Introduction

ColourMimix is a PhotoShop Plug-in (compatible with CS5 0nwards, PC and Mac), it is developed as colouring tool for designers providing the means to create original palettes reproducible within the colour-space of a selected printer, ink set and substrate combination.

This is achieved without the need for expensive and complicated colour management hardware or software; as an alternative the designer is in control from the outset using their colour judgment to set up the colour-picker tool to display only printable colour selections on the monitor screen.

The Advantages

  • saves the user time with colour critical design work by avoiding the need for trial and error, achieving screen to pint colour matches
  • negates the cost of wasted consumables
  • new colour palettes can be loaded into the PhotoShop colours watch menu as an ASE file and integrated into design projects
  • the a basic print preview option allows thumbnail size images to be viewed for colour before printing
  • the designer has full control of managing colour between the monitor screen view and the printer
  • bespoke profiles are easy to create for new ink sets/substrates without any additional hardware or software costs
  • the system is designed in way that utilises a designers initiative colour knowledge while introducing some of the technical challenges of digital colour management

The Concept

The mismatch between monitor screen colour and print colour is unavoidable with conventional digital colour approaches and typically is the cause of much frustration and delay in commercial colour commutation. ColourMimix helps avoid the cost of such expensive delays and confusion by simply providing the designer with the opportunity to work with only colours that a chosen printer process can reproduce.

The interface design is uniquely intuitive, new colour palettes are created on the monitor screen with an interface that mimics a paint mixing effect. This is a familiar working method for designers’ who often have developed the skill to readily recognise the creative potential of given set of real-world colorants. However, this ability does not always transfer well to the digital domain as standard colour-picker tools display the full colour range of the monitor allowing colours selections that can never be matched to a colour printer or production process. Established colour management systems only deal with this problem after the design process is compete making the necessary colour corrections based on technological evaluation and not on aesthetic merit or harmonious colour relationships created across a particular colour palette. ColourMimix is designed for designers providing the opportunity work with and control digital colour in an accessible and understandable way. This is done by using their inherent colour skills without the unnecessary compromise or exaggerated expectations that often presented when working with uninformed about the true limitations of digital colour.