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SGIA Colour Boot Camps to roll out nationwide

The US-based Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) - in collaboration with The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association of Australia (SGIAA) - is planning to hold more of its highly rated Colour Management Boot Camps in Australia this year after a successful local launch earlier this month in Melbourne.

Day 1 of our SGIAA Colour Management Bootcamp is in full swing starleaton
  Day 1 of the SGIAA Colour Boot Camp in Melbourne - photo: Starleaton.

“Companies are recognizing they can differentiate themselves through colour management,” said SGIAA president Nigel Davies, who approached SGIA about bringing the workshop to his membership. “We seized the opportunity to raise the profile of colour and provide our members with access to the quality training needed to manage colour effectively.”

Washington DC-based Ray Weiss, SGIA director of Digital Print Programs, led the inaugural Australian Colour Boot Camp held at Starleaton in Melbourne and laid the groundwork for the local group to conduct its own Colour Management events. “The Australian printers were eager to learn and to practice what they learned,” Weiss said.

Colour specialist David Crowtheraka The Colour Doctor, owner of Sydney’s Colour Graphic Services, has been contracted by SGIAA – the FESPA Association of Australia - to deliver future training courses under the SGIAA banner.

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 David Crowther of Colour Graphic Services at the SGIAA Colour Boot Camp, Melbourne

"There have been on-going discussions for some time between Nigel, myself and the SGIA - so it’s great we can finally get this initiative off the ground and raise the profile of colour management,” Crowther said. “As an association-run course, it’s designed to be open and to increase the colour management skills and knowledge of wide format and digital printers across Australia."

“Ray Weiss came down and we conducted a three-day course in Melbourne that attracted a good cross-section, 10 attendees from across the industry, from sheet fed, wide format, printing companies large and small, and we received very good feedback,” Crowther told Wide Format Online.

“I delivered a couple of the modules in the course, supported the students and helped customise the presentation; for example, colour targets we use in Australia, ISO/PSO and FOGRA targets, are more applicable here than in the USA. 

“I’ve since done the course exam to be a Qualified SGIA Digital Colour Professional but there is more to do before I’m a fully certified SGIA Instructor and can deliver courses on behalf of SGIAA.

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 SGIAA Colour Boot Camp, Melbourne

"We’re looking at the possibility of holding more courses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.”

Crowther says the SGIAA is now talking to suppliers interested in hosting the colour management boot camps.

“It’s an Association-run course but requires some resources and equipment so the SGIAA has to work with suppliers with a suitable venue, like Starleaton in Melbourne. We’ve had other suppliers knocking on the door saying, ‘We’d like to host one.’

“We need to work with a supplier because they supply the actual printer, media, spectrophotometers, etc and we provide computers, monitors, even RIP software, and they’ve got to have premises where we can set up tables to conduct the course; it is definitely a hands-on classroom situation.”

Crowther says there’s a real need for colour management skills in the local market.

“There’s a growing need for improved skills and knowledge in colour but there’s also a lot of people that hold back from receiving training. Many put up with mediocrity, finding work-arounds, to produce just acceptable colour by eye.

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“The courses put on by the SGIAA have a fee was $1500 ex GST, a very reasonable cost,” Crowther said. “It’s a small, hands-on class that is manageable by the instructor. We have some wide format printers there which we go ahead and calibrate and profile; the colour is checked and verified to make sure that the colour is within tolerance. They learn the basics of setting up a printer, which is really the crux of the camp because that’s where there’s a real need for colour management is in the wide format market.

“You can’t teach everything in three days. For want of a better analogy, with colour management, you learn a little bit and you become dangerous, you learn a lot and you become deadly. And you can never claim to know it all, you’re always learning. There were quite a few basic keys points I took away from the Boot Camp and Ray Weiss. You’re always learning and you’ve got to have a humble approach because there’s always new things coming up, especially in the wide format market because you’ve got solvent inks, UV-cured inks, latex inks, you’ve got different substrates, rigid and flexible, printers with CMYK plus extra inks for smoothness or to enlarge the gamut, things like that.

“I think with something like this, it’s going make people stand up and take notice. It’s an association-run course and in the wide format market, which has exploded so much recently, there’s a real need for some training expertise and improving skills and knowledge in colour.”