Musings on color management, CHROMiX products and services and other relevant topics.

Monday, November 4, 2019

I Love a Color Management Mystery!

Gumshoe, private detective, crime solving...
Deductive reasoning, sleuthing, observing…
A perplexing case, a curved pipe, a deerstalker cap...

I'm putting together my session for #COLOR20 in San Diego. This year John Thornton and I are putting more fun into the topic of color management.  This conference gets better every year.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

ColorThink Pro and 64bits (Catalina)

ColorThink, our venerable color graphing and diagnosing tool, has been available in one form or another since August 2000 and has users in over 90 countries. We continue to develop updates for the current releases and have also been working on a significant upgrade for some time.

Our plan has been to have a 4.x upgrade before macOS Catalina (10.15) was released. Apple's new macOS has removed the ability to run 32-bit applications entirely; while you can run them in VM environments like Parallels or VMware, it's a pain, and something we like to avoid.

Unfortunately software development is something that rarely goes to plan, and the new ColorThink hotness is not ready in time for Catalina. We're very excited about it and have been adding features and technologies developed in our other tools as well as new capabilities not seen anywhere else.

We were faced with the decision between having our great users wait until the new software is ready (see above re: software development delays) or do some retrospective development by rolling up our sleeves and pushing to get the current version (or a feature-equivalent version) running happily in 64 bits and on Catalina. The number of people who have leapt onto Catalina immediately after it shipped has been surprising (and a little alarming to cautious-upgrade me), and we've been receiving emails and calls about a Catalina-compatible version.

We decided it was important to support our faithful users and industry friends, so we've chosen to release ColorThink Pro 3.0.8 for 64-bit. This has feature parity with the 32-bit version you currently use and should behave the same way as much as possible. Windows users will still run the 32-bit version and we expect to release a 64-bit version for Windows in the 4.x release cycle. ColorThink 2 users (non Pro) will have to wait a bit longer as we're still determining how best to bring them into the 64-bit world.

We're creating and testing builds regularly and have now made ColorThink Pro 3.0.8 64-bit available for beta testing. You can download it from the ColorThink download page. PLEASE check out the ReadMe notes with each new beta version to see the known issues (things you may notice that don't need reporting) and also please let us know about the things that need fixing. We understand there may be some outstanding issues from 3.0.7 that have not been addressed in 3.0.8 64-bit but our plan and priority is to create feature parity as much as possible.

Thanks everyone for your patience and for using ColorThink for almost 20 years!


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

JVH Digital Festival coming in October

If you are in the State of Washington in early October, make plans on coming to the:

JVH Digital Festival

October 3, 2019
Bellevue Washington

The Harrington family are a top-notch dealer for large format inkjet printers in the local Seattle market.  They are generously hosting this free educational event for their customers and anyone who is interested in learning more about printing, photography and color management.  Pat Herold of CHROMiX will be one of the speakers, teaching a beginner's session on color management. 
The JVH festivals are always fun, worthwhile events - packed with practical information for the small photography or printing business.   If you are in Washington, you don't want to miss this!

You can even enter your printed artwork or photography in the print contest.

The event is free, but please contact them to register ahead of time.

Monday, August 5, 2019

G7: How a big company does it

Our friend Jeff Collins,
and another friend, Mike Todryk, of IWCO Direct have a great discussion on how Mike was able to take a company with an enormous variety of printing devices & technologies, and transform it so that they know where their color is, they have their color under control, and they maintain a "shared neutral appearance" - through the wonder of G7.  Mike shares details about the software they used, and what they did to improve procedures for saving time, money and hitting industry standard color.   A special bonus near the end includes the mistakes that brand owners commonly make when communicate color to printers.

  • 24. IWCO Direct: The Benchmark of a Process Control Culture
    • Mike Todryk elegantly walks through what anyone would describe as THE absolute benchmark process control company - across (3) facilities, (13) Continuous Web Litho Presses, (10) Continuous Web Inkjet Presses, (10) Flexo Presses, (3) Digital EP Presses, (2) Sheetfed Offset Presses, (3) Contract Proofers - maintained by (4) in-house G7® Experts. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

i1Pro 3 Plus instrument from X-Rite

For years this blog has been proudly telling our profiling secrets to all who would listen.  One of the policies that makes for a better profile, for certain papers and fabrics, is the use of polarized measurements.  Our president, Steve Upton, has been hammering on the instrument makers for years to please include polarizing capability into their new instruments.   One company that had seemed deaf to our pleas has been X-Rite.

Turns out, maybe they were listening after all!  X-Rite recently announced a new i1Pro:  The i1Pro 3 Plus.  This model is made specifically to take measurements of textiles and other unusual materials.   Important features include:
- Polarization filter that enables the instrument to take M3 measurements
- A larger, 8mm aperture to get better sampling of fabric patterns
- The instrument can support transmission scanning for backlit film.
- The IO table has been updated to support this new i1Pro 3 Plus, and now enables measuring backlit materials.

The new i1Pro 3 Plus and the new IO table are slated to be available in July, 2019.

X-Rite press release on i1Pro 3 Plus

Monday, June 10, 2019

Secret Color Codes

Microsoft recently announced that they are in development of a new Xbox gaming console.  Those who hang on these news items scoured the daily videos prior to the announcement, to see if Microsoft gave any advanced clues.  In the videos were screen elements that looked like "R 255"  "G 86" and such.  It turns out they were leaving a clue about the internal code name for the new gaming console:  It's called "Scarlett" and the RGB values they left as a clue were: 255, 36, 0.
 How about that?!  A color enthusiast can be one step ahead of his friends when it comes to guessing code names of upcoming gaming consoles!

If you are a card-carrying color geek, you probably already know that you do not define the color scarlet merely using the RGB numbers 255, 36, 0.   RGB numbers are merely device values and don't in themselves describe a color unless they are accompanied by a printing condition or profile.   (In a similar way, the number "4" on a toaster does not by itself tell you what color toast you're going to get.)

We can certainly make an educated guess, that because Microsoft was involved in the original creation of the color space: "sRGB", that they are intending to use that color space - and in fact that does define the color scarlet, according to Wikipedia

However, the illustration below shows that 255, 36, 0 in the ProPhotoRGB color space for example, is a much more saturated color than 255, 36, 0 in sRGB.  It's always a good policy to define your terms!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Print Gamut Ins and Outs

The March/April edition of the SGIA Journal has published an excellent article by Steve Upton:
Print Gamut Ins and Outs

The article is chock-full of interesting bits of info about color gamuts.  Learn what can be done to increase a printer's gamut, what does not work, how different systems like xCMYK & CMYKRGB compare, and get an "insider's view" of how gamut volume calculations are made, all by the creator of ColorThink himself!

Friday, March 1, 2019

CHROMiX hosts a Seattle SGIA Boot Camp at DCG One in April

Are you in the Seattle area, want to learn color management like a pro and become certified? 

Then check out this 3 day paid event! SGIA, famous for their successful Boot Camp series nationally will conduct a Boot Camp training on April 2-4, 2019 at DCG One in Seattle

CHROMiX is proudly sponsoring. It's rare for a national group like the SGIA to come through the Pacific NorthWest, so take advantage! Some CHROMiX folks will stop in too.  Rick and Pat will put in an appearance.

Go to this webpage for more details and to register:

Monday, January 21, 2019

Happy Birthday, CHROMiX!

CHROMiX celebrated 20 years as a company by hosting a taste of birthday cake for everyone at the color management conference in San Diego earlier this month.  For those who have never been to this conference, consider going next year - as it's a smaller, more intimate setting where you can learn more about how to improve the color in the print room, the camera, or the display on your desktop.   

Twenty years is actually a long time for a company to be around in the digital color world.  Back when the company started, the Indigo printer was still owned by Benny Landa (before HP), the Apple Studio Display was one of the first LCD displays (a whopping 15") for $1999, and Nikon made a 2.7 megapixel camera that sold for almost $6000!  We have seen a lot of development of the industry over the years and are happy to have had a hand it in.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Profiling Secrets revealed!

Steve Upton, Pat Herold and Rick Hatmaker are gearing up to head to the PIA Color Conference 2019 in San Diego coming up in January 12th to 15th.  Pat will be presenting a session on how to make great profiles. Steve has a couple of sessions on verification & troubleshooting inkjet output, as well as analysis of expanded gamut printing.
CHROMiX will also be providing a 20th Year Birthday Cake during the 3:20 pm afternoon break on Monday the 14th. Come join us if you can!

Last year was a surprisingly great conference in the new location with a lot of new people.   This year promises to be even better!

Color 2019 is back with more than 35 in-depth sessions, featuring four tracks, including Brand & Design, Print Production How-to's, Wide Format Inkjet, and Standards & Research. Whether you're a creative, brand professional, production specialist, or a color management expert, there will be sessions that are well-matched for you at this year's conference. Color 2019 is where you'll find the best, most practical and in-depth information from the best minds in color—and gain knowledge that will strengthen your competitive edge.

Visit for more information!