NEW YORK — Apparel and textile designers who fret over color matching can look to a new program from Monarch Computex for relief.
The software, called ColorCharter, allows users to generate their own color charts from their own printers. The software, which hit the market this month, sells for $295.
“The colors a designer sees on screen look slightly different depending on the printer she using,” commented Richard Lerner, a New York-based consultant who works closely with Monarch. “Users can print out color charts that are unique to whatever printer they are using. Then they can match the yarns they want to use. Designers really have to match yarns directly to printouts, not to what they see on the screen.”
Textile designer Bernice Mast likes the software. Mast, who teaches a course in off-the-shelf textile CAD software at Parsons School of Design, said the program fills a void in the market.
“That kind of functionality was only available in high-end programs,” she said. “This is a good deal for the price. Color matching is so important if you’re an independent designer. You want to assure your customers of consistent color across designs in a line.”
The Monarch software is not proprietary and can be used with any Macintosh computer and any color printer, according to the company. Adobe Photoshop and QuarkXPress are among the programs supported.
Three sliding scales allow designers to vary hue, saturation and lightness. And when the designer stops a point on each of those scales, a numerical value for that point appears in a box to the right of the scale. Those numerical values can then be entered into the color editing field of a designer’s graphics software to ensure a higher degree of accuracy.
The personalized color charts are printed out on a grid. Saturation is reckoned along the x axis; lightness along the y. Hue is set by the designer and is a constant for each individual chart.
Monarch has also introduced a program geared specifically toward quick design of striped and plaid wovens, knits and prints. The software lets designers mock up their designs and easily export them into Photoshop for adjustment. Called Plaids & Stripes, it sells for $795.

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