This resulted in printers being able to get away with murder. When a client asked why their corporate logo green printed on promotional leaflets that had been produced on a digital press was a completely different hue to the 'green' corporate logo on the billboard poster campaign printed on a screen press, the printer would say that due to the different substrate used and the different presses employed for each job, the final outcome would inevitably be different. The fact that the jobs had been produced by different printers further muddied the waters. There was nothing that they could do about it.
However, over the course of the last couple of years clients have begun to increasingly care about the colour that their printer is outputting and due to the recessionary climate, printers have had to respond to these demands as part of their improved service offer. The drive towards greater colour management has coincided with clients increasingly placing all of their print requirements with one or as few a number of printers as possible to ensure that there is consistency across all forms of print, whether it be digital printing, flexo or offset.
Without the right tools this task would be insurmountable but thanks to the plethora of new wide format colour management software introduced over the last couple of years costing from as little as a couple of thousands pounds to install (for a basic system), printers now have the ability to offer clients full control over the colour of their job regardless of the press or substrate printed on, the size of the printed area in question (from leaflets through to billboard ads) and regardless of who printed the job. For a modern printing company colour management is no longer a USP or key differentiator – it's got to be part of the standard service offer.