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Why Getting Color Right is Trickier Than it Sounds

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By Earl Balthazar III

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn

Color is just one of the many aspects of an effective quality control program that needs to be strategically managed to ensure accurate and consistent end products. However, color can be surprisingly challenging to get right.

Without an integrated digital color management workflow, manufacturers risk delivering products with mis-matched components, colors that flare under different lighting sources, and other color mishaps that dramatically impact consumer perception of product quality. Thankfully, with the right tools and processes in place, today’s manufacturers can assure customers that their products will be color accurate each and every time – without added costs, production delays or wasted resources.

So, what makes color so hard to get right? Visual color evaluation can seem straightforward enough. You simply compare an end product to the color standard to gauge whether the two match. However, the problem with this approach comes down to subjectivity.

People will both see and describe colors differently, even when variable conditions such as lighting have been made uniform. In fact, everything from an individual’s age, medications and mood can impact their color perception, and that is in addition to external environmental factors like lighting, background, altitude and noise. Furthermore, color perception is impacted by the physical characteristics of a product, such as its gloss level, opacity and texture.

That is why modern manufacturers rely on color management solutions to accurately measure, display and analyze color – thus bringing objectivity into the process, in addition to measurement and analysis far beyond the limitations of the human eye.

Want to learn more about color management? The above is a brief excerpt from my latest article for Quality Magazine“Getting Color Right (It’s Trickier Than It Sounds): What You Need to Know for Effective Color Management.” Click to read the complete article, learn about the essential components needed to build a digital color management program, and explore the variables you should consider when choosing the right color management tools.

I look forward to continuing to explore color management topics and answering your most pressing color questions. Connect with me on LinkedIn here or submit your questions here.

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