In a recent interview, Toby Saalfeld, US Director of Color Services at Ricoh USA and Graphic Communications, discussed the challenges of color management faced by many print service providers and introduced a game-changing solution: the RICOH Auto Color Adjuster. With his extensive experience, Toby understands the complexities of achieving accurate and consistent color across various printing devices and materials. He highlighted the difficulty of meeting specific customer color demands, especially for brands with strict guidelines like Coca-Cola’s iconic red. Color accuracy and consistency are vital for brand identity, customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, business success.

While achieving perfect color often seems to require extensive expertise, expensive equipment, and time-consuming processes, Toby presented the Auto Color Adjuster as a solution that challenges this assumption, making professional-grade color management accessible to everyone.

Profiling vs. Calibration: Bridging the Gap for Consistency

Toby highlights the critical difference between profiling and calibration in color management, emphasizing how the Auto Color Adjuster streamlines the entire process.

In traditional color management, profiling involves creating a baseline for a printer’s output by measuring how it reproduces colors. This requires printing a series of charts with numerous color patches, which are then analyzed to create an output profile that guides the printer’s color reproduction. This step is often time-consuming, taking anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour per profile, and needs to be repeated across different printers and media types to ensure consistency. The sheer number of profiles required and the time investment involved can make traditional profiling a daunting and impractical task for many print service providers.

Calibration, on the other hand, provides a quicker fix by realigning the printer to its original profile. It measures CMYK density ramps, bringing the printer back to a known state. However, this method lacks the accuracy of full profiling, often leading to color deviations and compromises over time. The quick-fix nature of calibration means it cannot address the broader spectrum of color variations as comprehensively as profiling.

The Auto Color Adjuster bridges the gap between profiling and calibration by offering a streamlined solution. Its “Quick Color Adjustment” feature profiles all printers in a matter of minutes, creating consistent and accurate color output. The time-saving nature of this process allows print service providers to quickly recalibrate and profile their printers, ensuring both accuracy and consistency across all devices and media types.

By seamlessly integrating profiling and calibration, the Auto Color Adjuster offers a complete solution that eliminates the compromises of traditional color management, delivering professional-grade output with ease. This empowers print service providers to focus on growing their businesses and satisfying their customers without sacrificing color accuracy or consistency.

RICOH Auto Color Adjuster: The Solution for Customer Satisfaction

Toby described the RICOH Auto Color Adjuster as the “easy button” for color management, designed for simplicity and requires no expertise to achieve accurate and consistent color. This innovative solution empowers print service providers to confidently handle even the most demanding color requests, ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.

A key feature is its color sample-matching capability. As Toby explained, “With Auto Color Adjuster, you can now scan actual images. You don’t need technical charts anymore.” This means achieving the perfect Coca-Cola red, for example, no longer requires complex calibration or specialized knowledge. Simply scan a sample of the desired color, and the Auto Color Adjuster creates a profile that enables your printer to reproduce it faithfully.

Toby emphasized the ease of use: “It’s amazingly easy, I can’t describe how simple and how fast it is.” The Auto Color Adjuster streamlines the color management workflow, saving time and resources while delivering exceptional results. Its versatility extends beyond matching specific brand colors, as it can handle various substrates, print technologies, and color gamuts. This makes it a valuable tool for any print service provider looking to elevate their color capabilities.

Meeting Customer Demands: From Reprints to Customization

Another key point Toby touches on is the need for print service providers to meet customer demands, particularly for consistent reprints and customized jobs.

Print service providers often face challenges when customers return for additional prints weeks or months after the initial job, expecting identical results. Color management processes can be complex, and without an expert on staff, achieving this consistency can be a daunting task. The Auto Color Adjuster addresses this challenge by allowing providers to quickly profile and calibrate their printers, ensuring consistent color reproduction across reprints. By maintaining accuracy from the initial print run to subsequent reprints, it reduces the need for trial and error, saving time and resources while improving customer satisfaction.

For more specialized jobs, such as personalized or branded products, customers demand accurate color matching. The Auto Color Adjuster’s color sample matching feature enables providers to scan samples and create profiles that faithfully reproduce the desired colors. This feature bypasses the need for complex calibration processes and specialized knowledge, making it easier to handle complex designs or unique substrates. For instance, print service providers can now handle requests like wedding invitations or corporate brochures, ensuring accurate color matching to the customer’s vision, no matter the complexity.

By meeting both reprint and customization demands, the Auto Color Adjuster allows print service providers to exceed customer expectations, streamline their workflows, and reduce costly rework.

Beyond CMYK: Expanding Your Capabilities

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The printing industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies offering expanded capabilities and exciting possibilities. Inkjet printing, in particular, is gaining traction for its simplicity, repeatability, and stability, as noted by Toby: “The nice thing about Inkjet is that the process itself is so simple. It’s so repeatable and very stable. And I think there’s more and more that will go that route.”

The Auto Color Adjuster is crucial for enabling businesses to embrace these advancements and offer specialized color solutions. Its ability to handle various print technologies, including inkjet, ensures accurate and consistent color regardless of the printing method. This opens doors for expanding services and catering to a wider range of customer needs, including those requiring:

  • Wider Color Gamuts: Inkjet technology often boasts a wider color gamut than traditional CMYK printing, allowing for more vibrant and saturated colors.
  • Specialty Substrates: Inkjet printers can handle diverse substrates, including textiles, plastics, and even three-dimensional objects, opening up new creative possibilities.
  • Variable Data Printing: Inkjet technology excels at variable data printing, enabling personalized and customized print products.

By embracing these advancements and utilizing the Auto Color Adjuster, print service providers can position themselves at the forefront of the industry and unlock new avenues for growth and success.

Empowering Your Print Business with Color Confidence

The Auto Color Adjuster empowers print service providers to overcome the challenges of color management, exceed customer expectations, and achieve greater success in the competitive world of print. By simplifying the process and eliminating the need for extensive expertise, the Auto Color Adjuster allows businesses of all sizes to achieve professional-grade color accuracy and consistency.

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your print operations and deliver exceptional color results every time? Contact Ricoh and explore the possibilities of the Auto Color Adjuster and discover how it can revolutionize your approach to color management.

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