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Digital test form for ICC-profiles
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Graphic Arts, Media.
2005 (English)In: TAGA 2005, 2005, 454-473 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The majority of Swedish offset printers use color management in order to control color reproduction in their daily production. However, there is a lack of understanding of how well the profiles support agreement among color units. Several parameters in the construction and use of a profile affect the final color result. Print production using ICC-profiles demands a better teamwork in the process. The use of non-dedicated printer profiles may cause a less than optimal end-result. Pedagogic color tools can help the user to understand how well a specific profile defines the color gamut of a digital/analogue printingpress. This paper presents an approach to visualizing how well printer profile parameters are defined in the construction of the ICC-profile. The application Adobe Photoshop ® has been used for profile evaluation because of its widespread use in the graphic arts field. A digital test form has been produced consisting of color test targets and images. This digital test form can give information about: 1) differences between color gamuts, e.g. ECl-RGB, ColorMatch 2) total ink coverage 3) the level of achromatic reproduction, GCR, UCR (Gray Component Replacement, Under Color Removal) 4) effect on different tones, e.g. skin tones 5) comparison between different print profiles and the ISO standard - gamut warning 6) gamut mapping 7) different rendering methods 8) chroma shift when converting to CMYK 9) control of gray balance 10) control of color settings in the applications - ProfileMaker and Print Open The basic model is made from a number of color patches forming a uniform matrix pattern. The matrix construction was created in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. The testform is built in the RGB-color mode, using the standardized color working space, ECI-RGB. To achieve an even distribution of lightness and saturation in the matrix, the HSB (Hue, Saturation and Brightness) color model was chosen. Moving from one patch to the next represents a change in saturation and lightness by ten percent. The colors red and cyan, green and magenta, blue and yellow are confronted to each other as a result of their relationship as complement colors. The center point of the model holds a gray scale built from equal amounts of red, green and blue parts in the RGB-mode. The base model contains information about the total ink coverage (%) and control of color cast. Each matrix has been complemented with a color wise corresponding image to enhance the color conversion change. These images have also been divided into a mosaic pattern to enable measurements directly on the images. This digital test form for ICC-profiles has been evaluated by eight independent graphic arts consultants who work with the implementation of ICC-based production. The result of this evaluation is a recommendation for the printers to use this digital test form to increase awareness of the influence of ICC-profiles on the print.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. 454-473 p.
Keyword [en]
Communication; Conversion; Education; ICC; Separation
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6574OAI: diva2:11322
QC20100617Available from: 2006-12-12 Created: 2006-12-12 Last updated: 2010-06-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Studies on image control for better reproduction in offset
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studies on image control for better reproduction in offset
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This research work has focused on studies of image control for better reproduction in offset and has been applied practically. This research work has resulted in a survey of color management knowledge, a communication list concerning ICC profiles, an educational kit, a proposal for a new terminology and a patent concerning image adaptation.

The work is divided into following three areas:

1) image classification

A better understanding of image processing can avoid misunderstandings in the print and leading to more satisfied customers. To achieve optimal print quality for different images, it is important to adapt the prepress settings to the image category. Images can be divided into different categories depending on their image content, key information and tone distribution.

Trials have been carried out in which the IT.8 test chart has been adapted to different image categories. The results of the image adaptation suggest that an adjustment only to low-key images (dark images) is sufficient, as even normal-key images then show a better similarity to the original image. The low-key image showed more details in dark areas.

2) color separation

Two studies has been carried out. The purpose has been to investigate the knowledge level in color separation, the use of ICC-profiles and the understanding of color management in various printing houses in Sweden. This was done to identify and suggest new applications and suggested actions. These studies indicate that there is a serious problem in the graphic arts industry. The problem is that there is both an insufficient knowledge of color management and a lack of communication. There is a lack of competence and a lack of literature and instructions which can help printers to better understand the technology, and communication suffers through a lack of a common language.

3) suggested actions and the development of tools

Terminology simplification is crucial for the users. A new term for separation “Compensation by Black”, CB, has been suggested. A single term should make it easier for the users to understand and use the different settings which impact the image reproduction. A new tool/kit for the evaluation of ICC-profiles has been created. The goal of this educational kit is to facilitate and exemplify the practical understanding of profiles and their use for the users.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. 101 p.
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2006:27
National Category
Computer Science
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4224 (URN)978-91-7178-524-4 (ISBN)
2006-12-15, E2, KTH, Lindstedsvägen 3, Stockholm, 13:00
QC 20101112Available from: 2006-12-12 Created: 2006-12-12 Last updated: 2010-11-12Bibliographically approved
2. Toward better image reproduction in offset
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Toward better image reproduction in offset
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis has focused on color reproduction processes in the graphics field and is based on theoretical research and practical studies. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate how new tools and tools adapted to a specific production set-up can be used to raise awareness regarding the quality and workflow of images and image processing for sheet-fed offset within the graphic industry.

The work is divided in to the following three study areas with several sub-studies:

1) The first research goal of the thesis is to identify knowledge levels regarding color separation of images and demand specifications within printing houses.

2) The second research goal is to investigate whether novel tools and new terminology can help to increase the knowledge level regarding color management

3) The third goal is to investigate whether process specific adaptation of key color control tools can improve quality levels

Three surveys about color reproduction (focusing on level of knowledge concerning color separation, the use of ICC-profiles and demand specifications for controlled color reproduction) at printing companies in Sweden were made between 2000 and 2004. The surveys indicated a serious problem in the graphic arts industry, involving both an insufficient understanding of color management and a lack of communication.

An important part of the work was to assist in make color management understandable for users and thereby optimize printing. For this purpose, digital test forms have been developed. The developed tools, together with descriptive material, will facilitate the understanding of color management issues. Definitions within the field of color separations have been examined, and changes have been suggested. A new term for separation “Compensation by Black”, CB, has been suggested, instead of e.g. GCR and UCR.

Is it possible to adapt the different parts of the process chain in order to achieve an improved production? Yes! This work has developed the method for adaptation of the scanne rtest chart, the printing test chart for image categorization and the control strip forsheet-fed offset using gray balance. This thesis suggests that it is possible to produce a custom-made IT8 target test chart for scanners and achieve a result at least similar to or even better than the standard test charts on the market. This work has also shown that itis possible to adapt the test chart for printing to image category. The result showed that low-key image separated by the image-adapted test chart showed more detail in the dark areas than a low-key image separated by the standard test chart, in the prints on a coated paper. The result from the adaptation of a control strip for sheet-fed offset showed that gray balance can be used as a control parameter for quality control in sheet-fed offset.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. 133 p.
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2010:06
Images, offset, printing, ICC, color, gamut, profile, calibration, separation, GCR, UCR, characterization, gray balance
National Category
Computer Science Media and Communications
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12432 (URN)978-91-7415-609-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-03, Sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
QC20100617Available from: 2010-04-21 Created: 2010-04-21 Last updated: 2010-08-26Bibliographically approved

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