Color Control Technology

Color Control Technology

In commercial and industrial printing, it is important to accurately reproduce the colors that customers specify using color samples and the brand colors that symbolize companies and products. However, the materials on which things like billboards and textiles are printed all have different characteristics. Moreover, the range of colors that can be reproduced varies widely depending on the model of printer used. Epson understands these differences in characteristics and developed Color Control Technology as a color management solution for quickly and accurately reproducing the colors that customers envision. Read on to find out about the basic workflow and about what's behind this technology.

The basic color management workflow

Before the colors you see on a particular device, such as a camera or PC monitor, are reproduced in print, they undergo a conversion process in which the input device color space goes through a profile connection space to translate it to the printer color space (the colors that the printer can reproduce). In the printer color space, the appropriate colors and amount of each type of ink for each media type are defined for each printer in a look-up table (LUT) using technology that Epson has developed over many years in inkjet technology.

Epson has a long history as a hardware manufacturer, but we also rely on software-based image processing to reproduce the colors that customers envision.

The basic color management workflow

Five key technologies

Epson's Color Control Technology is underpinned by five technologies: color prediction, color profiling, color transformation, color optimization, and color separation. These technologies quickly and easily solve common issues. For example, they enable you to create the best print settings for your media. They handle color matching between spot colors and actual items, as well as color adjustments for repeat orders. They also control variations when multiple printers are used to output the same job.


Color Prediction

This technology rapidly and accurately predicts the colors you wish to reproduce, as well as input and output values. In the absence of this technology, it could take up to half a day to obtain a match with the desired colors. Often this would mean having to repeatedly adjust the RGB and CMYK signal values that represent an image, printing patches of peripheral colors, and selecting the closest one by eye. Color prediction by Epson makes it possible to accurately match colors the first time, without repetitive work, and allows you to determine whether the color can be reproduced.

Color Profiling

This is a technology for analyzing the colors that a printer can reproduce on print media through a four step process (printing, color measurement, color gamut creation, and gamut mapping) and for creating an ICC profile that can be used by a raster image processor (RIP) and through a genuine Epson printer driver. Excellent quality is achieved by leveraging the profiling technology and Epson color rendering policy that Epson developed for the photo and proofing markets.

Color Transformation

This is a technology for translating the color space of a given device to the target color space using the ICC profile created by color profiling. In the printing process, monitor colors are converted to printer colors at high speed and with outstanding accuracy. This Epson technology serves as the foundation for color matching. Using our own technology enabled us to avoid having to be dependent on the quality and functions of other companies while also ensuring compatibility with a wide variety of device color spaces.

Color Optimization

This technology accurately reproduces the ideal colors and performs correction so that these colors are in harmony with the surrounding colors. Color optimization is used to achieve high-accuracy color matching while preserving gradations through vector calculation, color adjustment, a spread function, and smoothing.

Color Separation

This technology determines what inks to use and in what amounts when reproducing colors. The amount of ink is calculated to achieve the optimum color reproducibility, gradations, graininess, and light source dependency. In the case of an eight-color ink set, for example, color separation technology selects the best allocation of ink from approximately 1,840 quadrillion unique combinations. Another advantage of Epson's color separation technology is that it achieves high consistency by focusing on gradation and color reproducibility.