Everybody loves color. We ask children and first dates their favorites. We endlessly debate the best ones for shoes, cars, homes, even eyes and hair. We ooh and aah when fireworks burst with a new, unexpected hue.
However, for mass-produced items—from toys, to cell phone cases, to the tools lining the Home Depot shelves—color presents issues in plethora. Production tolerances, pigments used in various processes are just the beginning. Add in gloss levels of differing materials, different textures of various surfaces, not to mention that everything changes when lighting and viewing conditions shift.
Grappling with this, manufacturers present various solutions to end-users. Some charge an arm and a leg for a different color. Some give you all kinds of color variations, some of which might even match… sorta. Some follow Henry Ford in offering “…any color you want, as long as it is black.”
Truth is, as end-users, we are delighted by color choices. Which means color can be a major marketing advantage; one that makes your product stand above its competitors. Any new tool or process that cost-effectively gives designers more control over colors they can work with lends to that.
This is why I was more than interested to see X-Rite Corporation’s RM200QC Imaging Spectrocolorimeter. It’s a hand-held tool intended to bridge the gap between the science of color management and the day-to-day issues of product appearance. Not only is it low in cost and simple to use – it is accurate, reliable, and repeatable.
Definitely worth checking out.
More information about the RM200QC color meter.
More information (on the PlasticsGuy blog) about the technology of color matching.
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