A vital part of picture printing is the Colour Profile. It ties together the printer, computer monitor (display screen), scanner, camera in fact any device used to input to or output from the computer into a colour world.
Simply put it means that, in an ideal world, what your camera or scanner see and your computer displays on its monitor is what is printed on your printer.
The files that do this job are known as ICC (International Color Consortium) profiles and are supplied to your computer system as .icc files. Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac and Linux are all capable of using these profiles.
Using various colour charts and instruments it is possible to produce an ICC profile for scanners, cameras, computer monitors and printers.
Profiling a scanner or a camera could be considered unnecessary as it relies on too many factors (e.g. the lighting for a camera profile) to be worthwhile and anyway the colours of the image produced can be modified using standard programs such as Adobe Photoshop.
A standard colour chart is scanned and the results viewed by a special computer program. This compares the colours that the scanner actually sees with the colours it knows it should have seen.
From this comparison it calculates the profile.
This is a very similar process to the scanner profiling however now the lighting of the standard colour chart play an important part. If the lighting changes in any way the profile must be measured again and calculated again.
Once again the colours seen by the camera are compared with the colours known to be on the test chart to calculate the profile.
This quite straightforward and is worth doing if a lot of work is to be done with images.
It uses a colorimeter e.g. X-rite i1Display along with a special program that takes control of your monitor display and displays a range of colours each of which is measured by the colorimeter.
The program then compares what the colorimeter has seen with what it displayed on the screen to calculate the colour profile.
The resulting profile is stored in your computer system where the display software can find it and use it for all the display work not just when handling images.
Essentially, printer profiling is a four stage process :
|1.||Turn off any printer profiling and print the standard colour charts.|
|2.||Scan the printed colour charts using a spectrophotometer.|
|3.||Compare the measured charts against the known colours to calculate the profile.|
|4.||Install the profile and use it with when printing and with Photoshop.|
The profile is specific to the paper and the ink used so there is a different profile for each paper (or canvas) and ink combination.
J Framing and Pictures has the facility to produce profiles for printers. Please email for prices and procedures.