"Digitize restoration of faded color photographs" to revive color photographs with the latest technology and arithmetic processing.IWORD Co.,Ltd


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Restore color photos with experience values and state-of-the-art technology.
"Digitize restoration of faded color photographs" by industry-academia-government collaboration.

Learnning Points

  • Continually aiming for a high-level restoration
  • The technological ability that can be realized immediately after inspiring the idea

Plating on fine articles requiring technical strength.

Over the half century since its establishment, iword Co., Ltd., which handles book printing, information processing and system development businesses, etc. Headquartered in Hokkaido, we collaborate with local universities and research institutes and have started digitizing restoration projects of faded pictures from 2014. In collaboration with industry, academia, and government, we have continued attempts to resurrect photographs that were degraded and lost their original color, with the use of exact arithmetic processing and state-of-the-art technology.

"Digitized restoration of discolored color photographs" undertaken by us is a service to restore faded color photographs preserved at museums, universities, etc. to original color photographs based on color information remaining on a positive film. Initially specialized in high-quality color printing such as book printing and catalogs, we noticed that many real movies stored in art museums or the like are deteriorating over time and announced the prototype version of the service in 2014. Although it was possible to restore to some extent at the time of the announcement, aiming for a more advanced restoration, in partnership with Hokkaido University in 2015 and Hokkaido Research Institute in 2016. We are engaged in research with industry, academia and government collaboration.

Restoration of faded color photographs changes in difficulty level depending on the preservation state. Although we can not restore it just like we thought during the test, we had no difficulty in the technical part, but gradually improved the technology in the course of the repeated trial and error testing. Although there is no upper limit on the quality of restoration, we are still conducting our research on a daily basis, but we feel that we are at the level of reaching a business level at this stage.

"Digitize restoration of faded color photographs" first irradiates positive light LED to positive film, photographs with a high precision sensor camera, analyzes, and reads information remaining on film. Furthermore, regarding the portion where the information is insufficient, the prediction is derived from past data restoration experience, and calculation processing is performed. The calculation is handled by Hokkaido University and Hokkaido Research Institute. iword will prepare the necessary equipment and facilities such as high precision sensor camera and photography studio and will be responsible for the process of actually restoring based on the data.

We assume that there is a considerable amount of actual films that are not yet converted to data in the country, and demand for archiving from research institutions such as art museums, universities, etc. that seems to hold a significant amount of these films create a strategy to incorporate. Through such a restoration service, we would like to lead to the original primary business of printing books and orders for high-quality color printing such as catalogs.

Color restoration example of a print photograph. It is possible to resurrect photos that are over 40 years old.
  • Our technology to reconstruct color photographs that have become red enough to be reddish will be gospel for art museums and research institutions that hold a large number of actual films as valuable materials. Because of the nature that films always degrade, no matter how high the level of preservation, the latent demand in the country is expected never to be low. From 2018 onwards, services targeted at individuals are also beginning, and we have expanded the base of our services, and there is a possibility that photographic materials with high historical value may be discovered.

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Our company celebrated its 51st year as of April this year. While cherishing the conventional "printing industry" technology, we are working on reforming the business style to "the information value creation industry". We are aiming for management specializing in smart factory in factory, book printing, information processing / system development and faded photo restoration businesses.

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