Consumers and printing companies
I feel the industry, color printing, is going to be divided into two lands: Consumers and printing companies. Zygomatic Color stands in the former. Printing companies should have a turnkey system including RIP and sales guys, no need for Zygomatic Color.
The discrepancy between two lands is especially troublesome about perceptual rendering intent (RI). Very insiders of printing companies don’t care about it, and consumers don’t face it. But I’ve heard much about the troubles from the discrepancy. When border crossers order prints to a printing company, it occurs.
Compare the animated images below.
Both are the soft proofs of perceptual RI. The printing gamuts are not the same but close. The source image is sRGB.
When plan B is the same with plan A
I don’t feel the competitor’s perceptual RI is fine, but the ICC profile builder’s company possesses a prominent position in the industry, and the engineering quality of the builder is the best in the industry AFAIK.
Even if you are a very insider of printing companies, you should know consumers don’t expect the right one. Consumers always expect / get distorted colors, but it is a good reproduction of the original image in some ways. It shouldn’t make gradation flat. It should preserve the relationship between colors. For consumers, color is relative.
On the other hand, the prominent company makes almost the same RIs for perceptual and colorimetric. I cannot imagine why they decided to make out-of-gamut gradation flat. The design is bad for two reasons:
- It makes a disaster in an unfortunate but common case.
- It doesn’t work as plan B when plan A is colorimetric RI.
Very insides are accustomed to the design. Border crossers often crash into it.
“Best practice” is often ironic. It sometimes implies there is a better but theoretical alternative. In this case, the alternative is no better thing. The best practice of the consumer-land isn’t fine too (it prints a peacock from a photo of a pigeon). A best practice vs. a best practice. None of them feels the need of compromise. Already color printing is not a land if “best practice” is the king of a land.
You are in the consumer-land, aren’t you?
I guess the design of the prominent company has a good reason (but I cannot guess it). Whatever a consumer-land’s guy (me) says, it will go on.
So think about yourself, your needs. Don’t you need a good plan B? So don’t copy the best practice of another land. Before you buy an expensive color management solution from the prominent company, try Zygomatic Color.
BTW I made the sample image above. It is a test image for perceptual RI. Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this image for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted.