The Evolution of ColorBase Profile Search: A Pinnacle Award Winner
September 22, 2023 by Kai
Brand owners’ expectations on color consistency have never been higher, while there are now thousands of different materials to print on and hundreds of different printers to use, all with dozens of different inksets and configurations. This means that, given the same specified brand color input, there are millions of different possible color outcomes depending on the specific print workflow and hardware combination used.
Here at ColorBase we’ve been tackling this challenge head-on, and our hard work is paying off. Raise your glasses – we are proud to announce that ColorBase Profile Search has been awarded the Pinnacle Product Award 2023 in the Technology category!
We thought we’d take this opportunity to reflect on the history of our Profile Search tool and our library of profiles. For context, we have offered our color management consultancy services to the top brands in our industry for the past 20 years, creating ICC and printer profiles for major material and printer manufacturers as needed. We have consistently innovated in our methodologies and workflows during this time, and ColorBase Profile Search is the culmination of everything that has come before it.
When we first started, ColorBase (formerly Color Concepts) sent its color management consultants anywhere in the world to create profiles specifically for individual end users. Our initial game-changing innovation was the launch of our first dedicated print lab in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where we now host a collection of 20+ large format printers and popular finishing equipment, allowing us to create profiles far more efficiently on all the most popular printers for the material manufacturers themselves. While we initially ‘snail-mailed’ these profiles on CD-ROMs to clients as needed, we kept innovating. We pioneered online profile distribution, and launched many branded ‘Profile Download Clients’ hosted on our own server. These PDCs were designed to look and feel indistinguishable from our clients’ websites, and offer only the profiles specific to those brands.
Some of these, like the Roland Profile Center, are still in use today. But we didn’t stop there – ColorBase Profile Search takes all this to the next level.
ColorBase Profile Search features an easy-to-use search interface for all the profiles we have ever created, for any brand ever. The result is the world’s largest publicly available collection of ICC printer profiles for commercial digital printers, containing approximately 1.3 million profiles for more than 3700 materials, 430 printers, and 96 RIPs. This product is one of those rare ‘win-win-win-win’ solutions where all stakeholders - the print operator, the brand owner, the reseller, and the material manufacturer all benefit.
For starters, ColorBase Profile Search is the first place a print operator should go when starting a new print job, because a quality printer profile can save them a significant amount of material, ink and time spent in color management trial and error. Needless to say, in the volume game of digital printing, executing print jobs on time, at lower costs, and with less waste doesn’t just benefit the PSPs, but everyone downstream as well.
Resellers and distributors love ColorBase Profile Search too, because when their customers achieve more accurate, more consistent color in their print jobs, the happier those customers are. Happier customers means better brand reputation, and reduced support activities. When support calls do take place, ColorBase Profile Search is a great place to start troubleshooting, as using a quality profile can quickly and easily solve many issues related to user error.
That’s not all though. Through the download of profiles on ColorBase Profile Search, we collect detailed information on how, when and where print materials are being used - which, due to our industry’s reliance on resellers and distributors, is exactly the information that material manufacturers struggle to get firsthand. Our GDPR-compliant analytics dashboards finally solve this pain and put this data into the hands of material manufacturers, allowing them to develop better insight into who their customers are and how they operate.
If you’re interested in using ColorBase Profile Search, give it a try! Or, if your brand has profiles you’d like featured on our platform, reach out and let us know - we’ll give you a tour of our analytics platform at the same time.
Lastly, THANK YOU to all our users. We do this for you, and you make it all possible. Happy printing!
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