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Colorgate RIP software Print E-mail

ColorGate is a RIP software company headquartered in Germany . During their peak, circa 2001-2003, they had large booths at all major European trade shows and had a presence in the US . During these same years there were over 70 RIP companies in the FLAAR inventory of RIP software.

Today ColorGate is still active, indeed they participated in a recent 2-day symposium in Russia where I gave lectures each day. But there is no more dedicated booth in the last two years. Although you can use ColorGate in the US, there is no major ColorGate office in the US for many years now. Yes, there is a reseller, but (somewhat like PosterJet) there is no actual RIP presence if you compare it with ErgoSoft. ErgoSoft is a Swiss company but has a full presence in the US and often has a dedicated ErgoSoft booth at major US trade shows.

Caldera, Wasatch, ErgoSoft, and Onyx are the RIP companies that I tend to notice at US trade shows. In Europe you see the same, plus AIT Shiraz , as well as proofing RIPs (GMG, PerfectProof, etc). EFI pulled out of Graphics of the Americas 2008 but otherwise has a booth at most major shows.

ColorGate RIP software for ColorSpan
ColorGate RIP Software

FLAAR is offering personalized consulting at each trade show. You can walk-the-floor with the Senior Editor of FLAAR and get his comments on any and all printers, inks, RIP software, color management, substrates, applications, etc.

So if you wish to learn about the difference between combo, hybrid, and dedicated UV printers, how latex ink compares, about textile printers, etc. contact FLAAR to obtain consulting.

You can also get consulting before ISA or FESPA anywhere in the world: Dubai, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, China, Korea, London and more.

When we evaluate a RIP software, we also want to know about the company that stands behind the product. I have visited the US distributor for PosterJet in California to see what services they offer for end-uses. I have also visited the headquarters of Wasatch in Salt Lake City . But it is equally crucial to undertake test prints at the main demo room in a company headquarters. So I have spent several days in Strasbourg , inspecting Caldera's RIP software in person. Same with Shiraz RIP of AIT: I have spent several days there, and a day at PerfectProof headquarters in Belgium.

What RIP to use for your large format printer?

In the years that we began to evaluate RIPs ten years ago, EFI Fiery was very expensive and early versions lacked necessary features. So we began to look at other RIPS as a more realistic alternative. This is why we becan to learn about ColorGate RIP. We know Onyx PosterShop, PosterJet , Wasatch and BEST color management RIPs somewhat better.

Professor Charles Spontelli is in charge of testing RIPs at the FLAAR facility at Bowling Green State University. We sent out a simultaneous request to the leading RIP companies: this netted BESTColor, PosterJet, Wasatch, ColorGate, etc. At Print '01 we found out about the new proofing RIP of PerfectColor. Then Prof. Spontelli was provided a complete suite or O.R.I.S. products. So we have been rather busy, especially since we had to scurry around and buy more powerful computers to run all these RIPs. This delayed testing the O.R.I.S., since it liked expensive dual-processor print servers.

Actually our first comparative survey of RIPs was at DRUPA tradeshow in Germany eight years ago. There we decided it would be educational to look at a wide variety of RIP solutions. CGS did a poor job on ICC color profiles with the Epson 7500and Epson 9500. Best and ColorGate did a far superior job with these two new printers. Then we noticed that PosterJet took a CAD plotter and was able to obtain photo-realistic quality output from it. That attracted our attention since we have that same HP 1055cm printer at our university.

At DRUPA 2000 we also got to learn more about ColorGate. As we get to know ColorGate we will issue additional information. In the meantime we wanted to indicate that the people are pleasant and capable, and the ColorGate RIP sure does a great job with the Hewlett-Packard printers.

It was almost two years after DRUPA before we got ColorGate in our own model studio to find out its full list of capabilities. In the meantime we show these images. That's a FLAAR Photo Archive image of Tikal, Temple I, Guatemala, scanned on an ICG drum scanner (check them out on, a site which also includes drum scanners). These are printed at the ColorGate booth at one of the German tradeshows last year.

The version of ColorGate which arrived to be evaluated was ColorGate ver 3.0. One of the first things we did was to upgrade our firmware on the HP DesignJet 5000 (ver 2.1.1). This evidently reduced crackling on economy bond paper.

Spontelli used an X-Rite DTP-41. This evaluation was in the College of Technology, VCT program area, so it's relatively well equipped for prepress applications. Prof. Spontelli himself has an MS degree in printing from Rochester Institute of Technology, with a specialization in color management. So the ColorGate RIP was in good hands.

ColorGate did an especially good job linearizing each media (density balance, checks overall lightness and darkness so this can be perfected).

Presently (2008) we are in the process of evaluating Caldera RIP, since this is the RIP software that tends to be used increasingly for UV-curable flatbed printers.


Last updated April 2008.
Previous updates: Sept. 2, 2002, Oct. 20, 2001, Feb. 3, 2003.



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