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X-Rite Unveils Next Generation Color Exchange Format

Monday, June 02, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

DRUPA 2008 DÜSSELDORF (Hall 5, Stand DO2) – May 29, 2008 – X-Rite, Incorporated, a global leader in color technology, today unveiled the next generation of the Color Exchange Format (CxF), a file format designed to accurately and unambiguously communicate all commercially relevant aspects of color across devices, applications and geographies. The new CxF is applicable to any industry where faithful communication of color and total appearance data is mission critical, including design, print production, architecture, manufacturing, fashion, and film and video.

“Methods for specifying and communicating color are often media-specific and the interpretation of color data across media can be ambiguous. This makes color consistency difficult to achieve in cross-media color reproduction,” explains Dr. Niraj Agarwal, X-Rite’s vice president of new solutions. “CxF provides an XML-based color specification mechanism that is comprehensive, flexible and usable as an industry-agnostic horizontal resource.”

CxF acts as a universal container for transporting complete color information from concept to final production. It faithfully carries the entire set of total appearance color reference data supplied by the content creator throughout the production and supply chain, maintaining the integrity of the original design and allowing global communication with unmatched accuracy.

CxF can include spectral color values, named colors such as PANTONE®, color spaces and appearance effects (specific lighting conditions, type of substrate, type of ink, density, opacity, transparency of the color, gloss, texture, position and shape of color patches), as well as commercial aspects, mathematical, optical conditions, etc. CxF enhances existing standards, like PANTONE, by bringing a new set of dimensions to the colors that can be transmitted across workflows in any global production supply chain.

“Our design intent with CxF is to provide a base that allows transition of color from concept to output in diverse workflows, while retaining the possibility of comparing back to a common and unambiguous color specification,” says Dr. Agarwal. “CxF will facilitate color consistency by simply taking the guesswork out of color decisions and ensuring that all critical information is included. CxF can ensure that what the designer intended is what the client receives on final output. We expect the implementation of CxF to result in efficiency gains by making verifiable color reproduction easier across the process,” he concludes.

CxF takes advantage of the openness and universal acceptance of XML (Extensible Markup Language) and therefore can be seamlessly integrated into any Internet-based workflow. Through the use of XML, CxF presents self-identifying color data and enables a flexible communication mechanism. CxF is able to seamlessly integrate data from other color communication methods, including ICC color profiles, CIE-Lab, XYZ, RGB, CMYK, PANTONE, RAL, NCS, Toyo, HKS, etc.

X-Rite will deploy CxF as a connector that permits interoperability across industries, across media and across locations. To this end, the company is committed to working with partners and to making a set of base tools around CxF freely available. Every software vendor implementing and supporting CxF will be able to easily extend the basic feature set to its needs for a new application without affecting the general usability. End users will also be able to extend and customize the format to allow inclusion of specialized information.




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