Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why Do Blacks Print Differently?

Printers have little control over the colors and tones that will print from a pdf file. 
Typically you get what is in your file unless you ask for a global color correction.

If two files are set up differently to print black - the results will print differently. Large black background areas with a grey mix instead of black will print noticeably different.

Also if 2 different output devices are used to print the same file on 2 different types of material, say vinyl and foamcore, the results of black will still be significantly different.

Pdf’s from RGB artwork will also print differently than CMYK pdfs.  100% black will not always yield a rich black.  A mix of other colors will make the black look better.
Here is an explanation of 3 types of black.

Andrew Kelsall Design writes:
“Neutral Rich Black (also known as Rich Black) | C40 M30 Y30 K100 : This type of black is roughly comprised by the preceding color combination, but varies between designers’ personal preference.

Registration Black | C100 M100 Y100 K100 : This mix is comprised of the maximum amount of cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Flat Black | C0 M0 Y0 K100 : This black is just made up of 100% of the black channel, with no other ink in the mix. Also known as Standard black.”

The printer being used will also have an affect on the blacks depending on whether it is a 4/C or 6/C printer.  The material being printed can also have an effect too.

PDF’s saved differently or being saved using 2 different versions of Acrobat can print differently

Quick low-cost print jobs with no lead-time do not afford the luxury of printing proofs for checking these things prior to the final run.  Make sure you have set up your files correctly and communicate with your printer your final expectations.

All of these variables can affect the black color.  Contact ICL Imaging for more information on "How to Prepare Your Files"

·      How the PDF was saved
·      Are the black levels the same on all documents
·      Printing on Different media
·      Are they being printed as grayscale
·      Different Printers, Commercial Press, Ink Jet, Latex, Laser Printer
·      File set-up as 100% black, a grey mix or black with a color mix
·      Files saved differently
·      Reproduced from RGB artwork or CMYK

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Large Format Specialty Projects

Specialty Projects by ICL Imaging

Burt's Bees Mobile Tour
A lot of what we do at ICL Imaging are Specialty Projects; like rolling out a national campaign for a large financial services firm or a major clothing retailer. 

Whether it’s wrapping a fleet of vehicles to printing and distributing menu boards across the country or branding spaces at a major sporting coliseum to covering walkways in airports - ICL does it all.

Let our Project Managers work for you by managing all the program details, from sourcing to post production, from multi-dimensional fabrication to museum quality graphics - our resources are here to help you.

Specialty Projects:

Contact ICL Imaging and let us show you how we can add value to your business.  
info@icl-imaging.com   -  51 Mellen Street  -  Framingham, MA  01702  -  Tel  800 660 3280

Large Format Printing & Solutions
Since 1956

Friday, March 9, 2012

ICL Imaging Presents Large Format Selections

Here are some of the Large Format Printing projects ICL Imaging has produced for our clients.

They include an array of graphic applications, such as;
Banner stands, Fabric Graphics, Trade Show Graphics, Retail Graphics,
Vehicle Graphics and more.

Please enjoy this short Animoto Video experience.

For more information on how ICL Imaging can help you, please contact us at info@icl-imaging.com

Large Format Printing Solutions since 1956

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Color Management at ICL Imaging

Selecting PMS Colors in the 5000K View Booth

The Pantone Color Matching System is our standard color reference. To ensure that we produce your image correctly, use and reference the Pantone Color Matching System #’s when specifying colors.

ICL Imaging recommends the North American Prepress 2 color setting that consists of an Adobe RGB (1998) icc color profile for all RGB images and the U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 icc color profile for all CMYK elements.

Images should be converted to these icc color profiles and saved with embedded profiles.

Make sure that the color type is set to Spot Color and not Process Color.

NOTE:  In order for you to achieve predictable color from your monitor to print, it is very important to have it properly calibrated.
It is also very important to establish the identical color settings for all applications used in the workflow.

Exact color matching of products can only be achieved by supplying samples of them to us.  We routinely match to clothing, shoes, hand-bags and art work provided.

Our standard viewing for all reflective color is our 5000K view booth.  For back-lit transparencies we use an industry standard light box with a cool white fluorescent light source.

All of our proofs are printed on the actual material using the output device that will produce your final graphics.
Exhibit by Bluehive

Color effects beyond our control are the actual lighting conditions found in the final viewing environment.  If you know what that light source is, let us know and we will do our best to factor it in to our color correcting.

In extreme cases we have actually gone on site with a ring around of color tests and made corrections in that environment.  This can be costly however and is used only in certain situations.

NOTE:  Different output printing devices and materials, such as vinyl, paper and fabric can produce the same image differently.  Our experienced staff will work with you to pick the right combination of print media and machine to meet your large format printing expectations.

Finally, we always welcome clients who would like to visit ICL Imaging and review color directly with our color technician.  Please contact us for an appointment before hand.   csr@icl-imaging.com

Large Format Printing & Solutions Since 1956

Monday, February 13, 2012

ICL Imaging Tips: Finishing Options for Banners

Finishing Options for Banners from ICL Imaging

Depending on the end use of your banner and how it will be displayed, there are a few different techniques used to finish banner edges. Listed below are some of the more commonly used finishing options.

Outdoor Vinyl Banner
Hemming: The edge of the banner is turned over on itself and then sewn over with thread, to strengthen the edge of the banner. This can be done with fabric and vinyl banners. Rope can also be sewn into the edge seam if the end product will be tied to an object.

Fabric Banner
Grommets: A reinforced metal ring that is fastened through the hem of the banner. The grommet is one of the most versatile ways to finish a banner, as nearly anything can be used to fasten the banner if it can pass through the grommet. Our grommets come in various sizes in black, silver or brass

Pole Sleeves: Also called “pole-hems” or “pole pockets”. These are similar to a hem, but extra material is added to the fold, to create a sleeve through which a pole can later be inserted. Be sure to specify the pole diameter size. A good rule of thumb to use is that the pocket size should be 2 times the pole size.

Sheer-cutting: For some banners you can simply cut the edges of the banner with a razor knife and a straight-edge, to give the banner a clean look. Using a hot knife can stop the material from fraying. Finishing with a heat knife is standard on all of our banners unless otherwise specified.

Large Format Vinyl Banner
Backing or Interliner: Some banners are given a backing or interliner in order to make the banner more opaque. If a banner has an image on both sides, an interliner is added to prevent light from passing through either side. A backing is placed on a single-sided banner to make the fabric’s color more vibrant and to add more body to the banner.

Wind slits: Outdoor banners that will be subject to high winds or the environment for extended periods of time, need extra finishing. Wind slits should be cut into the face of the vinyl to allow air to pass through the banner. A nylon webbing reinforcement is also sewn into the hem of the banner. ICL Imaging always uses reinforced vinyl for all of our outdoor banners.

For information on our banners and other products visit our website, www.icl-imaging.com