Tuesday January 02, 2018

Color conversion & PitStop: a perfect match

Topics: Color

There’s no denying it: color conversion is key when it comes to brand recognition. Graphic designers and marketeers use it all the time because getting that one particular shade that looks so awesome on screen looking exactly the same on logos and objects and textile and packaging and posters is challenging, to say the least – hence the need for proper color conversion! What does PitStop have to do with this, you ask? Playing it safe, that’s what!

Color conversion shows a design’s true colors

‘Nothing is what it seems’ is many a professional printer’s motto. While colors may look great on a monitor, they can easily look entirely different in print. A branding nightmare! Monitors, after all, display RGB colors while printing processes use CMYK colors. Enter color conversion: Converting colors usually means adjusting RGB colors to CMYK so that what you see is what you will actually get.

The Pantone color matching system 

Pantone offers virtual libraries and printed swatches that consist of colors and the CMYK values, which are needed to recreate those colors in print. The swatches even show you how a certain color will appear on matte, coated or uncoated paper. Pantone also offers spot colors, which are not possible to recreate with CMYK (well, not perfectly, at least) but are available as premixed inks. Pantone spot colors are particularly popular for branding purposes.

PitStop prevents slip-ups

So once you’ve got your color conversion in place, nothing can go wrong, right? Wrong! If you’re a professional printer, you know how often RGB objects still manage to find their way into a design and end up getting printed anyway. That’s when PitStop comes into play. PitStop is a preflight tool for PDFs that automatically finds and converts those RGB graphics to CMYK. Yes, without you having to leave Acrobat! PitStop can also convert spot colors to CMYK, which is a great way to cut costs if spot colors aren’t paramount for your design.

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About Andrew Bailes-Collins

Andrew Bailes-Collins, senior product manager PitStop at Enfocus

Andrew Bailes-Collins is Senior Product Manager at Enfocus. He graduated from what is now the London College of Communications and went on to serve an apprenticeship as a Compositor. He has worked for a number of vendors in the printing and publishing sector, including Scangraphic, Apple, and DuPont/Crosfield.

He has been Prepress Manager for several high quality printing companies in London, managing the change from conventional production techniques to digital. An early adopter of computer-to-plate and PDF workflow, Andrew then worked at OneVision Software for ten years. Initially based in the UK, before rising through the company to become Head of Product Management Europe at their head office near Munich in Germany.

Andrew joined Enfocus and moved to Belgium in 2011 and is the Senior Product Manager responsible for the PitStop family of products. He is also the Technical Officer for the Ghent Workgroup and Co-Chair of the GWG specifications sub-committee.

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