Imitation of Life
Remember when you were a kid and went to your local newspaper store and plopped down your quarter for a stack of sports cards and that hard, flat stick of gum? You were hoping for a card of Johnny Bench, Bobby Orr, Joe Montana or Magic Johnson—or even a double you could use for trade bait to get athletes of the same caliber. For some people, collecting trading cards was serious business and remains one of their most cherished adolescent memories. For others, having their own picture and statistics on cards like the professionals would have been a dream come true. Today, with the help of MVP (Multi Visual Products), athletes ranging from 10 years to college age can own professional, personalized sports cards showing them holding bats, hockey sticks or footballs along with pictures of whole teams. The company has further defined their digital product line with magazine covers, calendars, enhanced team equipment, magnets, stickers, mouse pads, screen savers and other personalized merchandise.
The old way of doing things
Originally, MVP's first color calibration process used to polish 500,000 trading cards and 200,00 magazine covers annually. But because there were many areas within the reproduced images, such as team colors and flesh tones, that didn't always match originals, the company had to frequently tweak output devices and scanners. The cost in remakes alone caused MVP to consider an alternative.
Craig Graves, MVP owner, specifically wanted original colors to match reproductions. He says that when MVP entered the color management arena, he got better results. "We learned how to do all of the procedures," says Graves. "We learned about color management. We developed a workflow that would work." In terms of cost savings, remakes dropped a third using color management solutions. He explains that cost of materials was reduced compared to using closed loop calibrations, and so were labor costs.