Machines can’t do it all, what makes The Color Place stand out, says Jobe, is in color management and they depend on one man. Known by many names, Jobe introduced Gary Armstrong as their “color wizard,” but Armstrong says he simply wants to be known as “ Hue Man. ”
In a darkened room with only a color correct light shinning over the table, Gary Armstrong sits next to a pile of color graphs and with a choice of densitometers he tries to duplicate colors being output on different materials or various devices, RGB or CMYK, so the images match.
Jobe says that there is a need today to educate customers about color.
“The files never come properly set up,” Dixon agrees. To pick what shade the customer wants The Color Place will send them a “color card” showing some variations on the specific output device and material for the customer to choose from, which is usually very different from what was in the original file.
Where the darkroom used to be, is now home for the Eagle H flatbed digital press from Inca that uses UV inks. Costing $600,000, it is one of the first to be put in service in the United States .
“It exceeded expectations in the retail market,” says Jobe. An eight color printer it outputs five by eight foot sheets and Jobe says they were even able to print business cards on the ink jet printer. Making sure all the colors matched the logo on a sign that was being printed at the same time.
They were able to cut the business cards out from the signs using a new Clear Cut automated CNC router, from Kongsberg in Norway
“You have to be into change,” says Jobe when he tells how every machine is constantly being traded back to the manufacture in order to get a newer model. The new Scitex Vision 3M grand-format printer, mentioned in the 2003 article has been traded in for the Scitex Vision XL Jet, it went from four color to eight color and can handle larger gigabyte files.
Clients are driving the market says Jobe, and the market is very competitive. He feels they can also serve smaller print shop with slower equipment, by enabling them to better serve their customers needs, when they outsource the larger orders to The Color Place.
He sees other shops focus on certain niche markets, but nobody is offering the range of choices, “all under one roof,” as The Color Place.