Our “Tips & Tricks” are designed to help you increase productivity, maximize efficiency, and get the most out of your Roland equipment. If you need additional information, pointers or assistance, please contact us by completing/submitting an online Technical Support Form.

Creating a Color Management Preset Comparison File

Roland VersaWorks offers a variety of helpful color matching settings, such as Prepress US, Max Impact and Sign & Display. These specialized settings allow users to quickly select the option that is most suited to the application at hand. The software also allows you to see a side-by-side comparison, which provides a visual benchmark for determining which setting to choose for the specific assignment.

Follow these simple steps to test the settings and determine which one will work best with your media and print mode:

A. Drag the same file into VersaWorks multiple times (one file for each color match setting you want to test)
B. Nest the jobs and arrange them to be side by side.
C. Click on the nested job to allow the job settings window to open

  1. Highlight the first job and select a Color Management Preset from the scroll down.
  2. Highlight the second job and select a different Color Management Preset from the scroll down. (continue steps for additional jobs)
  3. Click the “Quality Settings” and “Color Management” boxes under the Mark folder to print out the different settings for each nested file. Then RIP and print the job.

1-CMEdit

2-job-marksEdit

Upon completing these steps, you’ll have a side-by-side comparison of Color Management Presets to review yourself and/or present to your client.

For another helpful tip on color management, click here.

Printing Clear EcoUV® Ink and a Color Image at the Same Time

iPhone-casesOur VersaUV® line offers clear ink capability, which can be used to add special finishes, create realistic textures and even improve ink adhesion. It’s important to remember that the best process for printing with clear EcoUV ink will depend on the desired results.

If your texture requires printing multiple layers of clear ink, the best way to accomplish this is to print the clear ink as a separate job using the overprint feature. If you want to print a single layer of clear coat on top of the color image, Roland VersaWorks® offers a media setting called “Generic with Special Effects,” which includes modes to print CMYK and then Matte Varnish in a single pass.

What’s missing is a way to print Matte Varnish first and then CMYK in a single pass. This process is ideal for creating textures with a more natural look, because it eliminates the glossy finish. For more information on creating natural textures with clear ink, click here.

But, can it be done? Yes, it can! Just follow these simple steps to unlock the MatteVarnish > CMYK mode in VersaWorks:

(a) Open Media Explorer in VersaWorks and select the media “Generic with Special Effects.”

(b) Click on “Copy Media” and enter a new name for the media.

(c) Select the media you just created in the previous step.

(d) Uncheck the option “Hide non-recommended modes.”

(e) Click on the box next to the modes named “MatteVarnish > CMYK” to make these modes available.

(f) Close Media Explorer and open “Job or Queue Settings.” The new modes will be available for selection when the new media is selected.

Steps (1)

Steps (2)

Steps (3)

Synchronize Your Color Workspace

Color ExampleWe all know that there are many output factors that can affect color (heat, resolution, ink limit, profile, spot colors, etc.) There are also factors on the input side (occurring before you even bring a file into queue) that will influence the way the colors in a file will print. Creating a synchronized color works pace within your design software will give you the best chance of having predictable color across different design platforms and file types.

If you are working with Adobe® CS (Creative Suite®) or CC (Creative Cloud), it’s important to note that these applications come defaulted with “North American General Purpose” 2 color settings and will not prompt you to change the color space if you open a different type of file. To be consistent with the “Prepress US” default in VersaWorks, we recommend changing the color settings to “North American Prepress 2.”

To synchronize your color spaces, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the “Edit” menu in Adobe Bridge and click on the “Creative Suite Color Settings” tab.
    Step 1
  2. Scroll down to “North American Prepress 2” and click apply.
    Step 2 - Color Settings
  3. Your color settings will now be synchronized through all of your Adobe applications (AI, PS, ID) to have the same color works pace as Prepress US in VersaWorks.  You’ll also now receive prompts when a file you are opening or pasting into your chosen Adobe program has a missing or mismatched profile.
    Step 3 - Settings Detail

Create Natural Texture with EcoUV® Clear Ink

Roland Texture LibraryThe Roland Texture Library, included with Roland VersaWorks® RIP software, allows VersaUV® users to choose from more than 70 unique patterns and textures – all printed by layering clear ink. You can also create your own patterns by using a grayscale image as texture data.

In some cases, printing CMYK first, followed by the pattern with clear ink, may not produce the expected results. This is because of the glossy effect that clear ink will always produce. Additionally, because clear ink isn’t completely transparent, it can sometimes affect the underlying color. If you want to keep the normal matte look of the CMYK print and still get the texture effect, you can simply print the texture first (using the clear ink) and then put the color image on top.

Natural Texture Sample

This versatility is praised by many graphic designers, as it allows them to explore multiple design options before going into production. For more Tips & Tricks on Roland VersaUV technology, please click here.

Designing for “The Longest Hallway in the World”

As senior graphic designer for Roland DGA, Priya Garcia is responsible for designing a wide range of materials, from product brochures and advertisements to print files, samples and wide-format trade show graphics, for each of the company’s product lines. With more than 20 years of graphic design experience, she has in-depth knowledge of design and production processes for both print and electronic mediums. She is also an experienced presenter and former graphic design instructor at the college level. Priya will be contributing to the Tips & Tricks blog based on her design work at Roland.

In the past year, the Roland DGA corporate office underwent a major renovation and build-out that wrapped up last month. The construction left us with one VERY long hallway; 170 linear feet to be exact.

My challenge (accepted!) was to create a design for the space.

"The Longest Hallway in the World"

“The Longest Hallway in the World”

I had to keep a few things in mind while planning for the project. The hallway presented a number of obstacles with no windows, a drop ceiling with fluorescent lights, and lots and lots of solid blank walls.  Also, I was given freedom to have some fun with the space because of the location of the hall, so I wanted to treat it a bit differently than the other areas I had designed for.

My solution was a space that would tell a story and also help Roland employees connect with the larger company as a whole. After brainstorming with some of my co-workers, I decided to design a gallery space that would feature abstract photography of everything Roland.

I recruited a small team of talented Roland employees to take photos all around our building, capturing everything from product parts to office supplies. I then used these images to design 49 unique floor-to-ceiling panels, that would all be printed, of course, on Roland devices.

To add variety, I planned to print the panels on two different Roland printers and arrange them in an alternating pattern. Half of the graphics would be printed on Roland WallFlair Removable Fabric™ with the SOLJET® PRO 4 XR-640 and applied directly to the wall. The other half would be produced on ½” Ultraboard with the VersaUV® LEJ-640, and then mounted to the wall with 2”standoffs.

Along the opposite wall, I placed 19 30” x 30” framed canvas prints that would also be produced on a Roland inkjet. Using full-size graphics on both sides would have made the hallway feel even more long and narrow, so we balanced the large images on one wall with smaller framed art on the other. As finishing touches to the design, I added some benches throughout the hall.

The best way for me to share my work on projects like this is to do a Photoshop® mockup of the final design. This helps me share my vision everyone involved. It also helps me refine my design because I might see something along the way that I want to add or tweak. Changes are much less expensive and time consuming when caught here rather than in the production process!

My Photoshop Mockup

My Photoshop mockup

Mockup of the another angle

Mock-up of another angle

Once the design was approved, we were ready for setup and production. To determine the sizes that we needed and what the graphics would look like in position, I created a layout in Adobe® Illustrator®. This allowed me to work out the kinks and prepare my print files. I then sent our big-scale, high quality photographs to print, which took two full days on the XR and four days on the LEJ.

Illustrator Layouts

Illustrator Layouts

Once production was completed, a team of two worked for three days to apply and mount the graphics. As you can see by these finished photos, the end-result came out almost exactly like my mock-ups, and my work on “The Longest Hallway in the World” was complete – a beautiful and functional space, full of color and Roland culture.

Finished Hallway 1

Finished Hall 2

Finished Hallway 3

Finished Hallway 4

Improve UV Ink Adhesion with a Clear Undercoat

Business Card HolderOne of the greatest advantages of UV ink is its compatibility with a wide variety of substrates. Unlike solvent or water-based inks that react with the surface or get absorbed by the coating, UV ink sits on the surface and bonds to it just like an adhesive. A number of factors, including the finish and composition of the surface and the amount of ink being used, can affect the strength of this bonding.

In some cases, the more ink you use, the better the adhesion, since the contact area between the ink and the surface is bigger. We have found that applying a clear undercoat can significantly improve ink adhesion on certain substrates, such as aluminum and polyurethane. So, the next time you are up against an ink adhesion issue, try printing a layer of matte varnish first and then printing the color image on top. If this works, it may still be a better proposition than applying primers manually.

UV Ink Adhesion

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