Roughly 40 people work under the umbrella of the ADDON Group, a German company which is divided into ADDON Technical Solutions, Jung Produktion and the Zeitgeist company with locations in Düsseldorf, Cologne and Stuttgart. High-end DTP, image editing and print handling are among the services offered by the group of companies, along with Web2Print, image databases, programming and adaptation for publishing.
Roman Bastian, Technical Manager and responsible for color management at ADDON Technical Solutions, describes his company’s many years of experience with color management as follows:
“ADDON Technical Solutions has been applying color management for many years. We tackled the subject at a very early stage when we began to use scanners from Heidelberg, who introduced color management with ICC profiles sooner than many other companies. When Adobe Photoshop 5 with color management support then later came onto the market, we already had the ICC profiles in the drawer and were able to use them for soft proofing at the image editing workplace from the very start.
A while later, our proofing systems – which still came from the Scitex company at the time – also got to that stage and supported ICC profiles for color-accurate output. It was quite a rough ride at the beginning, because the linearization and profiling methods were revised from one software version to the next and delivered slightly different results each time.
This heterogeneous production environment was additionally supplemented by a Quantel Paintbox that worked exclusively with RGB data. It was important to have a mastery of color management at this point, too, in order to be able to deliver top-quality color separations.
I began my training as a reproduction photographer in 1976 and later passed the examination as industrial master printer. After working for a few years as a scanner and image editing operator, I switched fields and have since been looking after the technical equipment side – also including color management – at what is today the ADDON Technical Solutions company.
We had our first encounter with the subject of DeviceLink profiles when we tested the CMM from Imation, and through the Profile Wizard from Scitex.
Really, the Scitex product only addressed proofing at that time. During beta-tests, we and the Scitex color management specialists discovered the technology’s potential for converting files between different printing processes. These days, our high-quality print productions would be inconceivable without DeviceLink profiles.
To also be able to convert Postscript files and all their content, we then began to use BatchMatcherPS from GretagMacbeth, and later the successor product iQueue for PDF files. Unfortunately, the DeviceLink technology of our profiling tools of the time didn’t develop to the extent we’d hoped, nor did the workflow products.
Then, when doing some research in 2004, we hit on the product portfolio offered by ColorLogic. Initial tests very soon made it clear that the company had taken the subject of DeviceLink profiles very seriously, and that their implementation left hardly anything to be desired.
ColorLogic has found brilliant solutions for realizing the possibility of editing DeviceLink profiles in Photoshop with the help of CoLiPri and CoPrA, the additional rendering intents, and the preservation of separation characteristics. And the RGB-to-CMYK DeviceLink profiles are in a class of their own – they set standards that simply can’t be achieved with “normal” ICC conversion.
The current Version 2 of CoPrA now also makes it possible for the first time to generate simulation profiles for soft proofing DeviceLink conversions – in Photoshop, for example. That’s a real highlight, because during image editing on the monitor we are already able to simulate how the files and colors develop during color management on the color server when using DeviceLink profiles.”
Being one of the very first users of DeviceLink profiles, Roman Bastian can truly appreciate the great features of CoPrA 2 that ultimately ensure that the color worlds of the ADDON customers can be accurately put onto paper or other media.
When asked about the company’s other color management tasks and goals, Roman Bastian replies:
“We use DocBees-ProfileManager to organize our great variety of profiles. Sorting by profile classes, including DeviceLink profiles, is a major help in our day-to-day work. Sometimes, even little things can go a long way towards making everyday work easier.
The next thing we intend to do is take a closer look at the ZePrA color server. I’m quite certain it’ll turn out to be another mature product from ColorLogic that would effectively extend our range of services.”