Here at the Bureau we take multiple steps to ensure that colors stay consistent from print to print, by calibrating our machines and monitors often and using the same profiles and settings.


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Color Laser Printing

Calibration Schedule – daily, a series of test to maintain the closest possible reproduction.*
Profile – GRACoL2006 Coated 1

* Despite our best efforts and yours, due to the nature of color laser printing, colors will shift throughout the day and from day to day.


Inkjet Printing 

Calibration Schedule – Custom-made paper-specific profiles are re-linearized (checked for color consistency) every 3 days.
Profile – AdobeRGB(1998)


Monitor Calibration

There are steps you can take, beyond the test strip, to ensure that your final print looks as close as possible to what is on your screen. We have two X-Rite i1Display Pro’s available for use at the Service Bureau.

Step One: Monitor Calibration

Monitors are not inherently programmed to check color accuracy. Colors shift over time, and while some monitors are better at maintaining color accuracy, all monitors need to be calibrated.

How to: To properly calibrate your monitor you need an Eye One Calibrating Puck. You can check one out at any of the 3 Media Centers on campus. The Eye One does most of the work for you and the kit will include directions. Just be sure that your settings are as follows:

Temp: 6500K
Gamma: 2.2

How often:  Desktops – once a week. Laptops – as often as possible. Any time the lighting situation where you’re working changes, you should recalibrate.

 Step Two: Color Profiles – Soft Proofing and Converting **

**These directions are specific to Inkjet Printing only. Calibrating your screen is a good idea either way. 

Every image has an assigned color profile that limits the number of colors in that image. Ideally, you want to start with the larges color profile possible and only reduce or change that profile when absolutely necessary. Here are some of the common color profiles from the largest (with the most possible colors) to the smallest.

ProPhoto     >     AdobeRGB1998   >     sRGB

To find out what color profile your image is currently using open the file in Photoshop and go to the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

Click the arrow to open up a menu of info available on the image.
Right now we are looking at the Document Size. 

profilecheck1

 

Click “Document Profile” to see your current profile.
The Service Bureau uses AdobeRGB(1998) for Inkjet prints. If your file is not that you will need to convert it. profilecheck2

 

 

 

 

 

 


Soft Proofing

Converting your file to a different color profile changes the way it looks, sometimes dramatically. By Soft Proofing your file you can see how your image will look without permanently changing it.

How to Soft Proof for Inkjet Printing at the Service Bureau

Open your image in Photoshop

Go to View>Proof Setup > Custom

softproof

Preserve RGB Numbers – OFF

Rendering Intent – Perceptual (photographic) or Relative Colormetric (graphics) *** whatever looks best
Black Point Compensation – ON or OFF, whatever looks best ****

*** There are two other Rendering Intents, Absolute and Saturated. These are not compatible with our printers and will make your images look strange.

**** If you are printing on a matte paper, you want to turn Black Point Compensation OFF.

Converting to Profile 

Converting to your final profile permanently moves your image into that color space. It’s the last step before saving the file to be printed.

How to Convert Your File for Printing at the Service Bureau

Open your file in Photoshop

Go to Edit > Convert to Profile…

convert

Profile: Adobe RGB(1998)
Engine: Adobe (ACE)
Dither: OFF

Use the same settings you used in Soft Proof for Intent and Black Point Compensation.