Fiery Color Substitution saves the day!

December 10, 2011

In the early days of connecting copiers as network printers a Fiery rip (print engine) was a hands down must for anyone serious about printing. I know of one deal where a dealer sold 50 Konica Minolta MFDs to a manufacturing company and they had so much trouble with the early version of the stock embedded print engine that the dealer had to retro fit all the Konica Minolta with Fierys after the sale. The customer was so gun shy that each dealer who placed equipment on the next round of bidding was forced to supply MFDs with Fiery rips. It was only after demonstrating that the new Canon embedded print engine would print all of their documents from all of their applications that we won the bid without having to place Fierys on every Canon.

Don’t think for a minute that I am not a fan of the Fiery Rip, I think Fiery Rips are amazing and can do what nothing else can do quite as well. But the cost significantly more than the standard OEM embedded print engines, The key to successfully placing a Fiery is finding the problem that only the Fiery can solve, and then sell the value. Customers will sometime squawk about having to spend more, but value doesn’t mean the cheapest option, it means the best available for the money. Fiery is often the best value.

So when do I lead with a Fiery? Of course for Graphic Artists, a Mac house, a Print for Pay business, or CRD (Central Reproduction Departments) are all no brainers. But what about a law firm or any customer that DEMANDS critical color matching? We recently put a Canon C7065 with a Fiery A-1 rip in a Law Firm that had recently purchased a Xerox in another city with no Fiery. I spoke to the IT manager who ws involved in the Xerox purchase and he said that he didn’t think much of the Fiery because “they could only affect Pantone colors” (which is not true).  My salesman set up a training session so we could address any concerns about color. The customer handed me their standard corporate color specification sheet. On it were their three main colors, as well as about a half dozen secondary colors. Each color had a Pantone Color, as well as both an RGB formula, and a CMYK formula. Now most people know that Fiery has the best color management optins on the planet. The Graphics Arts package has amazing tools, but what about the standard A-1? Well there is “Spot On” which has always allowed us to edit the Pantone Colors to match them to what the customer thinks they should be. But what about the RGB or CMYK colors? What you may not know is “Spot On” does more than just Pantone editing, Now you can substitute any RBG or CMYK color and change it to any CMYK color you think it should be.

I took their standard color sheet and punched in their nine RGB colors and substituted the CMYK formulas listed next to them, and the colors came out dead on. This worked extremely well except for their “Caseware” documents, the red was still off. Why? Because it was a jpeg image of their 3 primary colors and NOT the actual RGB formula. While the image was RGB color it was NOT the same formula as was on their sheet. It just looked similar. Does that mean we can’t substitute those colors, because they are an image? Not at all, the problem is we don’t know what the formula for THAT THREE COLOR IMAGE IS. But the Fiery’s Graphic Arts package lets us inspect the document to see what the RGB formula is, and once we know that we can apply the CMYK formula that they demand. So that is what I did, I used the Fiery GA package to figure out what RGB colors the Fiery saw the 3 Color JPEG as and then used the “Spot On” color substitution to map those RGB colors to their CMYK corporate standard colors.

Too many sales people shy away from Fiery Rips because they are more expensive. But I have used the Fiery Color Management to win deal after deal. And that will beat the cheapest price more often than not (as long as it is presented correctly). Who among us goes out to by the cheapest TV, or Suit, or Computer we can find? No! we don’t buy the cheapest, we look for value! Why should buying a color MFD be any different.

That’s My $0.02
Vince McHugh



  1. Can a FIERY,correct a shortfall in CMYK colour balance on a bizhub C series copier as this is what I call a single bar colour balace

    • Fogot to specify:the copy function.

    • Fuji Xerox, for example has aCMYK color balance with 3 levels for each primary color.. .M/Cs like bizhub C series and Ricoh aficio MPC 2550 for example are difficult to control.can this be rendered as easy & accurate as a Fuji Xerox?

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