Color Management for Global Output
For makeup and jewelry catalogers, color management is undeniably a major production concern. Such is the case for Avon Products, New York, which recently turned to an innovative solution for the production of its internationally distributed print brochures.
The International Challenge
Avon has a presence in more than 135 countries, with printing services contracted in 32 nations, making consistent, across-the-globe color control a tricky endeavor for a core group of people, including the art-direction staff and Bob Jordan, Avon’s quality-control manager. Betsy Wordsman, Avon’s senior manager of global print production, explains, “For economic reasons—and the substantial growth of our company—Avon wanted to create a consistent global image for its cosmetics and fragrance brands.”
Creating global brands, from a production standpoint, dictates that color is consistent throughout Avon’s international markets. “However,” explains Wordsman, “when you’re talking about global products, it’s a whole different realm we’re entering. With production and printing handled in so many other countries, we run into a situation where we’re dealing with different papers, different proofing devices, varying output devices and ink-standard inconsistencies. We’re very fortunate to have SWOP [Specifications for Web Offset Publications] throughout the U.S., but these do not apply to other areas of the world.”
Envoy for Global Production
More than two years ago, Valerie Merone, Avon’s global vice president of brochure operations, was contacted by printer R.R. Donnelley & Sons. Together, Avon and the printer devised a plan for making global color and asset management a more attainable goal.
The concept was to supply fully retouched high-resolution images to Avon’s global production partners. Imaging for each fragrance and toiletry brand would be uploaded to Avon’s global image database. Sixteen Avon countries were linked to the original database. Internationally based database users were trained on the system, and global brand imaging began appearing in Avon brochures around the world.