January 28, 2023

Creating Color Standards

Measure physical samples to create digital Color Standards.

Basic rules

  • Be sure that the physical sample represents the color sample - examine it in various Lighting Conditions — the best way is to use a Lighting Booth with several spectrally controlled (Lighting Inspector) sources of the light that match Industry Standards Illuminant ( e.g A, D50, D65, F5, F11 or any custom).

  • Ensure that the sample has been manufactured by a repeatable, predictable manufacturing process that can be repeated.

  • Examine visually for dust, scratches, and any potential defects that may eliminate specimens from being the reference.

  • Select one or more types of instruments that are preferred for your specimen - take into account that typical for print industry geometries: 0/45° or 45°/0 may not be the best solution - especially if the object isn't flat and/or has a glossy or textured surface. All special effects ( pearl, metalized, sparkling, calendared, ...) may require spherical instruments or instruments capable to analyze the surface). 
    If you need more guidelines follow our guidelines:
  • A parallel digital Standard must be defined if more than one instrument is selected.
    If you are measuring the same sample with two different Instruments create a separate Reference for each. Some Objects require simultaneous tracking and difference between Instruments /settings may help create a more accurate "fingerprint"

  • If your specimen is non-opaque, a proper Substrate Becker has to be used

  • Check your Instrument for accuracy with Instrument Inspector


1. Measure in a smart way - use the Start Variation option

To create a Standard, make several measurements with variation analysis. Specimen uniformity in most cases is not perfect. Taking a series of measurements with instrument relocation on the surface of the specimen helps to understand how it is uniform.


2. Exclude unwanted measurements

If any measurement is made accidentally - it can be removed and excluded from averaging. On-the-fly captured data statistics help operators fast and accurately collect valuable data. The Operator can analyze each individual measurement and return to variation analysis at any time until the process is completed.


3. Save to Assets, optionally export to Color Exchange File (.CxF) or Adobe Swatch (.ase) 

The final step is setting Standard's name and selecting Asset: Color Library or Color Palette. 

Optionally your digital Standard can be saved to a file that can be shared with other users or uploaded to external software (RIP, Color Engines, ...). Also, some Instruments can store digital Samples in internal memory ( X-Rite eXact).


Potential next steps:

Your digital Standard is ready; however, to track it, you need to set numeric tolerance to know whenever color matches expectations. There is more than one color difference formula - selecting one can be critical to formulating realistic expectations

Select the color difference formula and setup the Tolerance 

Tune your Display to accurate render the sample tolerances 

Tune your printing System for accurate sample printing

Track color in production - compare to Standard and its Tolerance


Contact ChromaChecker Support

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