexProof for a variety of tasks such as ink mapping, to allow a design to be accurately previewed, separation and overprint previewing, and hardcopy inkjet proofing to produce a color accurate digital inkjet proof.
“Because the ink-mapping feature in Suite 10 can offer SmartColour identities which closely match generic spot color definitions within a file, EskoArtwork delivers a ‘virtual press trial’ with just a few mouse clicks,” said Iain Pike, director color management at Sun Chemical.
The solution goes beyond just accurate proofing – the spot color specifications in SmartColour are based upon measurements of real inks on real substrates.
Using these SmartColour ink profiles within packaging workflows gives users realistic expectations of the printed result very early in the supply chain, during the design process. Thus, delays and increased costs due to color miscommunication throughout the remainder of supply chain are avoided. Production jobs stored electronically contain a reference to SmartColour data so that recurring jobs are processed quickly and consistently.
"The integration of the SmartColour brand ink profiles in our Suite 10 packaging software provides our customers with a complete toolset to manage brand colors from design to print,” said Jan De Roeck, director solutions management at EskoArtwork. “A number of pilot sites — a mix of converters, repro suppliers and brand designers — have tested the integrated solution extensively, with positive feedback and overwhelming enthusiasm.”
“The design process is very fluid and requires creative problem solving when engineering a color for a brand,” said Todd Mannira, production director at Brandimage, Desgrippes & Laga, a Cincinnati, OH-based brand design company and one of the SmartColour’s early customers. “The translation of that color is always the issue. What are we really seeing? What are the attributes and characteristics of that color? How do we translate the intent? The EskoArtwork Suite 10 and the Sun Chemical SmartColour Engine now allows us to step through the value strategy with clarity and fidelity. We articulate the brand promise, and translate the design intent.”
During Ipex 2010 in Birmingham UK, visitors will be able to view live demonstrations of SmartColour integration in Suite 10 at the EskoArtwork stand in Hall 12, C150.