BESTColor is a serious professional RIP for commercial proofing on inkjet printers. BEST RIP works with Roland, Encad, Hewlett-Packard, Epson and other printers. Be sure your budget allows for training; you need to know color management and have appropriate spectrophotometer and extra color management ICC color profile software.
Best stand at IPEX Trade Show 2002parr
We just recently received an e-mail from someone who thought his RIP could "do" ICC Color profiles (it happened to be ColorSpan RIP and then PosterSHOP RIP too).
Yes, naturally BEST, PosterSHOP, and ColorSpan RIPs can handle ICC profiles, but you need to also have color measuring instruments from X-Rite or GretagMacbeth, and sophisticated software such as the excellent Monaco Profiler.
This person abandoned large format printing (essentially be went bankrupt before he got more than 4 months into it) because he had not planned for the color management learning curve (nor had be included color tools in his Business Plan nor in his initial budget estimates). To assist other first-time users of wide format printers and/or color management, FLAAR has prepared a brief introductory set of tips and help, available in our bonus reports.
Best stand at Graphic of the Americas Trade Show 2001.
We have been doing spot checks on BESTColor RIP for the last three years with end users, so have a fairly good idea how well this nice RIP functions, but we want to see on our own printers. BESTColor USA sent several of their products last year. They all worked okay but were unable to get Best ARTmosphere to function. It was my impression it was not quite finished at that time. If it can be updated, and we have an opportunity, we will try again another year.
www.FineArtgicléePrinters.org has been under renovation for the last seven months. More is to come after the 2004 tradeshow season. There are lots of new proofing RIP´s out there. At Print '01 we noticed Black Magic, Compose, O.R.I.S., ProofMaster and many others. In Europe Aurelon continues under the Aurelon name. This variety of proofing RIP´s makes it a challenge for FLAAR to keep up with all these products. We will have new reports on ProofMaster available later this year (2003). These evaluations are prepared independently by the faculty and advanced students at our university. At Graph Expo trade show in October 2003 we saw additional color management and proofing RIPs. Just fill out the FLAAR Survey form and we will send you that report at no cost.
If you need only a basic PostScript RIP, fast and easy to use, we are also reviewing PosterJet, ColorGate, Wasatch and other RIP´s such as GlobalColor (for Canon printers). If you run a basic sign shop or photography studio, you may wish to start out with a RIP minus all the sophisticated proofing options. The tech manager of our lab at Francisco Marroquin University is so content with PosterJet RIP it's a challenge to get him to use any other RIP. Since these employees are independent (they are paid by the university, not by FLAAR) we can't force them to use a RIP they don't like.
PosterJet is easy to use, fast, and does not require a training course. Every RIP has its strong point: BEST is more industrial strength, but that implies a steep learning curve with all the accessory tools and extra software. There is no one single RIP which has all color management built in. If you want details on Monaco, GretagMacbeth EyeOne, these are available as bonus reports when you order two or more FLAAR series.
While doing research on RIPs over the Christmas holidays, we read about a new proofing RIP, GlobalColor from Global Graphics, for Canon printers. We mention this RIP on our sister site, www.wide-format-printers.org. Canon is keen on the proofing market. Global Graphics is the maker of Harlequin, the actual core of most other RIPs on the market. Most RIP companies are actually sort of like integrators, combining the different kernels that provide the full range of functions.
FLAAR is an independent nonprofit organization partnering with two universities in order to combine our mutual interest in providing public education to make it easier for photographers, fine art giclée studios, sign shops, museums, and naturally other universities to enter the world of wide format inkjet printing. If a product works well for us, we feel people will enjoy learning about this. If a product lacks features that its slick PR insinuates it has, if the product lacks features that most of it's competitors has, then end users deserve to have a factual source of information.
It always helps to get your printer, scanner, RIP, inks, and media from one place. That way one tech support system is responsible for assisting you with everything.
All brand and product names are the registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Last updated August 6, 2012- Previous updates: Nov. 8, 2003. Sept. 26, 2003, Jan 7, 2003, Nov. 21, 2002, July 36, 2001.
error, omission, or have a different opinion on a review, please contact the editor