Interview with Erica Aitken, President, Rods and Cones, Inc.

Color workflow innovation is one of Erica Aitken’s main focuses as founder and president of her company, Rods and Cones. We asked Erica, one of our featured speakers at this year’s Color Management Conference, about some of the challenges her clients face with color management today, as well as her insights and recommended solutions.

Q: Erica, with today’s technologies rapidly changing, our daily workflows are being affected. Where can print and graphic arts professionals find solutions? What are the resources you recommend most often for those beginning their search for the perfect color management system?

Erica Aitken: I have found webinars to be efficient and very beneficial resources. Workshops and conferences can offer great hands-on experience and networking. But when clients are looking for go-to guidebooks for everything on color management, the Color Management Handbook: A Practical Guide is a handy resource for every aspect. The guide is well organized, you can keep it right on your desk, and it’s there when you need it.

Also Datacolor, whose Spyder monitor calibrating system you may know, publishes a very good book about color management. It’s called Calibrate Your World and is available at no cost on their website. This excellent 90-page digital book explains digital color, calibrating cameras and monitors, making ICC profiles, etc. If you’re beginning your search for the perfect color management system, read these booklets and come talk to me at the conference with your questions.

Q: You’ll be speaking at the 2013 Color Management Conference about one major challenge expanding technology has created: color management on tablet devices. Can you give us one tip to improve customer proofing on tablets?

EA: With pleasure. I found that color managing iPads is still very much in its infancy and, as it’s often the case in very young industries, people try to find the right approach to something that they’re not even sure is needed. I will outline what’s available today and how effective today’s existing iPad color management solutions are.

Q: You help your clients evolve with new technologies and optimize their color workflow.  You’ve worked in-depth with streamlining and automating workflows in addition to marketing and developing your business. As an industry professional, what are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?

EA: What excites me the most about this year’s Color Management Conference is the introduction of tracks geared toward brand managers and creatives. It makes sense since color is critical from beginning to end, and it’s easier to control color if it’s considered right at the start of a project. The most efficient workflows are the result of communication between creator and prepress/printer at every stage of a job.

Learn more about the 2013 Color Management Conference, December 7–10, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, and Erica Aitken’s session, The Scoop on Color Managing Tablet Devices.