I assumed the OP meant fingerprinting/characterizing a press since it was coupled with profiling. If pacificiam said "printing to a standard", I would agree with Gordo's explanation. I just re-read the OP and I'm not really sure what pacificiam meant.
Good points in your post. Thanks for commenting.
Premedia Software Inc.
Well what I'd say is that profiling is the process of characterizing printing devices. Since there are so many devices printing on so many media under so many different conditions, if you want to determine exactly how a device prints, and how to prepare files to send to it, you must have a characterization of how it prints in the condition in which you intend to use it.
That's a profile.
And profiles are a first necessary step to standardization.
Because what standardization does is attempt to make some group of disparate printing conditions print the same. Or in other words: Once you have a group of devices profiled, then you create a workflow in which you define one of those profiles as a target condition, and then tell all the other devices to match it.
Originally Posted by Correct Color
But standardization can be accomplished completely without profiles. In fact, the characterization data used to create "standard" profiles comes from press runs compliant with a printing standard. Typically in a proofing scenario, profiles (of the ICC variety) would be required, but not always.
I usually explain that standardisation is to align a machine/process to a standard so that printed results will be similar in different print plants.
Profiling is what a printer does for the individual press.
to simplify (Safe CMYK workflow):
If only profiling a press RGB images are usually colour managed, but CMYK values will differ, each printer goes as far as it can to reproduce the original. Using a standard would bring even CMYK values closer together since we are defining ONE target.
Learning by teaching!
To me, and this is just my thoughts, I'm sure they aren't technically correct in some ways if this was a college course, but this is just printing, it's way more complicated than that!
Profiling - you set target densities that you are going to run to appropriate for your press and materials, you print profiling targets such as IT8-7.3, measure the targets, use profiling sotftware to create a profile that you then convert your files to and print on press with those same densities. This is a snapshot of this press on this certain day and all it's materials and settings.
Standard - you make your files with a standard profile such as GRACol2006_Coated1v2.icc, and you also print targets such as P2P, establishing solid density targets that meet the Lab color for the standard. Read in the targets, create curves to apply to your plates to bring the tonal range into compliance with the standard. When you print you use those established densities and you should get consistent, repeatable results. Once again, the curves you create are a snapshot of how that press was printing on that certain day and the materials and settings.
Both approaches are only as good as the printing process is consistent, depending on dot gains, materials, and all settings, day to day, week to week, month to month.
If your press drifts too far from the day you created a custom profile, you will need to re-profile, if you can't get the press back to the same condition it was in when the profile was made. Same with the curves for standards printing.
Side note, if records aren't kept of materials and settings you have no chance to get back to that day. Process control is a must for consistency, no matter what approach you use, IF you are interested in consistency. I say IF because there are many who just aren't geared that way and that point is very hard to explain for some reason, and like Gordo says, it's economics driven, if you can print each job customized and customers don't complain then there isn't a problem, it may be a perceived problem to you but the end result is it's okay. The biggest problem for prepress is how do we make proofs for the press's ever changing conditions? I tend to think that sooner or later there will be economic issues.
Consistency is the key to any approach, I like a quote someone here uses, "you can't manage what you don't measure."
I am sorry but this is really a dumb quote that I see all the time. I don't think Deming would agree with such a quote. He viewed that the things that were the most important were often things that one could not measure.
Originally Posted by Prepper
I think a better comment would be "you can't manage what you don't understand".
And this is the real issue in the printing industry. The industry does not fully understand what to do to solve colour management issues and this has resulted in standards and techniques that are not capable of providing predictable and consistent colour.
We are still in a transition period between strictly craft based methods and scientific methods. Until many of the problems in the colour management approaches are corrected, there will still be lots of confusion and frustration.
Unfortunately, I don't think things will significantly change for quite some time. There is too much invested in these incapable methods that are promoted as being progressive and effective. Everyone suffers when this happens except for suppliers and consultants.
Ok Erik, so we all know by now you have knowledge of a superior way to print, meanwhile we are dealing with the offset printing process we currently have, that is physically available to us now, and I will guarantee you that you have much less chance of controlling it in any fashion if you don't measure the things you can and try to keep them within certain limits.
Any chance of consistency or repeatability goes out the window if you're not even trying to control it in any way or even trying to understand what is changing day to day and what effects changes in materials and settings have on the final result.
Of course you have to do what you do today because of how the system exists today. I am not arguing with that. But is does not mean that what is being done now is what should be done in the future.
Originally Posted by Prepper
Lots of things work very accurately without being continuously measured and controlled. The speeds of AC motors, stepping and servo motors, the fluid output of positive displacement pumps, the time on watches, the colour on modern TV sets. You may not remember when one had to adjust the colour knobs all the time on those old colour TVs. :-)
Granted, measuring for calibration is needed but if one is continually measuring for control, then the system is not so capable.
Consistency and predictability does not come from measurements. It comes from the capability of the systems.
One might view that one is controlling the process by measuring and making adjustments but one could also view this as just the collection of historical data that shows the process is not capable of doing what it is required to do and so one needs to intervene.
But you are right, today's conditions are not as consistent and predictable as one would like and that requires continual measurement and adjustment.
Thank you for your reply!!!
Originally Posted by Prepper
Let me know if any solid colour of ink is not match with ISO 1267 Lab value. Then it can match after doing profiling.