by Faith Fogel, with Alvaro Rodriquez
ARB Digital's founder and lead consultant, Alvaro Rodriguez, is a self annoited color geek with social skills. He can describe the interstices of G7 press calibration in palatable terms--if you have no idea what that is, fear not, read on-- and online coach a distant client calibrating complex machinery. Though you'd never know it, because he's so humble and approachable, Alvaro is sought after by international clients seeking to improve their press and print quality.
ARB Digital's most recent mission: An unruly press in the Dominican Republic.
First, what is G7 calibration? Here, I defer to Alvaro, who wields a G7 certification:
It's easy to get confused with so many acronyms and classifications out there: GRACoL, and G7. I'll try to make things simple: GRACoL is the specification of how a commercial offset lithography press should print. In other words, it’s what the ideal sheet feed press in the sky would look like. GRACoL 2013 is the latest specification of GRACoL, while G7 is the method to make a sheet press look like GRACoL.
On a G7 calibrated press sheet, the CMY grays should be neutral. Basically, if you were to compare gray CMY values versus K values, you’ll find a match visual. This makes it very easy to confirm that the press sheet is printing correctly.
There are many myths around G7. Many think that special inks are needed to be able to print within the GRACoL Specs. The fact is that inks worldwide are manufactured under an ISO standard (ISO 2846-1) so it does not matter which litho ink you are using. if you are using quality ink, you probably use less ink to get to the desired color than if you were using the lesser expense stuff.
By the way, the G in G7 stands for grayscale and the 7 for the seven colors used in offset printing: CMYK + RGB. The solid RGBs are the ink traps, and getting their color right is just as important as getting CMYK and the grays right.
I took the liberty of bolding a few lines of Alvaro's description. If you let everything else go, hold on to those, and this: G7 calibration equals cleaner, crisper prints with color that's reproducible time and time again. Well worth the time and investment. We have found that clients want the monitor to match the proof and the proof to match the press sheet. Our tools make it easy to ensure that colors match throughout the workflow.
Besides offering press calibration and G7 Certification services to our customers, ARB Digital has a suite of software tools help printers improve quality. From saving ink, to verifying that prints conform to the G7 specs, these tools allow consistent and accurate color throughout the workflow.
In Sacramento, the Bay Area, and abroad...We calibrate, ask us how.