Several problems faced by digital proofing

Digital proofing technology is produced with the advent of CTP system concepts. However, due to the development of inkjet technology and other related technologies and the reduction of costs, digital proofing has gradually changed from a subsidiary product of CTP to a leading technology product for the digitalization of the entire printing process. . It not only satisfies the requirements for proofing the CTP system, but also adapts to different levels of production requirements based on the existing production process conditions. However, the whole process of digital proofing marketization is not as easy as everyone imagines. On the one hand, it has to accept the challenges of traditional craftsmanship. On the other hand, there is a competition issue between digital proofing technology and its own products. This article analyzes the main problems faced in the digital proofing marketization process from the following aspects.

First, the "digitalization" and "standardization" of digital proofing color management are constrained by various factors in the actual application environment, and cannot reach the digitization degree that everyone expects, and thus there is a deviation in understanding digital proofing. Digital proofing has emerged from the very beginning with digital color management as the guiding ideology. Each digital proofing system provider advertises and promotes its own proofing system based on the digitization of its digital proofing products and the accuracy of color standards. In operation, digital proofing cannot achieve the ideal degree of digitization, thus causing the user to have too high expectation for digitization, thus creating obstacles for correct understanding and use of digital proofing.

Digital proofing effects are influenced by various factors such as color management software, equipment status, ink, media, measuring instruments, and debugging standards. The digitization of the digital proofing system is based on the combined effects of digital debugging and non-digitalization. The digitization of digital proofing is not a work that can be accomplished by simple instrument measurement. It requires a comprehensive data and non-data analysis of the entire system so that the end user can achieve digital management during use.

The color standard of digital proofing should refer to the quality standard of the printing process on the one hand, and it must be constrained by the characteristics of the proofing system itself on the other hand. The standards for different printing process conditions are not exactly the same, so the standards provided for digital proofing are not the only ones. Digital proofing standards vary according to different technological requirements. It is a relative standard rather than an absolute standard. Any proofing system has its own characteristics, and the performance of the color must be achieved through the equipment and the system. We can not realize the ideal equipment independence from the equipment and system. Therefore, the standard of proofing will also be constrained by factors such as the status of the proofing system equipment and consumables.

Second, digital proofing uses a different imaging system and process principle than printing, making the most complex and controversial color management in the traditional printing process more difficult to grasp. At the same time, digital proofing has not yet formed its own technical standards, making it difficult to evaluate and control digital proofing.

Color is the result of a combination of observations of light sources, backgrounds, perspectives, observer physiology, psychology, and other factors, and therefore subjectivity and complexity in color evaluation and color control. Digital proofing adopts a different imaging system than printing, which makes digital proofing more complicated in the control mechanism of matching print colors. Before digital proofing has not formed its own reasonable industry standard, traditional print business users are more likely to stiffen up. The application of traditional printing control standards has brought contradictions to the quality evaluation and control of digital proofing.

Most of the traditional printing uses closed density management based on color management, through the control of the field density, tone, gray balance and other control of the CMYK channels to achieve print quality control. However, on the one hand, digital proofing needs to realize open-type color management. On the other hand, simply using the density method to control the spectral characteristics of the color-forming system, the overprinting characteristics of the ink, etc., is difficult to meet the digital proofing color management requirements. The color control and evaluation standards for proofing put forward new requirements. The establishment of a reasonable and effective digital proofing technology standard is a problem facing the development of digital proofing.

Color evaluation is not simply a measure of the hue, saturation, brightness, etc. of a single color patch, but it is a comprehensive evaluation of the hue, color transition, level, and accuracy of the entire color system. Color management is also not a single comparison of whether a certain color is the same as printing a color. The color management and evaluation system needs to be based on the actual process conditions and comprehensive consideration.

Source: "Digital Printing"