GMG GmbH is celebrating 30 years shaping the color management landscape - three decades "converting, standardizing, reproducing, maximizing, controlling, sharing and evolving color," in the words of co-owner Robert Weihing.
It was in 1984 that Robert and brother Joerg (now fellow co-owners) joined the business founded by their father Ewald Weihing, initially to supply sign-cutting plotters. In 1989 the company expanded into inkjet, buying one of the first then-revolutionary IRIS 3047 A0-format inkjet printers, and in this purchase lay the seeds of the color management business.
"Our father had the foresight to see the potential impact of the IRIS on the signmaking industry," recalls Robert. "Signmaking was very labour- and materials-intensive, because you needed a separate foil for each layer, but the IRIS could print a sign in a single pass. One day, however, we printed an image from a slide and noticed that many of the browns printed as green. That was when we realized we had to learn about color management!" Four years later, the company's first product, GMG ColorProof, a proofing and color management solution for the packaging sector, found a ready market for its automation of consistent color reproduction, especially of spot colors.
ColorProof went on to become an industry classic and, like other GMG solutions such as ColorServer and SmartProfiler, can rightly claim to have redefined the possibilities and extended the boundaries of color in the graphic arts. Today the company offers a suite of 15 world-class color management products, including a number of award-winners, and has over 11,000 solutions installed worldwide in a wide range of customers and for a wide variety of applications, from advertising agencies and prepress houses to offset, flexo, gravure, digital and wide-format printers.
Robert and Joerg Weihing are especially proud of GMG's record of continuing to keep pace with (and often anticipate) changing trends in graphic arts and develop successful solutions for customers. Says Robert: "When we started, proofing was a kind of proprietary world ruled over by the likes of Cromalin and Matchprint. The IRIS began to change that. Since 2000 we've seen the transition from expensive, slow continuous-inkjet hardware to fast, much cheaper drop-on-demand technologies.
"As our customers' needs have developed, so we have expanded our portfolio to serve the different requirements for color-managed results in different sectors. Today, our portfolio targets creative designers or photographers, through agencies and prepress houses, to printers using traditional presses or digital output devices. We are now looking forward to another 30 years developing color management solutions to help these customers achieve profitable, efficient production throughout the value chain, from concept to creation."