Color is a difficult and time-consuming element to manage, but an art worth mastering. Print service providers (PSPs) that control color provide spot-on matching as well as output consistency across multiple devices.
In 2004 John Baldwin and business partner Jim Headding established Baldwin Press. They built the business by using suppliers and gaining market share, with the understanding that color must be controlled in order to manage suppliers and provide the proper file types and proofs.
Located in Napa, CA, Baldwin Press provides a variety of on demand print production services that include digital printing, litho printing, die cutting, laminating, wide format printing, and fulfillment. They specialize in point of sale, event signage, color correction and proofs, binding, mounting, packing, and shipping.
The wine industry is exceptionally image-driven. Color and print quality work behind the scenes to present reputable products to lure consumers. "If your product is sold because of its specifications—like the thread pitch of nuts and bolts—then you don’t need us. But, if it’s sold because of the imagery and the consumer’s perception, then we can make you look good," says John Baldwin, GM, Baldwin Press.
Baldwin Press is ideally located to serve the promotional material needs of popular wineries including Chappellet, Domaine Chandon, Delectus Winery, Moet Hennessy, Rutherford Wine Company, and V. Sattui. These businesses often rely on the success of their wine clubs and in-store branding to promote and push products. The firm provides a range of service offerings such as brochures, posters, wine bags, bottle neckers, shelf talkers, case cards, and wide format graphics.
"All of these materials need to match, regardless of the process in which they are produced. Color management is important because we’re using the same color space for each machines’ output," says Baldwin.
Equipped with Pageflex Storefront from Bitstream Inc., the PSP employs a Mutoh America, Inc. ValueJet 1608, which is controlled by a PrintFactory RIP from Four Pees NV, as well as a Canon U.S.A, Inc. imagePRESS C7000VP press and a Xerox Corporation DocuColor 250.
Baldwin Press relies on its workflow to accurately and efficiently accept and produce jobs. Projects are submitted by clients and then estimated using PrintStar MIS. Once the estimate is approved, it is converted to a job where production and color notes are reviewed.
Color management starts at the opening of a client’s file and understanding how the images are tagged to determine the output intent. "Ensuring all the devices match means printing a series of color patches, reading with a spectrophotometer, and making an ICC profile," explains Baldwin.
When the files are tagged with profiles, Baldwin Press will honor those profiles. If the files are not tagged, they are converted to their working space and a proof is run for evaluation and client approval. A significant resolution for the final output size leads to proofs running at 50 percent. If the resolution looks marginal, proofs run at 100 percent to ensure issues are reviewed before output.
Baldwin explains that every piece of material is profiled before printed. The company prints on PVC, styrene, and paper. "We don’t use any canned or standard profiles that came with the RIP. Every substrate gets its own profile that we make in house. Each material accepts ink differently and we want to get the proper amount of ink onto it," he says.
Sparkling wine maker Domaine Chandon is one of Napa Valley’s popular wineries. The company turned to Baldwin Press to help generate wine club enrollment from tasting room visitors. Using its digital workflow, the PSP was able to produce the job quickly and efficiently, paying close attention to color requirements.
The client produced the creative, which included delicate flesh tones. The resolution of the image at final size was only 116 dpi, so a production proof was created at a full size of 36x60 inches. The project was printed directly to expanded PVC on the Mutoh ValueJet. Baldwin says the client was thrilled with the project.
Attention to Detail
Color is critical to every product and brand. Proper color management and control is a skill that can’t be faked. It is an ongoing learning process. High-quality output is often reliant on vibrant colors specific to a client’s intent. Baldwin Press provides an excellent example of taking the initiative to build a business on the foundation of color.