July 13, 2021
Meredith – Improves Soft Proofing Visual Agreement with LED
Meredith is a publicly held media and marketing services company. The company owns magazines, television stations, and radio stations. They are the leading magazine publisher in the United States. Their brands include PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle, Allrecipes, REAL SIMPLE, SHAPE, Southern Living, and Martha Stewart Living.
Meredith’s publications have a readership of more than 120 million and a paid circulation of more than 40 million.
For several years Meredith has been utilizing a soft proofing workflow with their print supplier. Joe Kohler, Meredith’s Director of Quality states, “Soft proofing provides an accurate and repeatable representation of the final print on our monitors. Since we first implemented it in 2018 it has resulted in substantial savings in proofing materials and has helped streamline our production workflow.” Components of a soft proofing workflow include high-quality color calibrated monitors, an instrument to calibrate monitors, software, and ISO 3664:2009 compliant lighting. Since 2018 Meredith has been using GTI GLE-532A/SP luminaires to provide lighting for their work areas. The GLE-532A/SP is an ISO 3664:2009 compliant asymmetrical 48” luminaire with D50 5000K fluorescent lamps and digital dimming.
Early in 2021 Joe and the Meredith team started to notice a difference in color – they were not getting the same level of visual agreement in the soft proofing application as they had previously. To confirm this, they ran hard proofs at their shop and at the printers. They were a good match or as Joe says, “they talked to each other.” Joe thought something may be up with the soft proofing system – perhaps the monitors or the lighting.
Knowing that their primary printer was now using LED technology for color viewing, Joe thought that lighting may be a place to start his analysis. In March Joe spoke with Bob McCurdy, President of GTI, who agreed to loan Meredith a GLE-348A/LED/SP luminaire with two light levels so that they could test LED lighting in their soft proofing workflow. The GTI GLE-348A/LED/SP has three GTI TL48T10/GL50 LED lamps and a three-position switch (hi, low, and off) which corresponds to the targeted intensities of 2000 lux, 700 lux, and zero lux.
Meredith tested the GLE-348A/LED/SP luminaire for 30 plus days with good success. During the test period they produced more than fifty projects without a problem. Since it is a soft proofing workflow, they primarily use the luminaire on the 700 lux low setting. Meredith found GTI’s GLE-348A/LED/SP luminaire “was completely up to snuff” and improved their visual agreement with their print provider. In May they finalized the deal and purchased the luminaire from GTI.
Consistent viewing conditions are important when producing high-end color work for major brands. By implementing GTI’s LED luminaire Meredith Corporation has achieved greater visual correlation with their printer. Joe states, “We are glad that we made the investment in GTI’s LED technology.” GTI’s President Bob McCurdy adds, “It was a pleasure to work with the team at Meredith. I was impressed by their attention to detail and their commitment to produce high-quality color.”