Instrument Inspector Targets

X-42, B-42, I-42 Targets

There are three different versions of Instrument Inspector Targets, but all of them are based on the same list of key patches.



These targets are built with a core set of 42 patches spectrally designed to consist of: 

  1. Vivid, saturated colors representing spot colors ranges
  2. Colors from typical CMYK print production gamut
  3. Near neutral gray 

Spectrally designed set to get an optimal distribution throughout the visible spectrum (consisting of at least 93% of visible spectrum in 5% increments)

Depending upon the Target (X42, B42, i42), there are symbols and marks specific for different automatic scanning systems. The key 42 key patches are located in the center of the Target. The first patch is a black one, then yellow, grey, orange up to green patch number 42. This order is used to present data in reports.

Patch order for manual mode
(handheld instruments unless
otherwise directed)

Corner patches
(important for proper position)



Version comparison:

nX42_gray B-42_300




Patch size: 12,8 x 15,6 mm
Patch size: 14 x 18 mm
Patch size: 6mm x 6mm
Target size: 130 x 210 mm
Thickness: 0,43 mm
Target size: 130 x 210 mm
Thickness: 0,43 mm
Target size: 291mm x 70 mm
Thickness: 0,43 mm
Designed for most instruments on the market , focused on X-Rite instruments (iSis,  i1Pro, i1IO, DTP-70, eXact, 530...)
Designed for Barbieri Instruments 


Designed for press-side instruments (Intellitrax, Exact Scan, Techkon SpectraDrive....)
Opacity >99.8%
include a metalized internal layer
Opacity >99.8%
include a metalized internal layer
Opacity >99.8%
include a metalized internal layer


Why 42 patches? 

There is a compromise between how much time we want to spend on measuring data for instrument validation, and how much data is necessary for a faithful statistical analysis. For some tests, more data would be useful, but increasing the number of patches will increase the time it takes to measure. We believe that 42 is an optimal amount of patches, great representation of the range of instrument, and not too long to measure.


Why printed, not ceramic or metal? 

  1. Printed Target is most relevant to what we use our measurement devices for in the print industry. Measurement devices measure ceramic tiles differently than printed ink on paper. It is critical that we assess instruments with the same type of material that we will use in real, everyday production.
  2. Printed target makes it possible use it with a variety of different instruments including scanning devices. Many shops have a variety of instruments that need to be compared to one another to check for between instrument variation and having a target that can be used by most measurement devices within the supply chain is important. Goal was to provide a universal solution for all measurement devices used in everyday production. 
  3. When comparing different output technologies, inkjet is very stable to produce repeatable printouts - production variations can be reduced and controlled much better than other output technology. 
    Even so, we discard approximately 60% of our prints to maintain high quality control, leaving 40% of the Targets available for use.
  4. Ceramic tiles are expensive and for many scanning devices, not possible to use. Ceramic tiles are useful in manual mode, which is not conducive to a manufacturing environment.
  5. Targets made from Metal are suspect due to the surface characteristics not being conducive to a 0/45 measurement device.


Target Life Span 

This target is extremely stable even though it has OBA's. We have tested it under an aging simulation booth, and anticipate that the useful life of this target is five plus years when stored in proper case when not in use. Actual life time depends on several factors:

  1. Use of Instrument Inspector Target: 
    Some instruments can mark or scratch the surface of the Target when measured multiple times. Great care should be used when measuring the target many times. In some cases, the rollers transporting target can transfer old ink residue from measuring a printed target before. Some measurement devices can scratch the target due to the measurement head scraping the lamination. To avoid target damage, double check for this kind of issue before use. Ensure rollers are clean, and all mechanical parts in proper condition. When using the target with devices with wheels (ISIS), try and move the target off the far edge so the wheels don't always hit the target in the same place.  Evaluate the surface conditions of the target carefully.
  2. Storage of Instrument Inspector Target: 
    Target is sensitive to light, especially UV components. We strongly recommend avoiding any unnecessary exposure. Keep the Target in the aluminum case when not in use.
  3. Maintenance of Instrument Inspector Target:
    Keep Target completely clean. If necessary gently clean with soft cleaning agent. Should only need a few drops of water. Whenever cleaned with water wait at least two hours before use.  Never use solvents or any aggressive materials for cleaning purposes. 
  4. Aging of Instrument Inspector Target:
    This target is made from lightfast inks, and paper and silver backing and laminated in order to produce a high quality, light stable, sealed target to optimally prevent environmental factors from affecting its color characteristics. No product can claim to be resistant to fading, but our tests have shown that this target should last at least five years if the above suggestions are followed.


Spot patches instead of CMYK

Instrument Inspector Target has values beyond a normal print CMYK range, which push the instrument capabilities related to measuring vivid colors. Approximately 50% of patches are out of typical offset printing gamut (GRACol2023_Coated1v2):

However, for evaluating different software programs, all patches have virtual CMYK values.



To read more about Targets click on: