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Why Color Management is Important

Posted: 6/8/2016

In the customization and personalization business, color and efficiency are everything. When your colors are off, efficiency is drastically reduced from the time and materials you invest in testing each color change. Customers are particular about their colors, especially when it comes to their branding reproduction. Not knowing how to properly manage digital color production on the substrates your customers order can result in dissatisfied customers, increased material waste, refunds and damage to your reputation. 

Effective color management results in vibrancy and accuracy that makes your work stand out from that of your competition and keeps your customers coming back for more. In the case of sublimation, a technology that produces uncommonly deep and compelling colors, the effect is even more powerful.

With short runs and personalization, efficiency can make or break your profitability. Meeting and managing your customers' expectations are key to keeping your efficiency and profitability as high as possible. Even simple tasks, like mirror imaging and selecting the right paper size and color settings, take precious time. Especially with sublimation, time spent not printing is profit lost. 

Some quick and easy things you can do this month to increase your color management skills and give your efficiency a boost:

  • Familiarize yourself with your graphics and printer software. All of Sawgrass' SubliJet inks and compatible printers come with our PowerDriver software, which makes it easy and efficient to deliver accurate colors that pop – time after time. But it only works if you install it properly and know how to integrate it with your graphics software.

  • Print out your color palette on specific substrates you use. Every graphics program has a palette from which you choose colors. Most you can customize, and many allow you to import your sublimation printer's color specs. Check what your software offers and print the entire palette on each of the different substrates you use. For example, if you sublimate t-shirts, press a print of your palette onto a shirt and keep it close by for customers to be able to see how the colors will look when printed.

  • Create spec samples. Just like with keeping a color palette handy, you should also have a set of spec samples that show how your prints look on several types of substrates. A sublimated glossy metal panel will look much different from a sublimated t-shirt.

  • Take the time to test what works best for you. Print quality is influenced by a variety of factors. Heat, substrate composition, humidity, dust, time, pressure, altitude – they all affect how your colors look. Invest in a set of ink to spend on learning what combination of factors need to be present to produce the best colors possible. This will save you time and money in the long-run because it will exponentially increase your efficiency.

Learn more about color management with our June webinars. Click below to register: