Color Management And Its Implementation In Your Workflow
Have you had instances wherein the product you had in mind didn’t come out as expected? It can be the slight discrepancies in the color that made the outcome disappointing and altogether different from what you submitted for production. This problem happens when there’s something wrong with the color management in your workflow.
What is Color Management
Color management is the process of checking and verifying color production and quality across different media. It is vital in the quality control procedures of businesses since colors are tied to brand consistency.
A color management system’s role is to establish a standard where the color characteristics of each data can be checked to ensure the properties are retained at an optimum level across devices.
The Problem with Colors
Ideally, you want to see the same quality in the final product the way you visualized it. It’s natural to assume that designs and colors remain the same throughout each stage in the workflow. But in reality, variances will appear however subtle they may be since different devices reproduce colors in dissimilar ways.
Input, display, and output devices don’t interpret color consistently. While cameras, scanners, and screens use the RGB color scheme, most printers use CMYK inks to reproduce the same material inputted and displayed. So, even if the same data is used throughout the process, devices will read them differently.
Color management has always been a problem, especially in industries like printing, prepress, video, film, and textile. To resolve opposing views and create a unifying solution that everyone can follow, the International Color Consortium (ICC) was established in 1993.
The ICC was tasked to provide a color management system that can be used across all software and devices. It devised a standard for cross-platform formatting that will ensure color characteristics are retained as much as possible.
The color management framework can be integrated into the software and made responsible for organizing, displaying, supporting, retrieving, converting, and sending information on colors across devices. The objective is to attain optimum reproduction from input to output with little difference in quality or loss in information.
In a professional environment, a strict color management system must be maintained since too much discrepancy results in unsatisfying products that don’t represent the brand.
Any device designed to reproduce color needs an intelligent color management system to make sure the output retains the color as close as possible to the original work. It’s currently impossible to guarantee identical color reproduction, regardless of how advanced the system is, so getting a 99% color retention is the best solution available.
Color Management for Designers
Fabrics go through the coloration process that consists of dyeing, coating, and printing. The application of these techniques will depend on the kind of fiber, whether they’re natural or synthetic. But just like other industries, the textile sector is also susceptible to color discrepancies, thus the necessity for an effective color management system.
1) Decide on the colors to use
A spectrophotometer is often used to identify the colors you want to use for the new design. Things will be much easier if you have a digital library of brand colors, as well as those you’ve used before since it’ll be faster to look for similar shades. This will save you time and money for requesting new color matches from the supplier when you can find one that’s a close match in your company’s database.
Frontier’s cloud-based library of fabric swatches auto-breakdown every color component on your swatch and provides the nearest Pantone reference, making it visible to the whole team and your clients.
2) Communicate with suppliers
After deciding on the color palette for the product, a digital copy of the request is sent along with the color standards to be followed. Suppliers will look for a match in their inventory or assess whether they can recreate the designs and colors you’re requesting.
Without a color management system in place, fabric mills will be left guessing on which color standard they need to precisely reproduce the digital swatch into actual fabric. Dyeing fabric through trial and error is impractical and unwise, and so is the reformulation of colors until they match those you’ve requested.
Instead of waiting for your preferred garment factory to come up with the desired fabric, you can use Frontier’s advanced AI engine to search for other suppliers with the same textile style and color you’ve been looking for. Frontier’s platform can search for the exact Pantone colors and find suppliers selling the same fabric on the platform. This reduces delays and increases the accuracy of the color management workflow of your company.
3) Ensure quality control
Before the submitted designs are mass-produced, they must undergo prototyping to ensure any differences are within the tolerable range. Physical samples must only be sent once the discrepancies have been settled. This drastically reduces the needless consumption of resources, especially when approvals and feedbacks can be done online.
Color visualization is highly subjective which is why having standard color management ensures the products are consistent with how you envisioned them. Only after the quality check for the prototype passes standards will fabric mills be given the go signal to proceed with mass production.
With the help of a color management system, disparities in color visualization between your design company and the fabric mills are greatly minimized. Optimum reproduction is achieved from the inception up to the production phases. The result is a brand-consistent product that meets business and customer expectations.
Manufacturing and processing of fabric have become more efficient through the integration of digitized systems that automate and expedite processes. By using an advanced, cloud-based solution with integrated AI capabilities like Frontier, you can further enhance your workflow through seamless collaborations, quicker supplier searches, and more convenient procurement processes.
Color Management System for Fabric Mills
If you’re running a fabric mill, Frontier can also help by providing an online library where you can upload digital swatches of your products. Frontier can automatically detect the Pantone colors present on each of the digital swatches in its library, making it easier for designers to communicate with your team.
Frontier’s cloud-based platform lets you upload digital images of your fabric swatches with great accuracy. These samples will usually have different patterns, colors, and designs. Using advanced AI technology, Frontier accurately reads the color information on the swatches and stores them for future use. Each tinge of color on the fabric is recorded without any loss in information so it can be reproduced as consistently as possible.
Color management is necessary to ensure color consistency is maintained across devices. Designers and suppliers may be using different color systems, and this can result in large discrepancies between the original design and the expected output. Agreeing on a color management system will standardize the input and the output across devices.
If you want to improve or build a simple color management workflow for your business, incorporating Frontier’s digital platform is the best solution available. Contact us for queries or to schedule a demo on how the system can help you.