Color Management for Wide Format Digital Imaging

Where to find training, books, and help on color management relative to scanning and large format inkjet printing. Nicholas Hellmuth has produced a totally comprehensive coverage of every color management and ICC color profile tool and software that he has heard of, seen at a tradeshow, or is available at his two university wide format inkjet evaluation labs.

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    25

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    August 2003

Scanning 35mm Slides and Negative

Scanning medium format and large format chromes is a bit different than scanning 35mm negs and slides, so we have a separate report on each in this series. The entire FLAAR project on digital imaging is based on the Japanese ministry of education providing a grant for Professor Hellmuth to assist the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, on how to scan their photo archive (which was largely Dr Hellmuth92s own photos which the museum had purchased the year before). This Japanese project and a succeeding scanner project had a budget of about $250,000. So you get all the results of all these years experience, for an economical $124 for the entire series (or discounted down still further to $100 if you have already become part of the FLAAR favored readers by filling out the inquiry form).

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    21

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    Febrary 2003

Workflow in Digital Photography

Summary of sort of everything you need to think about in doing the original photography to sending the image through software to get it enlarged with an inkjet printer, Fuji Pictrography, Durst Lambda, LightJet, or other kind of digital printer.

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    8

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    May 2003

Print resolution for wide format printers

This report actually informs you the different requirements for thermal printheads (Canon, Encad, ColorSpan, and HP) vs piezo printheads (Epson, Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland). Professor Hellmuth also adds facts on what resolution is required for RGB laser light imagers such as Durst Lambda, LightJet. Dye sub dye transfer printers (wax or resin ribbons) are a different technology again, and require a resolution which is not the same as inkjet. Everything on resolution, for your scanner, for your digital camera, for your printer, are all contained here.

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    25

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    May 2003

Inks and Colorants for Large Format Printers

Some of the better large format inkjet printers will print on almost any material though most inkjet printers can print only on 93media.94 93Media94 is any paper or synthetic or fabric material that has been treated with a thin layer of receptor powder to handle the inks used in standard inkjet printers. If you chose good media you can get impressive museum quality prints. If you select the wrong media you can cause head-strikes which will destroy your piezo printheads (they cost $530 per head to replace; requires a service call to do it). Thermal printheads, in distinction, are less prone to self-destruct. Part of FLAAR92s staff holding print from our ColorSpan Displaymaker XII. This print is now on permanent exhibit at our university.

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    24

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    June 2003

Frequently Asked Questions on Media

FAQ on Wide Format Inkjet Media: A list of the most notorious horror stories of disasters with inkjet media. Many of the people who related these stories lost their clients; and some companies went effectively bankrupt due to poor taste (or wrong choice) in inkjet media. We can't save you from making your own wrong descision, but we can sure provide warnings, advice, tips, and suggestions so at least your chances of survival are higher than people who don't read FLAAR reports. Indeed we maintain running lists of the problems that people write to us about. These primarily go into the Survival Series, since often they are printhead related. The present report covers situations related to inkjet canvas, photobase, coated bond, and all the synthetic inkjet materials.

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    12

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    May 2003

Glossary of Wide Format Inkjet Media

This is a comprehensive glossary of jargon and other confusing terms associated with wide format inkjet paper. Professor Hellmuth has dedicated himself to making arcane digital imaging hardware and software understandable to the general public. Preparing a glossary is a key ingredient in his long range program of education. Don't let manufacturers hide behind jargon. Go behind the hype to learn what each media is actually supposed to do. Knowing the meaning of the jargon is a good first step to removing the mumbo-jumbo that surrounds large format digital imaging. Many media companies make great products which will enable you to produce wide color gamut, good color balance, and overall a sellable print which will keep your clients coming back for more. But to become a savvy buyer, it helps to arm yourself with factual information in advance

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    12

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    OCTOBER 2002

Reliable Sources of Media

This report is extremely helpful for the fact that lists companies who make, coat, or design inkjet media. You can save hours of time by having this list at hand because it annotates some of the entries, so you know which are the more reliable media companies. This initial list is primarily for water-based dye inks and water-based pigmented inks. This is not intended to cover substrates for UV cured inks or for solvent inks...

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    14

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    May 2003

Glossary of RIPs for Wide Format Printers

Nicholas Hellmuth has dedicated himself to making arcane digital imaging hardware and software understandable to the general public. Preparing a glossary is a key ingredient in his long range program of education. Don't let manufacturers hide behind jargon. Go behind the hype to learn what a RIP is actually supposed to do. Knowing the meaning of the jargon is a good first step to removing the mumbo-jumbo that surrounds large format digital imaging. Many RIP companies make great products which will enable you to produce wide color gamut, good color balance, and overall a sellable print which will keep your clients coming back for more. But to become a savvy buyer, it helps to arm yourself with factual information in advance.

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    13

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    May 2003

List of Main Brands of RIPs for Large Format Inkjet Printers

This list of RIPs is based on gathering data over the last two years. RIP companies come and go, merge or go bankrupt. Thus we recommend you stick with a well known RIP. But how do you know if the RIP you are looking at is well known, or infamous? If you need to know what a RIP does, and why you need it for a large format printer, then ask for Nicholas Hellmuth92s FLAAR Report: RIP+Help: general introduction: quick-start list of the best RIPs which we recommend; hints for what accessories you need; list of where you can get books and training, plus general information on the care and feeding of your RIP.

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    17

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    May 2003

Help and Tips RIPs for Large Format Inkjet Printers

About 80% of the people who send in e-mails asking for help with RIPs are first time users. Based on the most frequently asked questions we have prepared the following tips to help you face, and survive, the learning curve. This report also includes general information for people new to large format inkjet printers. Don92t worry about not understanding what a RIP is and what it does. RIP (Raster Image Processor) is an unknown concept to newcomers to the world of wide format inkjet printing. RIP is software with PostScript capability. RIP software is basically the brains that makes a printer place the squirts of ink in the correct positions on the paper to give you a beautiful digital image. (Adobe) PostScript is software within the RIP that keeps your fonts attractively rendered without the jaggies.

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    38

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    January 2003

Standard Printer Evaluation

This important opus describes how Nicholas Hellmuth evaluates each printer model. You can learn from this how to select and choose what wide format printer is the ideal one for you or your company to purchase. The tips and help within this report are based on Dr HellmuthB9s years of experiences with twelve wide format printers at the two university testing labs as well as site-visit case studies of sign shops, giclee and photo studios, individuals printing at home, and in-house corporate use of inkjet printers.

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    15

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    June 2003

Used Wide Format Inkjet Printers

Every month we receive e-mails from people who already have, or are about to buy a used printer at such a low price that it tempts them to skip common sense. The purpose of this e-mail is to do our best to bring up some aspects of reality that come along with the 93good deal.94

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    12

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    February 2003

Survival Guide

The following observations are intended as a survival guide to shopping for a wide format printer. We enjoy having a wide format printer at our university to produce signs and banners as well as photos and fine art giclee prints. In addition to the practical ability of being able to print anytime at any size, it92s also great fun to be able to enlarge virtually any image to poster size or even up to mural size.

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    43

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    January 2003

Wide Format Inkjet Printer Applications

Inspiration with Inkjet Printers: New Wide Format Printer Applications so you can sell into New Markets Tips, Help, Suggestions, for all the uses that you can apply your wide format inkjet printer to accomplish This is the original FLAAR version, substantially updated in September 2003. The published version was published earlier last year and therefore does not have the many updates that we insert into this full FLAAR version every quarter. If you wish to learn how to earn money with your wide format printer, this is the report to get you started.

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    37

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    September 2003

List of Wide Format Printers

By popular request here is a list of all large format printers we know about. We include primarily current models (year 2002-2003) along with models that are sufficiently recent that they are still readily available, as well as occasional relics that we have been able to find out about. We have not yet found any other comprehensive list nor a really complete history of large format printers, so we did quite a lot of research to prepare this report

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    28

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    June 2003

Glossary of Terms Related to Wide Format Inkjet Printers

This glossary is written to help newbies through intermediate users of inkjet printers learn the jargon of wide format inkjet printers. It is based on the years of experience of Professor Hellmuth with his 12 wide format inkjet printers at the two universities where he maintains test labs for digital imaging equipment. If you are about to buy your first wide format printer, or an 13 x 19 desktop size, or even if you already have some experience but want more, this glossary was written for your needs. You can survive a lot better in the world of inkjet printing and digital imaging if you know the arcane jargon that some people hide behind. This glossary offers you a head start to cut through the verbage and get to the true facts about inkjet printing.

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    14

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    May 2003

SuggestionsTips, and Help to prepare a Business Plan

Suggestions, Tips, Help towards preparing a BUSINESS PLAN setting up a wide format printing service. If you need to prepare a business plan, the documentation by Professor Nicholas Hellmuth is a god-send. His six years of experience is concentrated in this new title (new for 2003). Before you consumate the actual purchase of a wide format printer, laminator, scanner or RIP, you might wish to think things over and do some planning. So as part of our year 2004 educational program, we have added this new title, "Help towards preparing a Business Plan." This report is appropriate for * setting up a wide format printer in-house in any corporation, * setting up or expanding a sign printing company (primarily with water-based inks), * for a screen printer wanting to expand into digital imaging, * for copy shops, quick print, and commercial printers For photographers and for artists (or sign shops) who want to print gliclee. We have noticed that many sign shops wish to enter the lucrative market for giclE9e printing, so we have included many tips for that (plus we have an entire series on giclE9e printing).

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    25

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    January 2004

Digital Photography and Scanning for Sign and Shops

If you are moving from being a screen printer or vinyl cutter into inkjet printers, it may help to have some tips on scanners, digital cameras, and digital imaging. This report discusses: Which Scanner is best to handle your negatives and transparencies?, and How to Digitize objects that are too large for a flatbed scanner? (scanner vs digital camera).

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    20

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    Febrary 2003

Wide Format Printers for SIgns, Posters and Banners

Which Wide Format Printers are Best for Signs, Posters, Banners: POP and other signs. A comparative review of Graphtec, Encad, HP, Roland, ColorSpan, Epson, Mutoh, Mimaki, and others. If you are a screen printer, vinyl cutting sign shop, or anyone who wants to print signs, posters, banners, tradeshow graphics, this report is useful to you. Nicholas has checked out sign shops from Mexico City to Mumbai and recently in Malta. Hellmuth interviews the sign shop owners and learns about which printers, inks, vinyl, and other materials are good for POP and all kinds of signs.

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    32

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    Febrary 2003

Photographing Paintings to reporduce Fine Art

If you intend to undertake giclE9e printing for either fun or profit, you need to figure out how to digitize the oil paintings or watercolor paintings. Dr Hellmuth spent a month doing this with 18th century oil paintings on canvas at the Malta Centre for Restoration, University of Malta. This report is the result of the work of his team. Also includes appendix based on the work of the FLAAR staff at Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala who also do giclE9e printing (which implies they also have to photograph the paintings to begin with).

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    22

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    May 2003

Evaluation of Canon W7250 24" Six color Large Format Printer

Canon holds more patents on inkjet printheads than probably any other company. The W7250 is one of their first new-generation 2494 models. The W7200 is the same but 3694. FLAAR has the W7250 at our university so we can test it in real-life.

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    36

Update:

    August 2003