Rods and Cones Blog

Welcome to the Rods and Cones blog. We reserve this space to honor extraordinary artists, and to offer as much information about our industries as possible. Please send us feedback anytime.

Featured Artist: Alain De Borger, Belgian photographer of reality

September 27, 2019

Alain De Borger seeks out the most innocuous scene and makes it into a glorified landscape. People become beautiful in his pictures. He lives his work.
“Since the beginning with Agfa IsoRapid and its development curve, to today, my work is varied. In spite of many detours, it remains close to the documentary or, vital to me, a connection to reality.”
We are proud to display his work.

To see more of Alain’s work:

Softproofing: Largely ignored in spite of being very accurate, softproofing is poised to finally enter the mainstream.

June 20, 2019

Softproofing is the natural transition from paper proofs to digital proofs. Today, we use a color-managed inkjet printer with a RIP to print contract proofs. The technology is mature and the proofs are close to perfect, not only for color but also in terms of what a specific press can do. Hardproofing is ideal and preferred for many environments, particularly in settings where the brand owner and team is synched with preferred vendors.

Other environments would benefit from a digital system that eliminates mirrored hardware and software systems, fosters real time dialogue from client to pressman, facilitates interaction between remote locations. That’s what softproofing brings to the table.

How are different printing processes matched via G7?

(Written for Out of Chaos Magazine by Kevin O’Connor. Read the full article here)

February 05, 2018 

G7’s success was so spectacular for GRACoL workflows, that G7 methods were tested on other workflows such as SWOP. Managing gray so carefully paid dividends in SWOP workflows and in other workflows as they were tested. Today, a series of printing conditions has been defined in a new standard, CGATS 21-2 (ISO PAS 15339). This family of print conditions, referred to as the CRPC1-7,  has seven categories, each with its own reference data set. All of them share a visual appearance because they’re all based on G7 neutral gray appearance.

These seven sets are called:


Typical ColdsetNews – Small gamut printing (newsprint)

About GRACoL7

February 05, 2018 

1. What is the difference between GRACoL, GRACoL7, and G7?

  • GRACoL is a set of specifications for commercial printing developed by the GRACoL committee, a member of IDEAlliance
  • GRACoL7 is the latest version of these guidelines
  • And G7 is the methodology used to meet these specifications

2. What is a traditional press standard based on?

  • SID (Solid Ink Density)
  • TVI (Tone Value Increase or Dot Gain)
  • Wet ink trap
  • Print Contrast

Print to digital: how to get a piece of that pie.

Historically, assuming you can call a span of five years history, printers have not been considered a source for digital publishing. Rather, the meteoric rise of tablets and smart phones, and the adoption of tablets in business, worry printers because digital may one day replace paper and printers. We hear it all the time, print is dead. Of course, that will never be but it is undeniable that print is changing, and we have to change with it.

A natural addition for printers is to offer their clients an interactive version of the piece they just printed. More and more content creators are shopping for resources to create digital and print versions of their work, and they turn to agencies that specialize in publishing content to apps. Why not be that agency? With a ready-made client base and content, what can be more natural?