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Color Management Software: Esko or Kodak?

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  • Color Management Software: Esko or Kodak?

    I am looking into getting color management and proofing software for a flexo label co.
    I'm hoping for some opinions and advice on which is the best way to go, Esko Kaliedoscope or Kodak (Profile Wizard?) or ?.
    Also, is the Epson 4800 or ?, the best printer to be using with this software?

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    Re: Color Management Software: Esko or Kodak?

    Although I haven't used it, I like Esko's approach to overprinting spot colors. Kaleidoscope has a tool to measure an ink over white & black, and at different screens. The results I've seen at predicting the resultant overprint are more accurate than I've seen before. I'm not familiar with the Kodak software, though.

    We've been using Epson printers for a while now and have been plenty happy with them. The new 4880 looks to be a good one...


    • #3
      Re: Color Management Software: Esko or Kodak?

      Kaleidoscope will profile perfectly your proofer and fit in your workflow since it is “Esko” written. The Ink profiles within Kaleidoscope will also work fine for spot or designer colors, this tool is kind of unique. When it is time to profile a press, if this is your goal, you need something else. I have been using PerfX color management tools and I have found it is the better package to fully profile difficult printing conditions (flexo!!!). The look-up tables are generated and smoothed using artificial intellgency (avoiding having to live forever with press accidents and localized print misbehaviors).The package also includes a linearization tool that will create cutback curves taking gray balance into account. Go see it, it may please you. (
      Good luck


      • #4
        Re: Color Management Software: Esko or Kodak?

        It's nice to hear from someone else in Flexo prepress. What proofing device are you using? Epson?
        How many profiles do you require with the Kaliedoscope? One for each press and each type of substrate?
        How accurate are your proofs?



        • #5
          Re: Color Management Software: Esko or Kodak?

          We are currently using an Epson 9600 and also an Epson 9800. I created proofer profiles for both and generally speaking I would need extra profiles for any new proofing substrates. All these proofer profiles, as I said before, are done using Kaleidoscope with a very high degree of satisfaction and accuracy. Since the Epsons are quite reliable on consistency, I never had, in 4 years, to reprofile any of them. Now, for press profiles, ouf !!!! You would in theory need 1 profile for each press in any set of printing variables (substrate, plate, mounting tape, ink brand, density and visco, anilox set-up etc.) After a while of going crazy, I finally went with a different profiling technique and software that would allow for some adjustments, finetuning etc. This is why I went for PerfX Color Management softwares. You will need a very good knowledge of flexo presses, plates, aniloxes and so on to feel comfortable to work in that manner. To make a story short I then use my Flexproof to proof jobs taking into account the linarization I need, the source (press) and destination (proofer) profile.
          Hope this helps.


          • #6
            Re: Color Management Software: Esko or Kodak?


            A bit late but here is my two bob's (cents) worth.

            Research suggests that the various sectors operating under the "Flexo" umbrella of the industry prefer a sharp dot proof.

            Whilst contone proofng has come a long way since the fiery rips driving the Epson 5000/9000 with regards to colour, a contone proof does not accurately illustrate how the final printed piece will look.

            I was in a Flexo pre press shop at the beginning of this year and they were still producing cromalins from films. The company in question had just switched from film to Flexo CTP which finally put a nail in the coffin of the cromalin system and forced the company to look at digital inkjet proofing (sound familiar?).

            They chose a dot proofing system because in their opinion, it more closely represented both what their customers were use to and the final printed job - a proof with dots. The software in question also allows for colour changes to individual plates so if the magenta plate is being printed in Rhodamine Red for example, this can be shown on the proof by switching the colours in the software. They can also change the sequence of colours to match what is happening on the press. Since jobs printed Letterpress, Gravure, Corrugated, Label...etc have a high spot colour useage, the sequence of colour often changes to increase impact of the final printed piece. So if a job is being run as CMYK, Reflex Blue and Pan 485, the 1 Bit tiffs or Len files can be merged in that order to ensure the proof depicts the press set up (ink trapping). The files used are the ripped files which are going to be used to image on the Flexo CTP so data integrity is guaranteed.

            They also have the facility to show trapping that may have been applied to compensate for mis-registration which may occur during the run - this is often critical to the end customer as it will affect how the final product will look on the shelf. Dependent on the substrate, the traps can be quite large so the ability to accurately show a proof which resembles the final printed piece is once again a demand. A bit like a Cromalin or Matchprint really.

            With regards to dot loss, they now have the facility to remove highlight dots which may be lost in the "flexo" platemaking exposure, scrub and drying procedure. Since the condition of the anilox rollers may differ on a press, each ink station within the software can be individually controlled. So if the Cyan unit loses 20 microns, 20 microns can be removed from the tiff or len file - if the magenta however loses 25 microns, then this amount can be removed...etc.

            With reference to Extreme dot gain (the halo or donut effect which occurs when using thick Flexo substrates on corrugatted board for example) they have the facility to add 1 pixel increments to the ripped tiff or len files to show the effect.

            All of these features allow for proof to be created which highlights what will happen on press. Since the time and cost of making a plate is partiularly significant in the "Flexo" industry, the ability to produce a reliable proof which will show all of the above not only provides value to the end customer but also to the repro house.

            With regards to inkjet devices, you have 3 main players - Canon, Epson and HP. They alll use differant inkjet head technology which will affect the sharpness of the final proof, at least when prrofing with dots.

            Hope this helps - i personally think that whilst the ability to create a colour accurate proof may be significantly cheaper and faster than ten years ago, a lot of the benefits in the creation of a proof which uses the screened films has been lost with the advent of contone proofing. With the advancements made in inkjet head design, some devices now have the ability to produce a proof at resolution of 2880 x 2880 - when you marry this with a dot proofing solution which gives all of the above, the benefits are there to be seen?

            All the best



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