Mastering MPS: A Guide to Achieving Optimal Print Color Accuracy

In the world of Managed Print Services (MPS), color accuracy is king. It’s the invisible thread that weaves together stunning visuals and high-quality prints. But managing this color precision? Well, that’s a whole different ball game.

Navigating the complexities of color consistency can feel like walking a tightrope. One wrong move and your print output is off, leaving you with less-than-stellar results. But don’t fret, I’m here to guide you through the labyrinth of print color accuracy in MPS.

So buckle up, as we delve into the intricacies of maintaining color accuracy, ensuring your prints are nothing short of perfect. Let’s embark on this journey to master the art of managing print color accuracy in MPS together.

Understanding Color Accuracy in Managed Print Services (MPS)

Having delved into the vital role of color accuracy in MPS, it’s time to comprehend its dynamics further to ensure superior print results. Given the increasing business need for flawless prints, mastering the nuances of color management is imperative.

The Importance of Color Management

Color management, in essence, is the pivotal cog in the wheel of Managed Print Services. It’s about translating our perception of color into numerical values that can guide the printing process. This numerical translation ensures that the colors we see on screen match those in print, maintaining a coherent visual experience. Without meticulous color management, prints may display hue inconsistencies, leading to a subpar work quality.

Challenges in Achieving Color Consistency

Attaining color consistency in MPS, however, isn’t a walk in the park. One of the prime challenges is the device-dependent nature of color. In essence, varying devices perceive colors differently. For instance, a shade of blue on an LCD monitor may appear different when viewed on a smartphone or when printed. Thus, balancing these variables mandates a robust color management strategy. Another hurdle is the impact of ambient light conditions. Changes in lighting can significantly alter perception of colors, adding another layer to the complexity of managing color consistency in MPS.

Key Components in Managing Print Color Accuracy

Profiling and calibrating devices, standardizing print processes, and utilizing color management software prove instrumental in managing print color accuracy in MPS. Let’s dive deeper into understanding these components.

Profiling and Calibration of Devices

Profiling and Calibration of devices form the initial steps in achieving color accuracy. A device profile uses a set of colors, represented in numeric values, to create a standardized color-space. It’s kind of like color maps – communicating on a universal language. Calibration, on the other hand, adjusts a device’s color response to match a predefined standard. It’s the process which ensures that your device ‘speaks’ the standard language it’s supposed to.

A device, for instance a printer, gets calibrated first. Think of it as fine-tuning the instrument – adjusting inks in the instance of a printer to get the best gray balance and tonal range. Once calibrated, the device gets profiled, the result – a high fidelity, repeatable color output.

Standardizing Print Processes

Next, Standardizing print processes involves incorporating uniform and predictable workflows into the print production process. A consistent print environment, including standardized print settings, contributes to achieving uniform color accuracy.

For example, using the same make and model of printers within an organization helps establish a uniform print environment. Uniform print settings, such as ink density, paper setting, and resolution control, when aptly chosen, enable a consistent print quality under varying conditions.

The Role of Color Management Software

Lastly, Color management software plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between the input and output devices for optimal color reproduction. These software applications interpret the color information from the device profiles and transform them into accurate, device-independent colors.

A color management software, like ICC profiles (International Color Consortium), translates colors among devices. So, colors on a monitor will closely match those in a print. Furthermore, their ability to simulate how color will appear on the printed material before the actual printout offers an advantage – reducing the risk of expensive reprints due to color mismatch. In essence, color management software provides the vital link in the color managed workflow, ensuring what you see is what you get.

Best Practices for Color Accuracy in MPS

Consistency in color output plays a pivotal role in Managed Print Services. Let’s dive into some of the sterling best practices for maintaining color accuracy in MPS.

Regular Maintenance and Calibration

High on the priority list sits regular maintenance and calibration of MPS devices. Continuous upkeep aids in ensuring consistent performance. Particularly, calibration enables devices to reproduce colors accurately based on standardized profiles. For instance, performing monthly calibrations on your printers becomes beneficial, fostering precise color output. Remember, consistency in maintenance schedules increases color accuracy and reduces the chance of discrepancy between digital color spaces and printed outputs.

Staff Training and Protocols

Investment in staff training isn’t just beneficial, it’s integral. A team well-versed in color management procedures can capably handle devices, greatly reducing the likelihood of color inconsistencies. By simply integrating protocols like daily device checks or routine software updates, staff can enhance operational efficiency. As an example, training your team to identify color discrepancies at an early stage encourages swift corrective action.

Choosing the Right Paper and Inks

In terms of print outputs, your choice of paper and inks makes a significant difference. While it’s common to focus heavily on devices and software, qualitative materials equally contribute to color accuracy. For example, coarse papers can impact ink absorption, thereby affecting color representation. Similarly, using manufacturer-recommended inks assures consistency, given inks can vary in formulation and pigment density. Consider these aspects, and you’re one step closer to consistent, accurate color prints in your MPS workflow.

Case Studies: Successes in Color Management

In the dynamic realm of Managed Print Services (MPS), successful color management can drastically enhance the end results. A careful look at compelling case studies underscores the remarkable benefits.

Improving Brand Image Through Consistent Color

Branding essentially involves realizing a cohesive identity, with colors playing a crucial role in creating a recognition hook for audiences. San Diego’s Triton Imaging, a renowned digital printing service provider, provides an enlightening example. Grappling with inconsistencies in color production, Triton relied on device calibration and color management tools to enforce strict color adherence across numerous campaigns.

Emphasizing a rigorous profiling of each device involved in the print process, Triton engineers ensured that every print job adhered to the defined color specifications. Utilizing color management software helped them align color representation across various devices, resulting in high fidelity color outputs. Thanks to their diligent efforts, the color inconsistencies vanished, bolstering Triton’s brand image and the satisfaction of its clients.

Streamlining Production with Accurate Color Matching

Achieving accurate color matching doesn’t just influence the look of the final product but can also streamline production operations. A glimpse at Netherlands-based commercial printer, Eshuis, is revealing. They faced challenges related to time-consuming manual color adjustments which caused significant production delays.

After implementing standardization of print processes and regular maintenance of devices, Eshuis watched productivity levels soar. For instance, in place of laborious trial-and-error, systematic device calibration enabled quick color matching, cutting down production time significantly. Similarly, the careful selection of paper and inks elevated color representation, minimizing reprints due to color discrepancies.

Consequently, Eshuis showcased how meticulous color management invites the twin gifts of efficiency alongside impeccable quality, true milestones in the MPS industry.

Tools and Technologies for Enhanced Color Accuracy

Seamless color management in Managed Print Services (MPS) requires advanced tools and technologies. Leveraging these instrumental components ensures color accuracy, optimizes print outcomes, and reinforces brand appeal, as evinced in prior instances like Triton Imaging and Eshuis.

Advanced Color Measurement Instruments

Color measurement instruments play a pivotal role in maintaining color accuracy in MPS. These devices, including spectrophotometers and colorimeters, directly gauge the color of print outputs, yielding precise data for assessment and calibration. For example, the X-Rite i1Pro 3, a spectrophotometer, measures color across a spectrum, enabling accurate profiling of printing devices. Similarly, the Datacolor SpyderX, a colorimeter, monitors color performance in displays, assisting in proper color representation during the design stage. By utilizing these high-precision instruments, MPS providers accurately match desired color outputs, averting deviations and ensuring predictability in results.

Software Solutions for MPS Color Management

Software solutions streamline color management in MPS, offering greater control over color accuracy. These digital tools encompass calibration, profiling, and color correction functionalities to optimize color output. Programs such as EFI Fiery eXpress provide a complete MPS color management solution, enabling adjustment of color parameters, automation of routine tasks, and standardization of printing processes. Another prominent software, ONYX Thrive, offers centralized color management, thereby improving consistency across various print devices. Software solutions like these facilitate efficient color management, ensuring a dependable, uniform color output across all stages of the MPS workflow.


Managing color accuracy in MPS isn’t just about meeting customer expectations – it’s a vital part of enhancing brand image and streamlining production. With the right strategies, tools, and technologies, you can achieve consistent and accurate color output. Profiling your devices, calibrating regularly, and employing color management software are key steps towards this goal. Instruments like spectrophotometers and colorimeters can offer precise data for calibration and assessment, while software solutions like EFI Fiery eXpress and ONYX Thrive can automate tasks and standardize processes. As we’ve seen with Triton Imaging and Eshuis, successful color management practices can truly make a difference in MPS workflows. So, don’t underestimate the power of color accuracy – it’s time to take your MPS to the next level.