The human visual system is trichromatic and therefore reduces higher dimensional spectral data to three dimensions. Two stimuli with different spectral power curve shapes can result in the same cone response and therefore match each other. Color reproduction systems take advantage of this effect and match color by creating the same cone response as the original but with different colorants. ICC color management transforms all colors into a three-dimensional reference color space, which is independent from any input or output devices. This concept works well for a single defined observer and illumination conditions, but in practice, it is not possible to control viewing conditions leading to severe color mismatches, particularly for paintings. Paintings pose unique challenges because of the large variety of available colorants resulting in a very large color gamut and considerable spectral variability. This research explored spectral color reproduction using a seven-color electrophotographic printing process, the HP Indigo 7000. Because of the restriction to seven inks from the 12 basic inks supplied with the press, the research identified both the optimal seven inks and a set of eight artist paints which can be spectrally reproduced. The set of inks was Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Reflex Blue, Violet and Orange. The eight paints were Cadmium Red Medium, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow Light, Dioxazine Purple, Phthalo Blue Green Shade, Ultramarine Blue, Quinacridone Crimson and Carbon Black. The selection was based on both theoretical and experimental analyses. The final testing was computational indicating the possibility of both spectral and colorimetric color reproduction of paintings.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Art objects--Reproduction; Color printing--Technique; Color vision; Spectrum analysis; Colorimetry
Department, Program, or Center
School of Print Media (CIAS)
Muehlemann, Simon, "Spectral printing of paintings using a seven-color digital press" (2012). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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