ZePrA, supplied by ColorLogic, is a sophisticated color server that analyzes color on-the-fly, enabling a fast and flawless creation of DeviceLinks profiles without the delay of long and costly integration phases. Thanks to a triumvirate of tools, ZePrA truly simplifies automated color management and conversion for any user.
ZePrA is a sophisticated color server that simplifies automated color management and conversion for any user - without incurring the complexity and overpricing of legacy workflow solutions. The tool is fluid in its use, by offering a fast, flexible rendering of a workable solution for the printer to simplify, duplicate and modify configurations and queues for everyday tasks in the day-to-day production work. It analyzes color fast and flexibly, allowing printers to immediately and flawlessly create the required DeviceLinks profiles without suffering through long integration phases.
ZePrA Smart Color Server can be integrated into an existing workflow for direct results. Its easy-to-use interface simplifies the process of creating custom DeviceLinks profiles for any workflow.
ZePrA delivers thanks to the triumvirate success combination of Smart Color Server, Smartlink and the PantoneLive® Support. The ZePrA Smart Color Server analyzes color at incredible speeds. SmartLink creates DeviceLinks on-the-fly using ColorLogic’s advanced color technology. The integrated PantoneLIVE® Support allows inline access to PantoneLIVE libraries in ZePrA, provided users have a PantoneLIVE® Production License. ZePrA’s more advanced features, such as Multicolor options or advanced spot color conversion, can be added as equipment and is updated and upgraded.
The ZePrA solution comes in a variety of flexible and customizable packages, ranging from entry level to XXL to fit companies of any size.
|Features||ZePrA Entry||ZePrA Basic||ZePrA L||ZePrA XL||ZePrA XXL|
|Pixel file support only||PDF + pixel file support||PDF + pixel file support||PDF + pixel file support||PDF + pixel file support|
|Color Space support|
|RGB, CMYK, Gray & LAB||x||x||x||x||x|
|Spot colors (Alternate Color Space)||x||x||x||x|
|Advanced spot color conversion||x|
|Spot color iteration||x|
|SmartLink for RGB, Gray & CMYK||x||x||x|
|SaveInk for SmartLink (CMYK)||x||x|
|Drive ZePrA via command line||x||x||x||x|
|PDF + Flattening + CLI + Pixel support included - DLS Basic set included||PDF + Flattening + CLI + Pixel support + Gradation + SmartLink + Multhireading included, includes CoPrA SP + Reprofiler SP - ColorAnt not included||Same features as L package + SaveInk Add on for SmartLink included CoPrA SP - ColorAnt not included||Same features as L package + SaveInk Add on for SmartLink + Multicolor + Spotcolor - includes CoPrA SP - ColorAnt not included|
ZePrA is supplied by ColorLogic, alongside the CoPrA color profiling and ColorAnt color management solutions. ZePrA subscribers can sign up for a software maintenance agreement to consistently and constantly rely on the latest application updates.
The update of ZePrA 6.0.2 is recommended for any ZePrA 6 customer and can be downloaded free of charge via the Update Check in the application.
This update is important as it fixes issues with the view of PDF processing, and PDF files now have unique file identifier IDs when generated. All other bug fixes and updates are explained in the Online Help.
The update of ZePrA 6.0.1 is recommended for any ZePrA 6 customer and can be downloaded free of charge via the Update Check in the application.
This update is important as it fixes issues with installers on newly installed Windows systems and with start up issues on macOS systems. Additionally, the search & filter function has been improved. All other bug fixes and updates are explained in the Online Help.
While ZePrA 5 focused on an increase in production speed, ZePrA 6 introduces new features to broaden the versatility of this color server once again. ZePrA 6 now offers a connection to the cloud services of PantoneLIVE and allows to improve the conversion of spot colors to process colors by iteration. Especially power users will enjoy the new note, search and filter functions.
ZePrA 5 is a 64-Bit application which allows use of more RAM for processing multiple files at the same time. The processing of PDF files in ZePrA 5 will be faster due to the use of additional threads in jobs processing.
The main speed improvements will be experienced when processing multiple files at the same time. Due to multithreading, ZePrA will take advantage of modern multi core CPUs and will process several files simultaneously. As a default, ZePrA uses the same number of threads as physical CPUs that are available. In addition the number of logical CPUs are displayed which are often double the size of logical CPUs. The maximum number of threads equal to the logical CPUs may be used.
Example: on a 4 core CPU MacBookPro the processing of 135 files with 2.8 GB of file size with ZePrA 4.7 took 30 minutes, whereas ZePrA 5 only took 7 minutes to process.
The slider panel has been revamped and additional tools have been added. Some of the tools are from previous versions of ZePrA, e.g. the SaveInk Report and Extract ICC profile. The Spot Color Report feature is a new major feature and will be explained on page 4.
The biggest changes of the GUI are in the Configuration section where fewer tabs are used. For example, the previously separate Images and Vector color management settings have been combined into one tab. Additionally, the SmartLink and the Target tabs have been removed and their functionalities have been added to the Document / Target tab.
The Document / Target tab is the new center of each configuration as it contains the settings for Document Color Space, all Target color management settings and the SmartLink Method. This improves the visual clarity of the configuration.
The new Spot Color Report feature is helpful to check the spot color conversion before printing. It is now possible to check a specific PDF file with spot colors that needs to be converted or how a spot color library with multiple Pantone or other spot colors would be processed through ZePrA.
To access the report click on the icon on the slider panel. The upcoming dialog requires a few selections to proceed. First, select from the list of Configurations
Note: Only the configurations with enabled spot color conversion are shown in the list.
Under Source Data select File or Library. File allows a PDF file with spot colors to be loaded and processed with the selected configurations. Library allows selection of one of the spot color libraries that is located in the ZePrA set up for processing. Both options provide a look at how a spot color conversion result will be in terms of deltaE00, deltaE76 and in terms of the process color breakdowns. With Sort by, you can define how the list will be sorted. When sorting by Delta E, the spot colors with the lowest dE will be on top and the largest dE on bottom.
Note: The report generation will use all of the spot color settings that have been selected in the configuration(s), including manual settings and warnings. Colors with warnings will be shown with red deltaE values.
After the settings have been defined, a report file can be generated with the help of the Save button and/or it can generate a Preview first. The screenshot shows the preview of the spot colors found in a PDF file and processed through two different configurations.
The Preferences dialog (see screenshot on page 2) allows customization of the generated report with a custom logo and a custom sub title.
The GUI for Spot Color conversion has changed. More features have been added and the dialog looks cleaner compared to previous versions of ZePrA. To enable the advanced Spot Color Conversion simply select the radio button. The alternate color space definition in the PDF document can also be used, which provides a lesser quality result compared to the advanced options with ZePrA. This allows comparison to the default spot color conversion results from basic printer drivers, RIPs or Adobe Acrobat.
The selection of the Spot Color Libraries in ZePrA is now available by clicking on the ellipsis button located to the right of the selected library.
The dialog Preferred Spot Color Libraries offers several new features. Selection of multiple spot color libraries is now an option. The option to Include Other Libraries is available below the list as well.
Automatically including all libraries may not be beneficial since it is possible that a spot color from a library could be automatically selected that does not match the target printers capabilities. For example, if one library contains the spot color printed on OPP foil but the target profile was printed on paper, this would not be a match. In these cases it is better to manually select those libraries that fit the printers requirements in the list.
With the help of the Move Up and Move Down buttons, the selected libraries can be prioritized. Those libraries on top have the highest priority.
There are two new options available that are independent from the libraries in ZePrA. Embedded CxF Data is a great new feature that allows automatic use of any available CxF/X-4 spectral data for spot colors in PDF files. CxF/X-4 has been an ISO standard since 2015 and has been designed to define spot colors by measuring and storing spectral information of ink solids and tints, on substrate and process black. This spectral definition allows color management systems like ZePrA to better proof and reproduce spot colors.
The alternate option is to use Lab Values from PDF Alternate Colors instead of using a library. New versions of Adobe InDesign will save Lab alternate color space values in the PDF instead of CMYK, as in the past. In the case a spot color does not have a CxF value or is not available in a spot color library, the Lab alternate value from the PDF can be used and processed with the advanced ZePrA calculation methods.
Note: In the case of the alternate color space in the PDF not being Lab but e.g. CMYK, ZePrA would not use it and would regard the spot color as undefined.
The new feature Clip Output Values Below provides a user defined percentage value and is a feature that our Flexo clients have requested. If for example, printing tints below 3% is unstable on press then 3 needs to be entered as threshold in the number field. ZePrA would then not use any process color breakdowns with less than 3%.
Note: If this feature is used and the threshold is set too high, it will be very likely that a converted light spot color will result in higher deltaE values, so be careful with this option.
The Gamut Warning selection includes a new option called Keep Spot Color and Show Warning. Until now a spot color deltaE warning could be either ignored, warned about but still converted, or regarded as an error which would prevent converting the file at all. With the new option the spot color with warning will not be converted but preserved and all of the other spot colors in the file would be converted.
The CIE Conversion button has been added This option is very useful for special applications such as textile printing. In the textile industry the standard illumination is D65 and the 10 degrees standard observer is the default. Users can now change the Lab values that are used in ZePrA for conversion by selecting the CIE Conversion Settings. This option only applies for spectrally defined spot colors and only makes sense if the target profile was created with a matching illumination and observer.
Note: The default setting is D50 and 2 degrees observer.
Sorting for Queue Names, Configurations and Status is now enabled by clicking on the table headers. Previously, sorting of Queues was not possible. In addition, a queue ID has been added which allows for “natural” sorting, e.g. with the newest queue either on the bottom or the top of the list. The section for Processed Jobs has an additional column for the Date and time stamp. This can be very helpful to find a specific data and time a job was processed.
In the Auto Setup Wizard for Save Inks a new step has been added that allows the user to enable or disable the ink saving calculations. The calculation can slow down the processing time considerably so that users can disable this feature gaining higher performance in the Wizard.
Companies using ZePrA in multiple locations will benefit from the new Cloud features in ZePrA. By defining a shared folder in the Cloud, (e.g. Dropbox, GoogleDrive, internal Cloud or network) it is possible to share configurations and spot color libraries easily. For example, a Flexo printer continuously adds more spot colors from his ink kitchen, which shall be used in ZePrA’s spot color conversion. By simply saving the spot color library in the shared folder, every location connected to this shared folder with a ZePrA installation will automatically be updated.
Note: The folder supports ZePrA’s spot color libraries (*.ccf files) as well as spot colors stored in CxF files and ZePrA configurations (*.ccf files).
Simply enable the checkbox Enable automatic Import from Folder under Preferences and select the same shared folder.
Files that have been marked with a yellow warning message in the Overview dialog of ZePrA are still processed but may have an issue. By default those files are stored in the Output folder. To identify such files easier, manually define a separate Output Folder in case of Warnings in the Queues dialog.
In the Flattening dialog a new option has been added that allows to Use the document colors space as transparency color space on page level. This can be helpful if a file with an RGB transparency blending space shall be converted from CMYK to CMYK. In this case a more reliable results will be achieved if the transparency blending space is CMYK and not RGB. The new option will overwrite the transparency blending space on page level and will use the profile defined as Document Color Space in the respective configuration.
The Minimal Compression rendering has been added as an additional perceptual rendering option for the SmartLink conversion. This rendering is known and appreciated by CoPrA users and is now available in ZePrA.
This rendering intent allows an absolute colorimetric reproduction and compensates only close to the black and white point. This means the maximum black point will be reached and will not simulate white. The rendering intent may be used to achieve a very close reproduction of a print standard, e.g. ISO Coated V2 or GRACoL2006 Coated1v2 on a digital printer.
Note: Similar to the absolute colorimetric rendering intent, ensure that the target color space is larger or at least the same size compared to the source color space that should be simulated to avoid any loss of structure and details. For color conversions from large to small color spaces, please use Absolute Compression instead to maintain the gray balance and color appearance of the source color space.
The soft proof feature has been greatly improved. Access this by right clicking a converted file in the Processed Jobs section of the Jobs and Queues Overview dialog. It now uses a rasterized version of the file for displaying on screen so that the transparency and overprint are correctly simulated. One of the great new abilities of the dialog is to show multicolor files, e.g. files with a Multicolor output intent, correctly on screen.
The Softproof Color Management Settings dialog has been optimized. Similar to the Output Preview in Adobe Acrobat the Simulation Profile setting is the most important setting of the dialog as colors will be rendered through the selected simulation profile to the monitor profile. As a default, the output intent that ZePrA has embedded in the processed file will be used and shown in brackets.
Note: The Default Profiles on top of the dialog and the Prefer embedded Profiles checkbox are only relevant in the case that the simulation profile differs from the color spaces in the file itself.
Please visit our new and improved Online Help page.
Similar to CoPrA and ColorAnt each major dialog in ZePrA 5 has a new question mark sign that leads directly to the help pages of this section providing descriptions and insides with a click of a mouse.
This option will reprocess a job and in the same queue needing to copy the file manually in the Input folder of the queue. To access the feature right-click to bring up the contextual menu in the Overview window and choose Repeat Job.
For PDF files with numerous pages (multi page PDFs), you can specify which pages should be color-converted and which should not. This is a very useful function on the Configuration/PDF tab in section Advanced Options when a multi page PDF is used for a variety of printing tasks or display outputs.
Additional page selection rules can be selected in a drop down dialog that opens if you click on the button with the arrow on the right hand side. These rules are important in cases you do not have the specific page numbers at hand. For example if you wish to color convert the cover pages of a magazine differently to the rest of the pages, you may select the rule First and last Page. The rules are self explanatory and can be applied to any of the Pages options except Convert all Pages.
The Update Profile module in CoPrA 4 and later will be able to update profiles based on a few measurements and optionally to create Correction DeviceLinks. Those profiles can be selected under Correction in the Target tab of a Configuration in ZePrA. ZePrA version 4.6.2 is required as previous versions of ZePrA won’t show those profiles in the choosers.
The most recent ZePrA script (version 4) for Enfocus Switch is available from the Crossroads webpage now. Therefore there is no need for us to supply the script for manual installs in the ZePrA installer as we had done in the previous installer. Please check the Crossroads webpage for more information and download the configurator in case you have not yet updated. Note: There is no change from the script that was supplied in the previous installer of ZePrA 4.6 and that is available on the Crossroads page now.
ZePrA converts all objects, including vector shading, with the highest accuracy and 16-bit precision. Every shading created based on a function in the original file, it is necessary to use a very large LUT (look-up table) to ensure a correct color transformation. Unfortunately some RIPs (e.g. EFI Fiery and Global Graphics MultiRIP) have issues in handling 16-bit shading and large LUTs. To avoid issues and speed up processing time of such RIPs significantly, ColorLogic has implemented a new option called Enhance RIP compatibility of complex graphical elements located under Configuration/PDF.
Note: This option is not active in all existing configurations and for all new configurations created with the Auto Setup Wizard. Please activate this option whenever processing issues with your RIP after converting files with ZePrA may occur.
The ECI (European Color Initiative) released for new printer profiles: PSO Coated V3 and PSO Uncoated FOGRA52. PSO Coated V3 is based on the characterization data FOGRA51 and is supposed to replace FOGRA39 (ISO Coated V2). ColorLogic offers in their DLS Basic Set, DeviceLink profiles to convert from FOGRA39 to FOGRA51 and vice versa and a TAC reduction profile for FOGRA51. The following DeviceLink profiles are included in the Basic Set of the DLS-Managers V1.2. With the DLS-Manager application which will be automatically installed with the ZePrA 4.6 Installer you will be able to install the profiles:
Note: Both conversion DeviceLinks are the official profiles delivered from the ECI and have been created in collaboration with ColorLogic and CoPrA. Detailed information about the characteristic and the creation of the DeviceLinks can be found here.
Overall there are 12 conversion profiles available for FOGRA51 and FOGRA52, TAC reduction and SaveInk profiles for both new standards. The exact naming of the profiles and a description of what profiles are available in which set is included in our DLS documentation.
All clients with either a valid ZePrA 4.5 license or a DLS Manager license for one of our DLS sets (e.g. Basic Set or Sheetfed Set etc.) may install all new profiles free-of-charge by using our DLS Manager V1.2. Please talk to your dealer how to obtain the profiles in case you are no ZePrA 4.6 client.
A new ZePrA configurator for Enfocus Switch is available: ColorLogic~ZePrA v4.enfpack. The new version 4 replaces the existing configurator (version 3) delivered with Switch. It fixes several issues and provides improvements especially for users of ZePrA 4.6 and higher. Bevor the new configurator will be officially available via the Crossroads website or with new versions of Switch you may access it already today. The installers for ZePrA 4.6 and ZePrA 4.1.6 will create a new folder within the installation folder of ZePrA called Switch Configurator that contains the updated configurator file and a readme.
Double click the file ColorLogic~ZePrA v4.enfpack and click OK in the upcoming Switch dialog to update the existing configurator.
Close and restart Switch. The new ZePrA configurator will be available in the list of configurators under Custom.
In case you are already using Flows with the previous ZePrA configurator a dialog should appear upon restart of Switch asking you if you wish to update the Flows. If the dialog does not appear restart Switch again until the dialog appears. Accept to update the Flows.
To activate the Flows again select Restart Switch Server in the File menu. You are now up and running.
With ZePrA 4.6 and higher a new command line version of ZePrA called zcmd will be installed along side with the GUI version of ZePrA. The zcmd is intended to be used for any command line applications including Switch.
In case you are setting up new Flows in Switch with the new ZePrA configurator and ZePrA 4.6 and higher the configurator will automatically use zcmd for the communication and file conversion between ZePrA and Switch. For existing Flows however and after updating the configurator the ZePrA 4.6 application itself will still be used for the communication and file conversion between ZePrA and Switch. As this has some disadvantages and restrictions we suggest to change this. To do so you need to set the path to the zcmd in the ZePrA configurators settings in Switch.
In order to define the path correctly open the package file by simply right clicking on the ZePrA.app and selecting the Show Package Contents entry from the drop down menu (see screenshot). After that navigate to the subfolder Contents/MacOS to find the zcmd executable. Now use this path in the ZePrA configurator.
The warning message Conversion setting is disabled in the tab Images has been replaced by a more understandable message differentiating between the settings in the Images and Vectors tabs of the configuration.
In case ZePrA detects defective ICC profiles embedded in PDF files a yellow job warning message is displayed in the Overview dialog. If possible, ZePrA will convert the file nonetheless. In case conversion is not possible a red error message appears and the file is send to the error folder.
You will find a new version of the measuring applications UPPCT for measuring of test charts and spot colors integrated in the installer of the ColorLogic application. The following major new changes have been integrated beside a few minor bug fixes:
Improved support for X-Rite i1Pro and Konica Minolta FD-7/5 through integration of the most recent vendors SDKs.
Fixed major issues while measuring with Konica Minolta FD-7 under MacOSX.
Improved support of the Barbieri instruments SpectroLFP and SpectroPad.
Improved wizard for measuring multiple page test charts with Barbieri SpectroLFP. You will find a step-by-step description about how to use the wizard here.
Step 1: Select your device from Measurement Instrument drop-down list (e.g. Barbieri Spectro LFP/Spectropad)
Step 2: Click on Connect
Once the selected device connects, the Measuring Wizard LFP launches:
Position the head to the top left corner as shown in the prompt at bottom left of the screen (3)
Use the controls on the upper left to manually position the head (Fig 4) or with the Auto positioning option (Fig 5) (applicable if the chart has the required borders and marks).
With Auto positioning selected, clicking Next (Fig 6) will start chart measuring the entire chart.
Important: To utilize Auto Positioning the test chart must have borders and marks
For manual positioning click Next (Fig 6) to set the bottom corner of the test chart.
The 4 arrows will change the position of the measurement head (left, right, top, bottom). Raise and lower the head with the double arrow in the center.
Tip: Change the position of the head with the corresponding arrow keys on the keyboard
Step: Defines the amount of patches the measurement head moves on one arrow click
Position: Change the position of the head by a specific amount of x/y coordinates
The second wizard page sets the position for the upper right corner with the same as above procedure, then click Next.
The final manual positioning page sets the bottom right corner with the same procedure and click Next.
Rows per Page: Enter the number of rows on the test chart page. If the test chart consists of multiple pages, enter the number of rows on the first page.
Aperture Size: Select between Default, 2,6,8 or manual
Calibration: Fast- calibrates at the start of every test chart page. Accurate – calibrates every other line
Start: Starts measuring the chart
If the test chart has multiple pages a screen prompting the user to place the next page(s) on the table:
1. Place the next test chart page on the table
2. Recalibrate the table and use the manual controls as described above for two edges of the test chart page. The third corner is calculated automatically.
3. Click Start to measure the next page
IMPORTANT: If the second page is placed EXACTLY where the previous page was placed, click Start without recalibration. The previous coordinates will be used.
When Automatic Positioning is selected:
The Use auto positioning option will be selected automatically.
Click on Start the auto positioning feature for the next page.
Important: To utilize Auto Positioning the test chart must have borders and marks
ZePrA 4.5 is a major release which includes several improvements, bug fixes and three major improvements:
ZePrA 4.5 is a paid upgrade for all customers (including ZePrA 4 customers). Customers that have a current software maintenance agreement qualify for a free upgrade. An updated license is required that can be ordered from us. Please be aware that installing ZePrA 4.5 will overwrite a ZePrA 4 installation and ZePrA 4 preferences and settings are retained. ZePrA 4 licenses are not valid for ZePrA 4.5 and the following warning message will be displayed.
The spot color module in ZePrA 4 offers excellent quality for color conversion of spot colors to process colors. Nevertheless, in many cases overprinting spot colors may cause incorrect results, especially when combining spot color conversions and transparency reductions. You will face the same problems with other tools, such as Acrobat Pro, callas pdfToolbox, Enfocus PitStop and color servers from other vendors.
Read more in the White Paper.
ColorLogic has developed an efficient technology to solve general overprinting issues without rasterizing the entire file. This technology can be applied to a file whether transparencies are present in the file or not. Starting with our new ZePrA 4.5 release this technology will be activated by default in all Presets within the Transparency flattening feature shown in the screenshot.
The two options Preserve overprints and Preserve overprint appearanceare independent from each other. If the checkbox Preserve overprints is deactivated, all overprinting objects will be flattened in the same way as transparent objects. In both cases (overprinting objects and/or transparencies), post-processing of spot colors may lead to unwanted results. This issue can be solved by simply using Preserve overprint appearance. Especially during conversion of spot colors to process colors, the preset Dissolve overprinting should be used to ensure the best possible conversion of colors and vector objects.
The Calculation method defines how ZePrA converts spot colors, combinations of spot colors and process colors, or several spot colors to the target color space. ZePrA 4.5 adds an additional method Precise matching – proofing.
Use Precise matching – proofing when reproducing spot color precisely on a proofing device is required. Please be aware that this method is not meant to be used in production as it may use all process colors to achieve the closest match (based on DeltaE 2000). The full tone will be calculated in a way that it will result in the lowest possible DeltaE 2000 value. No channel minimizing and print optimization will be applied.
Example: The spot color Pantone Cool Gray 7 C converts to CMYK (FOGRA39) with 0.1 Delta E. With the method Precise matching – proofing it may be that all available output channels are used (left screen shot). In the screen shot on the right side you see the conversion of the same spot color with the method Use as few channels as possible. This conversion method focuses on the usage of less channels while maintaining the best possible color match. In our example this will lead to a very low DeltaE 2000 value of 0.6.
Note: A ColorLogic PDF test file containing several spot colors is available for download.
One of the most challenging tasks when converting spot colors is the combination of spot colors with other process colors or spot colors. ZePrA’s spot color module was already successful in creating high quality conversions. With ZePrA 4.5 we enhanced this even further. Noticable improvements have been made to the quality of our spot color conversion while we accelerated the calculation time dramatically. Meanwhile, the conversion of spot colors is done on-the-fly. They are so fast that we are not able to show the status of calculating the different spot colors anymore.
More information is available in the White Paper.
Beside the major improvements of ZePrA 4.5 listed in the introduction there are several other enhancements.
The new ZePrA 4.1.5 will be the last free update for all ZePrA 4 customers. ColorLogic added a couple of important bug fixes to this version. Any ZePrA 4 client will be able to update to ZePrA 4.1.5 for free. Going forward, customers must have a software maintenance agreement (SMA) to avoid any related upgrade charges.
Are you looking for solutions to your day-to-day color management challenges? ColorLogic offers a complete solution for all of your color management needs including measurement data optimization, ICC profile creation and PDF processing.
Miami Dade College of Florida has been a user of the ColorLogic ZePrA Smart Color Server since August of 2013. Prior to using ColorLogic’s color management solutions, Miami Dade College was struggling with the lengthy process of color space conversion using the GMG ColorServer. As an organization that deals with the color space conversion of large files for newsprint, digital, offset and sheetfed on an almost daily basis, it is very important to work with an application that is fast and provides flexibility for changing requirements.
Prior to the installation of ZePrA, Senior Graphic Designer Ricardo Delgado experienced a very ineffective and frustrating process with his color workflow. Delgado explained the change in efficiency he experienced with ColorLogic. “One file in particular that proved challenging was 78 MB that needed to be converted to a specific color space. After processing with our former solution the file grew to over 901 MB. In comparison, the ColorLogic’s ZePrA, with the same file and color space conversion produced a 172 MB file”, recalls Delgado. “We later learned that ZePrA — in most of the cases — does not need to rasterize the file to process to a new color space, which is necessary for many other products. The ColorLogic solution is just so much faster and more efficient than anything else we have seen.”
Changing color servers might seem like it would be a tough transition, but Delgado lets us in on how ColorLogic made the process so simple. “We were able to install the application and set it up with guidance from our local ColorLogic representative Rick Dieguez at Grafix World. The application download, the installation and the integration into our workflow was seamless, without the need of a scheduled technical assistant. The color server was up and running almost immediately! Not only were we able to obtain better results, but we found the ColorLogic conversions to be smaller, hence faster to transfer.”
Since upgrading its color server to ColorLogic’s ZePrA, not only does Miami Dade College experience faster processing times with high-quality results, but the College also receives superior customer support from its local ColorLogic representative, Grafix World LLC in Miami. ColorLogic is dedicated to building a strong relationship between their representatives, clients and their team of color management experts, which has proven to be a successful system, as seen in this particular situation. ColorLogic’s dedication to these relationships means that there is a network of representatives and dealers in both North America and in Europe available to provide color management expertise as requested.
Get an overview of ColorLogic ZePrA here:
Click here to learn more about the features within ColorLogic ZePrA and how they can benefit your facility.
Written by CrossXColor Inc.
CS Labels’ managing director Simon Smith: "This has been a steep learning curve but a very worthwhile process."
Being at the forefront of technology innovation brings its own pressures. At CS Labels in Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, innovation is seen as a point of differentiation, and that spirit saw it become a beta site for Xeikon’s new 30 metres per minute Cheetah press in March. It is, says managing director Simon Smith, 58% faster than other Xeikon presses (CS Labels is the largest reel-fed Xeikon house in Europe with five machines). Therein lay the issue however.
"While we were putting the press in, we also had to consider what we were doing in terms of streamlining studio processes to get the work through more efficiently. We were using a preflighting system but it wasn’t giving us the savings we were hoping for", he told Digital Printer
The company had met MyPressXpert sales director Kevin Caughtry at an EasyFairs event in February, and then spoke to Niall Coady from the colour calibration firm shortly afterwards at a Xeikon Café. In talking, it was recognized that there could be ways to simplify and improve the workflow at CS Labels and reduce errors in prepress.
Following this, MyPressXpert has undertaken further bespoke project work for CS Labels, creating a brand new job management system for the Xeikon workflow from scratch, which interrogates an Excel (.xlsx) file from the client and automatically creates and databases all the label barcodes based on sites and quantities. It has also put in a colour management software system – ColorLogic’s ZePrA colour management server and ReProfiler Digital colour engine – which is helping to improve CS Labels’ management of process control and calibration of the Xeikon engines, providing detailed reporting on the stability of the presses so that maintenance schedules can be optimised. This has been effective to such a degree that in September the label producer stopped using the colour control system that comes with the Xeikon presses.
"All digital presses face the challenge of colour consistency from print run to print run, and we also need to ensure that our presses are optimised to achieve Pantone colours", said Mr Smith. "Invariably we are given a label to match by printing CMYK. We need to get as close as possible to achieving the Pantones consistently and measure how close in Delta E we are. This system has helped us to do that. We are of the opinion that it actually takes it to a different level."
The impact of these implementations of automated preflighting and colour management within the company is that CS Labels is able to cope with higher volumes of work while utilising the same level of human resources. "We are also shortening lead times to get work on press and we are getting far fewer mistakes where files have to go back to the studio", Mr Smith continued. "It has streamlined the whole process for us and allows the studio to move away from more mundane tasks such as putting the bleed on a hundred files – those things are automated now. The system also automates the artwork and sends a proof back to the customer."
"The ideal is that we get a PDF from our customer and it goes straight on press without a human touching it. That’s what we are looking for, and we are making fairly substantial progress."
All progress in this direction is welcome, because in December a second Cheetah press will arrive, and further efficiencies will need to be found.
"This has been a steep learning curve but a very worthwhile process", Mr Smith concluded. "The biggest benefit is that we have been able to make this system bespoke to our unique requirements, rather than buying one off the shelf."
Written by Whitmar Publications
To satisfy the ever changing requirements of the printing industry you need flexible and yet still specialized solutions to address those needs in the best possible way. We spoke with Mr. Alberto Gómez, CEO of the printing company Impresiones y Prototipos, s.l. in Barcelona, Spain, who is mainly responsible for the strategic development of the whole company. He focuses on quality improvements, solutions to fulfill specific customer requirements while looking for new opportunities to expand the activities of his company.
Our company Impresiones y Prototipos, s.l., is a printing company located in Barcelona (Spain) with over 30 years experience in the printing industry. Three years ago we created a new division “Zeta Prototypes” which specializes in prototype packaging. Our main clients here are located in the high-end sector of perfumery. Due to the high quality of our prototypes and the great success we have achieved here in Spain, we just started our international expansion prototypes packaging division. Our goal for 2015 is to establish this international business.
We use CoPrA and ColorAnt to optimize our measurement data and create ICC and DeviceLink profiles. Afterwards we process files by using the color server ZePrA. After we validated how this powerful color management engine helped us to improve our print data, we also have included the ZePrA module for Spot Color conversion, which is very important for us. We also just started using the Reprofiler, which we think is a very interesting solution for handling slight changes in the print process without the need to regularly create completely new profiles.
A while ago we had some color issues in our production. I was looking for better ways to achieve color fidelity and shorter make-ready times. Someone recommended Daniel López from ID-Soft to us. He helped us to evaluate the right solutions and then integrated the ColorLogic products for us. Daniel is an excellent color consultant. He is very knowledgable and probably one of the best technicians for colorimetry in Spain. He also introduced us to the ColorLogic products.
We tried many other color management solutions, but we were never able to achieve our goal with them. Our goals are to create high-quality prototypes and ensure the same colors in the final print. It is also important to know that theses prototypes serve as samples for all further printing processes. With the ColorLogic solutions, we saw from the beginning that we could achieve this goal, because they are very powerful and versatile. Before we changed our production, we had to perform many tests to get a color fidelity prototype. Since we began using ColorLogic technology these tests have been drastically reduced while also giving us a substantial increase in production without comprising the print quality. Additionally, due to ColorLogic’s products we can manage color in all material we work with: Polyester, Folding, Leather, PVC, PET, etc, knowing that we will always obtain the best result of reproduction.
Each prototype we do is a unique work. Our customers rely on our quality and with our optimized production we have have been able to achieve for our prototyping a 95% realism in comparison to the final industrial production. Today we are the 1st company in Spain which is certified by the best companies. So, now that we have such an extensive experience in conducting professional prototypes, we begin our international expansion by offering prototyping to other countries.
It is not a cheap solution, but I think it is complex to define what is cheap or expensive… Of course, it depends heavily on the objectives that are achieved. In our case, although it looked like a major investment in the beginning, we believe this was worth the money spent. Meanwhile we improved production tremendously and added value based on the professional knowledge of Daniel López. And if we ever see new requirements we can always discuss those with him. So for sure, I would do the investment again.
The latest version 4 of the high-performance color server ZePrA, developed by the German ColorLogic GmbH, has successfully passed its test period at alprinta GmbH. For some time now, alprinta GmbH has used Colorlogic‘s products ZePrA, CoPrA, Reprofiler and ColorAnt for their daily color management tasks. Ever changing print conditions in digital and screen printing, along with the special needs regarding exact reproduction of spot colors, calls for high-end color management solutions as one of the key success factors for alprinta.
“I really like to test new products for our production. The printing industry is changing constantly and only by adopting your production process to these changing requirements, allows you to maintain and optimize it. I also appreciate the quick response of the development teams responsible for the products we use here at alprinta. In addition, it enables me to share feedback and ideas regarding future development which may benefit all users.“
Lukat explains how the ZePrA color server is used at alprintas‘ production in combination with ColorLogics‘ CoPrA (ICC profiling): “Instead of repeating the general advantages of the ColorLogic products, I like to focus on new features in ZePrA 4 / CoPrA 3 which are so beneficial for our daily print business:”
Until now the standard process was to generate printer and DeviceLink profile with CoPrA and re-profile with Reprofiler, each combination of printer, material and printing speed. The resulting DeviceLink profiles, were used for color conversion in ZePrA. Dealing with ten different print materials, three printers with three different speed settings ends easily in handling of 180 profiles (90 ICC and 90 DeviceLink profiles). The printing results are outstanding, but whenever something changes: material, settings, etc. all profiles need to be redone to maintain the quality. With the new SmartLink module in ZePrA 4 it is now possible to share DeviceLink settings between CoPrA 3 and ZePrA 4 and cuts with one “click“ the amount of profiles in half. ZePrA calculates automatically the required DeviceLink profile based on the related output profile. There are also pre-defined settings available for SmartLink.
This new feature is one of my favorites. Especially in large format printing with its different kind of materials and reproduction capabilities. All clients require perfect reproduction of their CI colors and spot colors. Therefore, it is essential to know if those colors may be reproduced with the chosen settings. With ZePrA it is possible to define a variable for DeltaE2000 (deltaE2000 fits nicely to human color prediction) to track if the color shift is good enough to continue with the print or not. This goes very well together with the new rendering intent Minimal Compression in CoPrA 3 which allows the best possible nearly absolute colorimetric reproduction. Who can ask for more!
With the new Flattening options it is possible to reduce transparencies quickly either on single jobs or whole plates and ensure the best possible reproduction without running into problems with transparencies or spot colors. Daily print production has proven that reduction of transparency is required. Even working in a PDF-X/4-Workflow can lead to those unpredictable problem which can be solved now.
All job settings may be stored manually in ZePrA by using the report function – in ZePrA 4 it is now possible to do this automatically and store it in a folder. I believe that this is essential to guarantee future reproduction and archive customer data. Thank you, ColorLogic, for realizing this customer request!
Finally, the most important point for all decision makers: Even if all topics mentioned are already more than helpful in daily reproduction work, you will enjoy the SaveInk module in ZePrA 4 and CoPrA 3 on top of it. I was able to realize approximately 20% ink reduction in 1000 print job without any loss of quality. Especially in large format printing where ink costs define the print costs – this could make the difference. This function pays off from your first print job on. Additionally, with the different SaveInk levels you are able to define quality and rentability.
The German alprinta GmbH located in Leverkusen has been successfully working in print and display production for more than 30 years. Their core competence lies in digital and screen printing as well as advertisement, displays and UV offset. Alprinta is one of the market leaders in the area of display advertisement. This success is based on over 50 motivated and highly experienced employees.
“My sincerest thanks to ColorLogic for the new ColorAnt tool for measurement data preparation!” writes Ulf Wittenberg from Appel Grafik, who as a long-standing customer was involved in the beta testing of CoPrA 2 and ColorAnt in 2011. The report from Ulf Wittenberg at Appel Grafik on his experiences shows why…
Appel Grafik is a media service company based in Germany with sites in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart. The Appel Grafik sites have been using the DeviceLink profiles created by ColorLogic CoPrA for many years for high quality and standardized color conversion of PDF files and pixel images. Ulf Wittenberg, Color Manager at Appel Color department creates, tests and optimizes the DeviceLink and ICC profiles centrally for the Appel Group, enabling him to ensure consistent color quality throughout the company.
Ulf Wittenberg continues:
“At last with ColorAnt there is software for MacOS and Windows for applying corrections such as measurements smoothing or compensation of optical brighteners to the measurement data – and as a CoPrA 2 purchaser it is free of charge, too. ColorLogic has also integrated even more extremely useful functions with the help of its outstanding and highly customer-oriented team.
The measurement data correction and smoothing are extremely helpful in our everyday work, particularly in calculating output profiles for color laser printers that despite careful calibration often still have notable irregularities. In addition, papers with a significant amount of optical brighteners are often used in production that in turn generate problems of a different kind when their effects cannot be corrected. Using ColorAnt, the necessary corrections can be included in the measurement data and their effect checked in advance of the profile calculation. The corrected data are then reflected in the CoPrA profile as well.
The other tools in ColorAnt are also fantastic – some outstanding examples include:
The whole package is rounded off by a comparative function with statistical evaluation and a PDF report. This provides a really comprehensive overview of the quality of the printers measured.
This combination of advanced color management tools was previously only possible using several different programs from various manufacturers – to have all this in just one program that is really easy to use makes us really happy!
In summary: ColorAnt easily exceeds our expectations and feature requests and has become an indispensable tool in our workflow.”
The German SKN printing and publishing group has a long tradition which dates back to the last century. SKN currently employs approximately 450 employees. The publishing area covers over 30 different telephone books, the monthly magazine “Ostfriesland Magazine” and also publishes books. With its daily newspapers “Ostfriesischer Kurier”, the “Norderneyer Badezeitung” and two additional weekly newspapers, the SKN is also well known in the German newspaper publishing.
Beside these activities, the SKN is one of the largest industrial printers for high volume printing in Germany. According to their motto, “SKN – Competence in printing and publishing“, the SKN delivers high quality on a good price-quality-level. Besides highly educated and motivated employees, it‘s essential for the development of such multifaceted company to use the right technology and to have a close contact to all clients. Therefore, it is very important for the SKN to take special care about job printing and close customer relation. In other words, to present itself as a competent and reliable partner with whom it is easy to work with.
Tielko de Groot is the Manager of Prepress at SKN and, in addition, responsible for training and internal complaints department. Several years ago, a print consultant introduced him to the products from the color experts ColorLogic. The possibility to handle all print related data in the correct color space convinced Tielko de Groot to ColorLogic was the obvious solution. Due to the importance of using InkSave in SKNs production, they decided to work with ColorLogic ZePrA and the ColorLogic DeviceLink profiles.
Tielko reports: “Working with a reliable and fast color server, which can be configured in an easy and understandable way, is really great. ZePrA is responsible for most of our color conversions and ink saving calculation of print data for sheet-fed and web-fed offset printing. For example, to adjust color data to the different Fogra characteristics of several paper types is an easy and fast task. Furthermore, by using an automation software like Enfocus Switch, the automation process in production can be additionally increased”.
Regarding the DeviceLink profiles, Tielko says: “At first, I like to highlight the fact that the DeviceLinkSet profiles have proven its usability during several print tests with Fogra certified color consultants. That main advantage is that it enables proprietary systems to deliver the same results as ZePrA. Therefore, we are using those profiles especially in newspaper production with Kodak Prinergy to apply SaveInk directly before printing. Before deciding on this production method, we tested a competitive product, which produced several errors. The generated print data were useless for production. However, the ColorLogic products are very reliable and need more or less no support at all. The few questions which have been raised so far, have always been answered fast and sufficient by ColorLogic and Karsten Schwarze from our dealer Impressed.”
Another advantage regarding the correct output in production rests, based on Tielko de Groot statement, in the fact “that the color server can be set to only adopt the images inside the PDF (or image files itself) and does not rip the complete PDF files or creates a complete new one or does any additional modification. This leads to a higher performance, too. And it keeps me independent from any PDF library settings …” He went on to say, “I believe investing into a color server only happens once – and therefore you should better proof that it lasts. With ZePrA return on investment is ensured. By the way – we are also using ZePrA in our subsidiary OPD.”
Gennaro Marfucci offers solutions for DTP, color and print, and works with ZePrA, a color server software solution developed by ColorLogic.
Gennaro Marfucci is a certified media expert for digital and print media. His full-service bureau offer solutions all around DTP, color and print. Located in Darmstadt near Frankfurt, he serves clients all over Germany, but especially in the Rhein-Main area. Gennaro Marfucci works mainly for ad and design agencies, prepress and service bureaus. Based on Corporate Identity and production requirements, he creates layouts, print copies and finalizes also print production – from layout to final print control. He does the DTP work on his own and serves everything around digital printing, prepress and color management.
For Marfucci, it is common in his business to be expected to prepare print data immediately. This an present a big problem for a small company. Therefore, it is even more important to quickly prepare ad campaigns with respect to different printing conditions.
“I searched for hardware and software solutions to help me to work faster and more efficiently. It was my goal to differentiate myself from competition. I wanted to work “solution oriented“, respect quality, work effectively and still offer more attractive prices than my competition. During this evaluation, I got in contact with Impressed (the German distributor of ColorLogic). They offer professional advice and if there is any issue, I get excellent support. To solve my color management issues they recommended products developed by ColorLogic. ColorLogic is specialized on development of color management solutions and offered exactly the kind of product I was looking for: ZePrA. My main problem that I wanted to solve is that I don‘t have the time to generate “clean“ printing data. Using ZePrA, I am now able to solve all tasks within a short timeframe: fast realization of ad campaigns, converting RGB to CMYK, adjust data to different color spaces or convert existing legacy data to respect new printing conditions. Quite often I have to convert existing designer publications, such as brochures or magazines, prepared as a PDF/X-4 file, to PSO Uncoated and do scaling and sharpening of the images in one step. Sometimes I have to replace Corporate Design colors in Corporate Design Manuals for different printing standards (in CMYK). It‘s also possible to adjust advertisements to DUON conventions. All these different tasks are handled now easier, smoother, with less mistakes and definitely much faster.”
Marfucci is satisfied: “My situation concerning orders has been improved tremendously since I started to work with ZePrA. Without ZePrA I wouldn‘t been able to accept so many orders and realize them in time. Doing so, I get many new customers and found some niche markets as a service provider. My advantage is that by using ZePrA, I am able to work faster, better and more price attractive than most of the other competitors which don‘t use such a solution. In addition, we have to face the fact that prepress production changed dramatically since the introduction of the Adobe Creative Suite. A media expert has to solve now different tasks – from the first draft until the final preparation of print data. For a one-man company like mine, the investment into ZePrA was the perfect decision to increase work production while offering better quality and to differentiate me from the average standard. In addition, my customer relations are much closer nowadays because my clients recognize the advantages and quality improvements by using DeviceLink profiles for color conversion and they don‘t want to refuse this.“
Beside ZePrA (including SmartLink) Marfucci uses also ColorLogic DeviceLink profiles (DLS) and DocBees-ProfileTagger to detect unprofiled or wrongly tagged data.
ZePrA is a high-end color server running under Mac OS X or Windows. The application supports DeviceLink and ICC profiles and offers conversion and optimization of complete PDF print data and images (PSD, TIFF und JPEG) via hotfolder. Therefore ZePrA is the perfect solution to convert delivered printing data to a standard printing condition. ZePrA supports CMYK, RGB, gray scale, Lab and multicolor and is suitable for any kind of printing process. This application sets standards regarding quality, performance and price wise!
This webinar covers several color related topics:
When sending problems to support or asking questions about a specific functionality, it is always helpful if you supply as much information as possible:
When such files are over 2MB it is more reliable and quicker to send them to us through FTP. This article describes how to do so.
This FTP server is configured in such a way that you will be able to upload files to it, but you will not be able to delete files from it. We will remove files from the folder as soon as we see they are there.
Likely :-) ColorLogic offers a very comprehensive color workflow solution and more than likely it overlaps in functionality with some of the other tools in the market that you know. The important thing to remember is that we believe that the ColorLogic solutions have a number of key differentiators and advantages:
Advanced packaging products can re-separate files using a flexible number of spot colors. The answer ColorLogic has for such workflows depends on its unique ability to work with MultiColor DeviceLink profiles in CoPrA and ZePrA. Using Photoshop and the edit module in CoPrA, a customer can create custom spot color orders and build those into a DeviceLink profile that can then be used by ZePrA to separate incoming CMYK files. An upcoming ZePrA version will add a much more advanced spot color conversion module for such workflows as well.
In such environments it will be very important to understand the needs of your customer and their project very well before suggesting a ColorLogic product. In case of doubt simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you qualify opportunities.