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Open Access Time matters in soft proofing

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One of latest developments for pre-press applications is the concept of soft proofing, which aims to provide an accurate preview on a monitor of how the final document will appear once it is printed. At the core of this concept is the problem of identifying, for any printed color, the most similar color the monitor can display. This problem is made difficult by such factors as varying viewing conditions, color gamut limitations, or the less studied color memory shift.
Color matching experiments are usually done by examining samples viewed simultaneously. However, in soft proofing applications, the proof and the print are not always viewed together. This paper attempts to shed more light on the difference between simultaneous and time-spaced color matching, in order to contribute to improving the accuracy of soft proofs. A color matching
experiment setup has been established in which observers were asked to match a color patch displayed on a LCD monitor, by adjusting its RGB values, to another color patch printed out on paper. In the first part of the experiment the two colors were viewed simultaneously. In the second part, the observers were asked to produce the match according to a previously memorized color. According to the obtained results, the color appearance attributes lightness and chroma were the most difficult components for the observers to remember, generating huge differences with the simultaneous match, whereas hue was the component which varied the least. This indicates that for soft proofing, getting the hues right is of primordial importance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Norwegian Color Research Laboratory Gjøvik University College

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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