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A Rose Is a Rose, Is a Rose ...

Photonics Spectra
Dec 1996
Mary E. Fitzgerald

Or a blue, a purple or a yellow. Art directors and designers of brochures, advertisements and other printed material usually are very specific about which color they want for their art. If it has to be Coca-Cola red, a variation just won't do.

Light Source Computer Images Inc., which produces hardware and software packages for the printing industry, needed a low-cost, accurate color-measurement system to bundle with its ColorShop software. The company turned to Lucid Technologies, based near Rochester, N.Y., and requested a system designed to fit its specific requirements. Lucid, known for its electro-optic product expertise, designed and manufactured a true 32-band, 10-nm constant-bandwidth spectrophotometer engine for Light Source at a cost of up to ten times less than rival systems, with no sacrifice in performance.

The Colortron II Digital Color Ruler is a 32-band color-measurement device that incorporates the features of a colorimeter, densitometer and monitor calibrator. The Lucid spectrophotometer measures the spectral characteristics of a color and provides output to a computer equipped with Light Source software. Using this data, the closest Pantone color match is quickly available. In addition to color matching, operators can monitor for color consistency at various stages of the printing process.

Another concern for designers is the effect of light on colors. Because surfaces reflect light differently and various light sources (natural, fluorescent, incandescent, etc.) affect the density and reflectivity of color, the system allows a designer to preview how colors will look under different light conditions.

The digital color sensor system is targeted for the desktop publishing and color prepress professional. It can measure and capture color from almost any surface including paper, photos, transparencies and textiles. It captures reflective, transmissive and emissive color energy throughout the visible light spectrum and measures color like a ruler, which provides objective color information. This data improves communication among clients, designers, prepress houses and printers so that everyone involved knows exactly what color the rose is before -- and after -- it is printed.

Accent on ApplicationsApplicationsColortron II Digital Color RulerLight Source Computer Images Inc.Lucid TechnologiesSensors & Detectors

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