Color Correcting

In the prepress department, Mark Young, Prepress Technician, is responsible for many vital roles of a job before it is ever hits the presses. He handles file ready images (jobs that do not require design time), operates imposition software and creates plates using Computer to Plate (CTP) equipment.

Part of handling file ready images includes color matching or color correcting. Digital cameras, scanners, and computer monitors generate colors based on RGB (Red, Green & Blue). These colors are created by adding light to change a black appearing screen. Screen color is called additive color because light is added to create color. When printing, plates are made based on the colors CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black).

Mark uses a computer that has been calibrated so what he sees on his monitor when color matching, is remarkably close to what is seen when the job is printed. Color matching, or correcting, often includes removing glares from the image, cleaning up backgrounds, and increasing brightness of colors. Often times, when a camera is used to take a picture of something, it doesn’t capture the true colors and affect you experience when seen with the naked eye. Having long ago developed an excellent reputation for critical color matching, Mark is always able to put the “real” back in “real”isitc with all the jobs he works on.

When color matching is necessary, many times the customer will send over the item(s) or picture from where the image ready file originated. Once the color matching is done, an Epson proof is created. From this proof, Mark can compare the proof, the item and the computer screen to see where there is variation, if any, to make changes. Once the final changes have been made, he then makes the final proof for the customer to see. When the proof comes back from the customer with an OK, Mark will fine tune the job, and then make the four plates: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Each of these plates, like Mark, play a central role in making certain a job looks its best for the press!

In the picture above you can catch Mark working on pieces for Sandra Malone of Sandra’s Folk Art Studio.