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(v13) XG Color Management

This page applies to Harlequin v13.1r0 and later; both Harlequin Core and Harlequin MultiRIP

The ICC has published a document explaining the various recommended methods of color managing a digital press which covers the same issues as XG devices. It is available at [ICC_exchange]. There are three methods covered:

  • use a wide gamut CMYK exchange color space that is larger than the digital printer. Then convert color to the digital printer’s color space using a DeviceLink profile.
  • create an XG printer-specific profile for the digital printer.
  • use a conventional CMYK exchange color space, for example; FOGRA39 or SWOP, and perform gamut expansion to fill the color gamut of the digital printer.

Using a conventional exchange color space and gamut expansion will not be considered here because it is difficult in practice. The other two methods have pros and cons and are described in the following sections. It is recommended that using the wide gamut CMYK exchange space is a better option:

  • profiling is simpler because standard CMYK profiles can be created for individual media stocks and screenings. Then used alongside a small number of N-color profiles. While CMYK profile creation may be within the abilities of knowledgeable end users, N-color profile creation requires expensive tools and specialist color expertise to get right. These N-color profiles can be created by the OEM.
  • CMYK overprints in both PDF and PostScript language files and are expected to work. They will work with a CMYK exchange space. While CMYK overprints will be visible when converting directly to an XG profile, they may result in unacceptable artifacts unless OverprintPreview is in CMYK Overprint mode (see (v13) CMYK Overprint mode ).

It is recommended that OverprintPreview is set to either SpotsOnly, (see (v13) SpotsOnly mode ), or CMYK Overprint, (see (v13) CMYK Overprint mode ), modes with XG devices. This is because an ink limiting step is commonly required and this can only be guaranteed to be effective in these modes, (see (v13) Ink limiting ).

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