The Flexographic Technical Association has named Mark Samworth, color consultant at EskoArtwork, the 49th --and youngest - inductee into Flexographic Technical Association's esteemed Hall of Fame. The announcement was made Sunday, May 1, at FTA's Annual Forum in Indianapolis.
A recognized innovator in the flexographic industry, Samworth's expertise in color science and understanding of technology led to his developing ten issued patents, with more pending. Samworth's inventions include FlexoCal, Hybrid Screening, Plate Cell Patterning, Concentric Screening, Equinox 7c process color, and Press Sync--technology that has helped promote, improve, and in some cases, revolutionize the flexographic process.
Samworth's reputation as a trailblazer dates back to his days as a college student at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he pursued a course of study that combined traditional classes in printing management and technology with classes in computer science--a foreshadowing of the future in the graphic arts. He began his career with DuPont in 1984, where he held numerous positions in the areas of flexographic plates and electronic imaging. From there, he moved on to Professional Computing Corporation (PCC), which evolved into Artwork Systems and eventually merged with Esko-Graphics to form present-day EskoArtwork.
The FTA Forum has been an integral part of Samworth's professional life since 1982, when he and three other RIT students drove to the FTA Forum in Toronto, soaking up the information at presentations during the day and networking with leading industry executives in the evening. He spoke at the FTA Forum for the first time in 1986, and then again, in 1988, where by invitation from SpriralKote he described the process that led to the very first wide web Best of Show award printed with a photopolymer plate. In 1995 he took to the podium delivering his own groundbreaking seminar on standardizing color space and digital proofing in flexography. Samworth, an early advocate of color management, is given considerable credit for its widespread use today in the flexo industry.
A born educator
Since the seminar in 1995, Samworth has been a regular on the circuit, delivering annual presentations at 17 consecutive FTA Forums, as well as presenting at all of the industry's major events, on such topics as print reproduction, screening, calibration, digital imaging, optimization, and expanded color gamut printing. A tireless promoter of flexography, as well as a born entertainer--he plays bass in the Delaware-based classic rock band Runnin'Late -- Samworth is the industry's ambassador, traveling all over the world to inform and inspire industry personnel on how to better the flexo process. In 2002, Samworth, along with industry colleague Mark Mazur, was presented with the FTA President's Award, in recognition for his work on Project FOG (flexo, offset, gravure) the first-ever print demonstration comparing all three processes.
Samworth achieved his first patent in 1993, for controlling tone reproduction, and a second one less than a year later on creating multi-colored halftone reproductions. His patents are symptomatic of his constant quest to continually improve the flexographic process: looking to find the best dot shapes, angles and ruling for screening solids, for example, Samworth developed plate cell patterns, taking what existed in anilox rolls and applying it to flexo printing plates. Recent patents have focused on expanded gamut printing technology, which promise to make flexo a viable process long into the future. Without Mark Samworth, flexography would not be what it is today.