If you are joining us for the first time, here is what the golden nuggets are all about. At ColorMetrix we spend a great deal of our business life on the road. We have come to realize that we take one golden nugget away from almost every stop we make on the road.
So, the purpose of this weekly e-mail will be sharing the best golden nuggets from our travels with all of you. The focus of the golden nuggets will be color measurement (this is after all what we do at ColorMetrix). It will by and large not be focused on our software, but instead on best practices we observe; tips and tricks; and even stuff that should not work but does!
*** Jim Raffel’s Week 2 Golden Nugget ***
At the end of the week 1 golden nugget I asked the question what environment should samples be measured in. There is no easy answer to this question except for an incomplete one; a consistent environment! The standards organizations have made statements about measuring on a white surface; a black surface, on top of a stack of x number of blank sheets of your substrate, etc… Let me say this is all good information, and should be tracked down in order to make your consistent measurement environment as technically correct as is practical. There are, however, writers better suited than I to cover the exact standards and how to apply them (any guest nugget writers out there?).
What we want to share is a simple solution one of our customer’s has implemented. First, this customer settled on the concept of a uniform white backing for all measurements. Ah, but what uniform white backing? This customer has many locations around the globe that measurements are made at, so this complicates the solution a bit. While a single location operation can pick a single light booth, and always measure in that specific booth taking advantage of the white surface supplied by the light booth manufacturer, our large customer did not have this luxury.
So, here is what our customer did. They went to a local home improvement store and purchased a box of 12”x12” off white tiles. They then took those tiles back to their office, and measured them for consistency. Basically they created a large grid on one tile and measured each quadrant of the grid. The Delta E turned out to be quite tight (less than 2). They then took random measurements on the rest of the box, and found the Delta E variation remained acceptable to them (still less than 2 from the baseline). Finally, they went back to the home improvement store and purchased several more boxes of the same lot number of tiles. Keep in mind this solution worked for them, you may need to pick a different easily accessible surface.
I have heard through the grapevine that one of the leading manufactures of color related products will be releasing a disposable white or black verified option to serve as a measurement backing. If this actually comes to market it will be a great solution to a big problem in our industry. Let’s be honest how many of us have taken “quick and dirty” measurements on our wood grain desktops? (I raised my hand)
Next week I am going to continue this subject, and address the issue of ambient light when measuring samples which contain optical brighteners.
*** IMPORTANT 2005 ColorMetrix User’s Group FREE golf shirt update ***
As I mentioned last week, we will be picking some of the best golden nuggets between now and the ColorMetrix User’s Group Conference to incorporate in a technical discussion. If you find these nuggets interesting or informative you should consider joining us in Las Vegas August 21-23 (http://colormetrix.com/cmug05/). The deadline to register AND receive a free ColorMetrix golf shirt has been extended to this Friday June 24th. We need to get the shirts ordered, so the free shirt deadline will not be extended further. If you are thinking about coming now is the time to register!
Well, that’s it for week 2. Please feel free to e-mail back ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), and let me know what you think. If you have ideas for golden nuggets, that’s would be great too.