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Steve Smiley talks color management and the new XRGA standard

Published on October 12, 2010

INTERVIEWER:  Now X-Rite is unveiling the new XRGA standard.  

STEVE SMILEY:  Yes sir. 

INTERVIEWER:  What problems will that solve or does it aim to solve? 

STEVE SMILEY:  Today, when I have work printed anywhere in the world and multiple people use multiple devices to measure end width, each one of those looks a little bit different from each other one.  So they don’t read the same.  The XRGA technology is going to make all those devices come back in and give me a similar reading closer than what I’ve ever had before.  So whether I’m using an X-Rite 530 or I’m using an Spectra **** or an I-1 anywhere in the world, I can run it through Color Port, get the new XRGA standard back out of it and have something that’s a closer match numerically than I’ve ever had before. 

INTERVIEWER:  And what is Color Port? 

STEVE SMILEY:  Color Port’s a free downloadable from X-Rite, it is the tool they’re using today to convert things into XRGA.  Tomorrow it will be built into all of their devices as they upgrade them. 

You make 70% of your buying decision is done at point of purchase in a store.  And the printing on that is extremely critical, the color is extremely critical.  And that’s where we have to have devices that all calibrate to each other, can talk to each other; can communicate a common color language.  It wasn’t necessarily your annual report that’s being printed digitally now or some of the other things that we considered high-end printing years ago. 

From a color standpoint, we’re really pushing harder at the Ghent Work Group to drop CSF files inside the PDF so I can pass color data to your in blind transfer, anywhere in the world.  So once I can define color and a tint ramp and the opacity of that color, we can look at things really accurately on the monitor, we can look at things really accurately on any proofing system and it levels the playing field for proofing systems.  And if I send it to a printer in Columbia and China and Cincinnati, they all have all the tools they need to come back in and match the buyer’s expectations.  

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