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CS3 Colour Settings Query...

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  • CS3 Colour Settings Query...

    Hi all,

    We have recently installed ApogeeX 4.0 and we've set it up to use standard ISO profiles. Wanted to try a standard before going through press profiling, etc. Did press tests yesterday and the proofs produced through ApogeeX on our Epson 7800 match the printed sheet perfectly! We were blown away with the accuracy from a standard profile, thinking we would have had to run IT8 targets on press and work back from there. Anyway, the boss is extremely happy with the result (thats the main thing) so we are going to continue to use the ISO standards.

    Now my question, does this mean I should also use these same profiles in Creative Suite to achieve close representation on-screen of the final printed product?? My monitor is not calibrated in anyway so I understand its still not going to be accurate, but if I did calibrate it would this be the correct way to setup these front end applications to simulate our press output??

    Sorry for my general lack of knowledge when it comes to colour management... its just one of those areas where everyone seems to have a different opinion!

    Cheers, Tony

  • #2
    Re: CS3 Colour Settings Query...

    Loosely speaking, yes. Calibrate your monitors, and load that good ICC profile, and you should be well on the way. Of course, ambient lighting is a factor in comparing screen to print.

    If your clients send their files with their own profiles attached (and they certainly should!), you'll need to develop strategies to handle these.

    Actually, you should roll that profile out to your clients, so they can get it right from the start.

    Damo.

    Ps Glad to hear Baz is happy!

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    • #3
      Re: CS3 Colour Settings Query...

      Hey Damo,

      Thanks for your quick responses!! Hope its all going well down your way...

      What strategies would you recommend for handling the supplied customer files? As you know we get stuff from everywhere, all with different profiles embedded. I guess we would like to honour the embedded profile, but still want to get a good result on the press. Everything is proofed before hand and with the proofs matching so close now our customers are at least going to get a much better representation of their printed jobs, at least much better than we have able to provide in the past!!

      Also, sending the profile out to customers... that could be a good thing, but if their monitors or viewing conditions are not setup properly, is it any real benefit? I would hate to send them the profile, telling them its going to help simulate their final output, then having their on-screen results look crap because their viewing conditions are not great. They would end up sending their job somewhere else!!

      The whole colour management thing is pretty hard to get a grasp on but I know you're an expert so I appreciate any advice!!

      Cheers, Tony

      PS. Yea, Baz was pretty sceptical up until yesterday when he saw the final results. He was deadset certain that he wanted to match our polyester prints, but after seeing the results off the metal plates, he didn't even argue, just said straight up OK thats our new standard. Pretty cool...

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      • #4
        Re: CS3 Colour Settings Query...

        For monitor calibration, I have successfully been using Eye-One Display. Hardware/software combo for screen calibration makes it easy so anyone can do it, and also is the only sire way to confidently know that the monitor is displaying color correctly.

        After that, to set conversion options in all Adobe programs correctly, in Photoshop color settings:
        1.Set RGB profile as sRGB IEC61966-2.1 to use for untagged RGB files that come in (files without an RGB profile embedded). Honor embedded RGB profiles when present.
        2. Set CMYK profile as ISOcoatedv2_eci (or ISOcoatedv2_300_eci for separation to use on coated and uncoated, or in U.S. use GRACoL2006_Coated1v2).
        3. For grayscale (and spot), choose open and open the ISO CMYK profile, and when loaded it will list as 'Black Ink - ISOcoatedv2_eci'
        4. Set to honor/keep RGB profiles and Color Management policy for CMYK and Gray to OFF.

        Theoretically, one should always embed ICC profiles from the start (capture or design) and be honored at all stages downstream. Because of problems that can be introduced, I don't recommend color managing incoming CMYK. Just start making the profile available to your customers (pointing them to where they can get it free like you did) and as they do this, their proofs will not only show what the press sheet will look like, but also will let them do this same procedure outlined here to color manage their workflow from the get-go and better account for correct color at the design stage. All existing SWOP images will look "natural" although specific color may not look accurate to what was intended, in which case scan a printed piece that the customer want it to look like, input the Lab values into Photoshop and do a Relative Colorimetric conversion with Black Point Compensation (the defaults) to get the CMYK values needed to match that color as close as possible in CMYK (be sure to use the correct paper profile to get the best match, although I would use the coated paper profile if it is a blue, since ISOuncoated profile turns RGB blue to CMYK purple during conversion). So I ignore/don't use CMYK or grayscale profiles (although grayscale would be ok to honor), just RGB.

        To set up soft-proofing, in Photoshop View > Proof Setup, choose the ISOcoatedv2_eci profile and check Keep Numbers, Simulate Paper, and Simulate Ink. Save as a preset you can easily choose to soft-proof to that specific device. Even if not color managing CMYK, you will still see what the CMYK numbers will look like when printed. For RGB, you'll set up a soft-proof option that uses the same combination of rendering intent and BPC that you'll actually use for the conversion (will just use the soft-proof to see what you do before you actually do it with Edit > Convert to Destination).

        For proofer (hard-copy proof), set ISOcoatedv2_eci or ISOuncoated as source and custom proofer profile as destination and the proof will show what will be on press sheet.

        Set up press via ISO 12647-2 or G7 (manually with free graphs downloadable at gracol.org, with software IDEAlink Curve or PerfX Press Curves).

        Best step-by-step I've been able to come up with so that anybody can get good (and possibly great) color results (depending on quality of monitor and proofer profiles actually being relevant describing the way the colors are being displayed within limitation of the device gamut, and if the actual output profile is used during design the best match to the actual intended color is achieved).

        Don

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        • #5
          Re: CS3 Colour Settings Query...

          Hi Don,

          Sorry, only just getting back to my initial query now!! Thankyou very much for your extremely concise overview... I will look at setting all of this up at work when I have a bit of spare time on my hands!!

          Cheers, Tony

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          • #6
            Re: CS3 Colour Settings Query...

            You're welcome Tony. If you have any problems, just ask.

            Don

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