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Unique-Yanbal standardizes on GMG ColorProof

Press release from the issuing company

Hingham, MA USA (October 21, 2008) – Yanbal International, leading provider of Unique-Yanbal beauty products and jewelry in Latin America, has standardized its proofing systems on GMG ColorProof, provided by GMG Americas, the US office of Germany-based GMG, supplier of high-end color management and proofing solutions.

Yanbal International is dedicated to the sale of beauty products and jewelry in Latin America and Spain, sold by direct-to-consumer sales representatives from high-quality catalogs. The company manufactures and commercializes more than 500 products, including face treatments, perfume and cosmetics, for Latin American consumers-where sales have risen 25 percent in the past three years-as well as Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela, and other Latin American markets. The company has enjoyed tremendous success-for example, of the $250 million of cosmetics sold 'door-to-door' in Peru, Unique-Yanbal holds the number-two position in the market, focusing on middle and upper middle class customers.

Because Unique-Yanbal's success is based on the direct sale of products from catalogs through beauty consultants, there is considerable importance placed on regularly printed brochures. The corporation investments heavily in catalogs, not only in content, but also in photographic production, design and printing. Color accuracy is essential-colors in the catalogs must match the colors of the cosmetics, when they are delivered.

Unique-Yanbal's in-house design group relies on two printers from Lima, Peru, and one from Bogota, Colombia, to print their catalogs. They send all low-resolution PDF files to one of their printers in Peru, where high-resolution print-ready pages are prepared. Originally, proofers and color correction were driven by Adobe Photoshop.

Consultant Saul Arana, of ColorGroup in Lima, Peru, recommended an RGB workflow. "Unique-Yanbal and their print providers used to work in CMYK, but I convinced them to store images in RGB, because the images would be kept with a wider gamut, and because Unique-Yanbal was using images for more than just print," comments Sr. Arana. "So, our advice was to send files as clean as possible, designing pages as RGB PDF files, and suggesting that the printers would convert the RGB files to CMYK, based on the workflow's ICC profile engines."

Meanwhile, Unique-Yanbal knew how important it was that nail polish and lipstick match photos on the catalog pages. Unfortunately, the proofing process was working in reverse: the printer was matching the proof, rather than the proof becoming a predictor of the image on the press. The result was a number of problems. Unique-Yanbal complained that images on the proofs had a lot of posterization on the models' faces, but when the images went to press, the posterization disappeared. The printer tried to fix the problem in Adobe Photoshop, but that resulted in skin tones that looked too artificial. Unique-Yanbal needed more natural skin tones.

"Unique-Yanbal decided that an expensive, proprietary proofing device would resolve the problems, but I was convinced that you could get the same quality with an inkjet printer. My advice was to change the software, not the proof printer," explains Arana. "That way, we'd be able to match the proof to the press and, at the same time, do it without the expense of a proprietary system. I came to the conclusion that GMG ColorProof would be the best answer."

Unique-Yanbal was one of the first companies to adopt the ISO 12647-2:2007 standard for all stages of production, and its goal is to ultimately use GMG ColorServer for its RGB to CMYK conversion. Color inkjet systems have been installed with GMG ColorProof in prepress and creative areas, and have been configured to achieve the required ISO standard. They have also installed GMG ProofControl, to assure-and document, with an 'approved' label-that proofs have been produced within Unique-Yanbal's tolerances. In order to assure compliance with the ISO standard on press, the print providers installed GMG PrintControl and GMG RapidCheck, with great success. In short, there is now a closed loop system between creative design, prepress and press. This standard provides Unique-Yanbal a very flexible and transparent communication tool with their print providers, no matter where they are located.

On press, there is no longer a need to match to the proof. All the printers have consistent color on the press cylinders. Before they measured averages between rows and columns of a printed sheet to achieve the closest colors. Now, the match is dead-on, with very good density-without averaging. "GMG ColorProof is an excellent product," comments Arana. "It is very well designed, very accurate and, most important, easy to maintain its accuracy."

GMG ColorProof helped deliver better shadows and colors-particularly skin tones-and Unique-Yanbal is very pleased with the whiteness of GMG ProofMedia papers. "The Unique-Yanbal catalog requires a lot of neutral grey balance. Unique-Yanbal was very concerned because some of their products utilize grey and silver tones, and the proofs were never good enough. After installing GMG ColorProof, those colors have looked great," notes Arana. "Another problem was matching spot colors, used primarily for the Unique-Yanbal logo, because sometimes the printers changed the inks that were used. Through all this, GMG ColorProof has kept the colors consistent."

"We have been so fortunate with our results using GMG ColorProof along with our ISO program that Unique-Yanbal is creating policies for all print providers who want to print other corporate products," says Alex Torres, Director of Graphic Production, Unique-Yanbal. "We require printers to follow the lead of our other printers, which includes using GMG ColorProof, to qualify as standard print providers."