A little time, a little software, and a couple of pieces of equipment add up to better-looking equip
Hultgren agrees that the market is becoming segmented and
also has addressed this. "GretagMacbeth has always been up at
the very high end," he says. "As of about 3 years ago, we began
to aim at a lower level." GretagMacbeth now offers the Eye-One
line of products aimed at creatives, designers, agencies, photographers,
and so on; but it also offers the ProfileMaker line,
addressing the needs of press operators and other high-end
And speaking for all manufacturers, David Tobie, product
technology manager for ColorVision, says, "We're trying to
reduce the complexity of the user experience."
Doris Brown, vice president of marketing for Pantone, points
to the continued breakdown of the who-does-what barriers in the
graphic-arts workflow as another force in bringing in new users:
"There's been a real knocking down of the roles between designers
and prepress houses," she says. "We've seen in the past year
a tremendous rush in the designer community to embrace color
The new users, however, bring new assumptions with them.
Andy Hatkoff, vice president for electronic color systems at Pantone,
says, "Because color management has become democratized,
the end user expects it to just work, because it's there."
Old-school printing hands knew that getting good color usually
required some compromises; now, people just expect their print
to look like their monitor.
Andrew at X-Rite says, "There is an expectation today that
what you see on your monitor is what will be printed." Or at
least that you'll get the same color you got from your desktop
printer at home:
"I'm finding that my customers are learning more about color
than their print vendors, and the printers more than their manufacturers,"
says Magnusson of Left Dakota. "Photographers and content
creators who are struggling to do the things right spend the
time to learn it." But vendors downstream end up wrestling with
multiple file formats and color spaces. "If you're a closed-loop operation,
you can do anything you want," he says. "But if you're going
to interface with others, you need to work to the industry standard."
Profile creation: scanner, camera, monitor