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

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Curve4: Now with Maxwell!

Guess what new feature is being added to Curve4?
Long-term color tracking and trending for your entire print organization!
Guess how much that will cost?  
No additional charge for any Curve4 customer!
Bonus question:  How hard will it be to implement?
Two easy setup items in Maxwell and two easy setup items in the new Curve4.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Articles and Upcoming Webinars announced @ Printing United

We've announced two upcoming webinars and released new articles at the Printing United show this week:


Curve4 / Maxwell Integration Webinar
See how great Maxwell functions have been added to Curve4 for free. We're hosting a webinar Nov 1, 2022 at 11:00am Pacific Time for those who missed the PU show or want more details. Sign up here

Maxwell 22 Launch
See how many improvements have been made to Maxwell's interface. We're hosting a webinar Nov 3, 2022 at 11:00am Pacific Time for those who missed the PU show or want more details. Sign up here


Avoid Compliance Hell with PRX/PQX
Idealliance and the ISO have created a two-part standard that helps exchange data between color monitoring systems. Learn how it will reduce the torturous process numerous printers have to endure.

Maxwell for Press Operations at IWCO Direct: Ease Efficiency and Expedience
See how North America's largest direct mail marketing distributor makes use of Maxwell to make their work more efficient and their lives easier.

ColorThink 4 Announced

ColorThink Pro version 4 announced at Printing United

This long-anticipated update is a huge upgrade from version 3 and includes countless additions and improvements to the Grapher, Profile Inspector, a new Color Assets handler and integrated instrument support.

Demos & 3D Holographic LED display giveaway @ CHROMiX booth N1071

 Maxwell for Press Operations at IWCO Direct: Ease, Efficiency, and Expedience

After difficulties with spot color and process control, IWCO Direct, North America’s largest direct mail marketing distributor, found that CHROMiX’s Maxwell system reduces waste, increases accuracy, and mitigates workflow obstacles.

The Dilemma

Day-to-day, IWCO Direct runs twelve high-speed, high-volume production inkjet printers making up one of the largest digital print platforms in North America, responsible for manufacturing and distributing billions of pieces of media. It’s crucial that the company’s work be precise, consistent, and efficient. A number of things can easily go wrong in such a delicately balanced system. If a brand’s colors are inconsistent across different materials due to uncalibrated and unmonitored presses, it could cost the company an important contract.

IWCO Direct’s Color Technical Specialist, Mike Todryk, joined the company in 2015 and the Color Technical Support team quickly began improving their color management systems. Their knowledge and attention to detail grew leaps and bounds as they became more familiar with color management and monitoring. Once the team began to use four-color processes more consistently, they realized that their current software product was not sufficient for the precision they sought: “We wanted to be able to look at the grey scale and really analyze it,” shares Todryk. Without this capability, the company could not approach the color consistency and precision it needed.

The team’s issue wasn’t just with color accuracy; they also struggled to maximize workflow efficiency with continuously running presses. It was challenging to plan calibrations and maintenance to reduce wasted time, energy, and materials. They had no way of anticipating issues with their inkjets, so it wasn’t uncommon for the team to have to do unscheduled maintenance during non-work hours, so the presses could continue to function. 

Together, these issues suggested that the company had insufficient automation and monitoring of their day-to-day processes; they were potentially at risk for costly errors.

The Solution:

Fortunately, Mr. Todryk already had experience working with CHROMiX prior to joining IWCO Direct. When he realized the color management team needed more precision than their current software was able to provide, he recalled his positive experiences with CHROMiX’s Maxwell software. When he had last used Maxwell, his team “immediately began to see improvements in their processes.” 

“CHROMiX is a one-stop shop for everything you’ll need with regard to color, from equipment to advice. It’s not just the website and the resources; it’s the people.” Todryk

Originally launched in 2008, Maxwell is a cloud-based color management system that may be used flexibly in a variety of contexts, including with inkjet presses. Users can enter and track various devices, monitor printing, watch trends, and create print performance programs. As of 2022, the Maxwell repository contains over 350 million measurements, thousands of registered devices, and is used across four continents. Maxwell monitors print color output as well as color measurement instruments. The automated measurement process reduces errors, the need for training, and time spent managing color. 

It was a natural next step for IWCO Direct’s Color Technical Support team to contact CHROMiX. “They set us up and let us do a trial to see how it would work,” Todryk explains. IWCO Direct’s color management team worked with CHROMiX to implement new processes using Maxwell. This revolutionized the department’s efforts to improve accuracy, consistency, and efficiency. “Before that, we were using another product for four-color process, but we couldn’t get the detailed level of analysis that we’d hope we would get, and that’s why we switched over to Maxwell,” shares Todryk. “I knew that Maxwell could create histograms and the graphs, taking multiple printers and comparing them to one another. Other software just didn’t offer any of those kinds of features.”

Implementing Maxwell in the company’s day-to-day processes provided increased efficiency, precision, and peace of mind for Todryk and his team. The convenience of having all essential information in one location was undeniable. This meant that devices, materials, and environmental factors could be consistently monitored and trends could be observed over time.

“We couldn’t get the detailed level of analysis we needed. That’s why we switched to Maxwell.”

The Result:

Now, Todryk’s team at IWCO Direct integrates readings from different devices in one interface, reducing opportunity for human error. Across four facilities, readings are taken multiple times a day from the company’s twelve inkjet presses. With Maxwell, those readings are automatically integrated into different tracks depending on press and paper. The team can flexibly analyze trend reports in multiple ways. Notifications are automatic if failures occur, and the team is able to react immediately as a result. 

The group frequently uses Maxwell to generate graphs for executive management. “W show quarterly graphs of how we did last quarter, how we’re doing this quarter with regard to reducing Delta-E, since we’re looking to drive down our max and average Delta-E numbers and increase how close we are to G7,” Todryk explains. This level of rigor is what helps the team produce the precise work for which they are known.

  Maxwell has also made training much easier. As is common throughout the industry, it’s not unusual for press operators to speak English as a second language. Maxwell’s highly visual system makes training in color management simpler for both operators and their supervisors.

The color management team is able to track and monitor their printers on a daily basis from anywhere in the world. By watching trends in Maxwell, the team can anticipate press failures before they occur. If they see a vulnerability, they can recalibrate during down time rather than interrupting planned workflow. This drastically reduces wasted time and resources by allowing us to make the adjustment, test it, and get right back to live production,” Todryk explains. “Before, things would fail, but it would be at an inopportune time—maybe two in the morning.” Now, the team sleeps soundly through the night.

“Maxwell saves money, time, paper, ink, and productivity,” Todryk enthuses; “It allows us to see issues before they become problems.” 

Maxwell’s fully modernized new interface is being shown at Printing United this week in CHROMiX booth: N1071

IWCO Direct is a leading provider of data-driven direct marketing solutions that drive response across all marketing channels to create new and more loyal customers. The company’s full range of services includes strategy, creative, and execution for omnichannel marketing campaigns, along with one of the industry’s most sophisticated postal logistics strategies for direct mail.

In 2006, CHROMiX introduced the graphics market to the first cloud-based color management system, Maxwell. Today, Maxwell houses over 350 million measurements and is going strong. CHROMiX also co-developed with Don Hutcheson the first ratified, now de-facto G7 toolset, Curve. Finally, CHROMiX makes ColorThink and ColorThink Pro, the worlds #1 profile analysis and visualization software tool.

Maxwell 22 Launched @ Printing United


A completely rebuilt web interface provides interactive graphing, ad-hock comparisons, dynamic dashboards and peer comparisons using live data updates. Jobs and Track reporting available for both workflow types. Integrated brand color reporting across all services. Integrated help and walk-throughs.


Demos & 3D Holographic LED display giveaway @ CHROMiX booth N1071 (near Kodak) and/or register for free webinar covering all details on Nov 3, 2022

Monday, October 10, 2022

Big upgrade for Curve4 users

Our Curve4 users are getting a big upgrade at Printing United. 

Online tracking, trending and notifications provided free and uploads are integrated right into Curve4. 

See us in booth N1071 (near Kodak) and/or register for free webinar covering all details on Nov 1, 2022

Monday, October 3, 2022

Getting very excited about our booth (N1071) at upcoming Printing United expo Oct 19-21. Launching new Maxwell, Announcing ColorThink 4, free upgrade for Curve4 users and 3D Holographic LED display giveaway. Don't miss! #printingunitedexpo  

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Color Management all the more important when having supply issues

It's no secret that many in the print industry are having problems getting and maintaining stocks of substrate material. Recent surveys show that the industry expects the situation to get worse in coming months. If this hasn't happened to you yet, it probably will! When you have different substrates being pulled from irregular sources, this is a good recipe for color inconsistency and other headaches. This is fair warning to bone up on your profile building. Modern profiling systems do an excellent job of creating profiles that make the most of your print / media /ink gamut. You might be able to profile an inferior grade of paper to look similarly to your regular paper.

What even more important, a good modern profile will accurately portray your color workflow. When it comes time to make one printer look like another printer, that's when you need particularly accurate profiles to pull this off.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention as well that a system of tracking color consistency over time is a life-safer in these unsettled times. We have had Maxwell customers who have successfully kept their supplier's feet to the fire as it were, as Maxwell provided proof that the purchased paper showed a change in quality. Contact us for information about an easy and inexpensive way to start tracking your color, and get started now - before things get busy and before trouble comes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

CHROMiX is the WINNER of the 2022

Barbieri Excellence Award for Business Performance

CHROMiX has been selected by Barbieri for it's Excellence Award! 

"CHROMiX develops software for the digital printing market and spectral color data is a cornerstone for its software evaluations. We found there there is a deep understanding in how to connect and integrate spectral data and color measurement technology which allows customers to gather the highest accuracy."

The feeling is mutual. We love Barbieri devices and work hard to incorporate effective and seamless compatibility with our software.

Here is a link to Barbieri's Hall of Excellence for more depth in details of this award.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Color Management conference is ON!

The Color Management Conference put on by Printing United Alliance is full speed ahead this year. This annual (until last year) conference is going to be at La Jolla just North of San Diego - a welcome location in January after a wild winter in North America.

I am happy to be presenting a new session at the conference. Following up on the fun we had last time we met (below) - this year my session is on the Secrets of Color Management
January 22 - 25th, 2022

Friday, January 7, 2022

Color changing car

Welcome to a brand new year - new color technology!

BMW unveiled a color-changing car which uses E-ink, similar to how the Kindle reader screen works. This does not emit light, but reflects light and allows items like ebooks (and this car's color) to be visible in broad daylight. The demo car is limited to a black and white palette, but they claim that the technology can be expanded to include colors. The idea is that you can change the color of your car according to your mood.  

I wonder if you can program it to be "black" to absorb heat when it's cold outside - and white in the summer?