Product Marketing Manager
Xerox Indirect Channels Business Group

Getting the colors you want when you print with our printers and multifunction printers has a special place in the hearts and minds of our color scientists. They designed and developed powerful tools to help graphic designers and artists tweak the color of their print jobs, but those tools are not always useful and intuitive for non-color experts. 

Color scientists use math to communicate with our printers and create the colors you see on the page.  Non-color experts, like me, use natural language to describe the colors we see, words such as warm red, cool blue and  bright yellow. To illustrate a change we want to see in a color, we might say we want it to be brighter or more vivid.

How do you combine the scientific math of color with words? Our scientists created a computer language that translates the our descriptions of color into mathematical algorithms. It’s called Color by Words. The software allows customers to manipulate the colors of their print jobs by building phrases that describe the color to be changed, the amount of change, and the desired result.

Here are some examples.

In the photo of the tree trunk stretching up to the clouded sky. I wanted to get more detail in the tree trunk, so I added three phrases:

  • To make the lighter parts of the trunk even lighter, I said, “make light brown colors a lot more gray”.
  • To make the medium tones in the tree more brown, I said, “ make medium brown colors a lot more brown”.
  • To bring out the detail on the trunk, I said, “make dark black colors more black”.

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This second example I included just for fun because, well, Smurfs. Here I used “make skin tones completely blue”.

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Color by Words is plain language instructions that you, and your printer, can understand. If it sounds too simple to be true, I invite you to try it yourself and tell us what you think.