by Oliver Mews
How to print correctly using an ICC printer profile
Before dealing with color profiles in detail, there is one thing you should be aware of.
Only when you are using color management throughout your whole color-workflow, can you be sure you will achieve high quality and reproducible results.
The colors on your monitor aren’t necessarily equal to the colors on your printout. In our daily contact with hobby and professional photographers, we see that people often think that with a calibrated monitor and a printer profile, photos/pictures will print out the same way they appear on screen. This is not the case, but something can be done to get these colors as close as possible within the physical limits.
The bigger box shows the color gamut of a monitor, while the smaller (and colored) box shows the color gamut of a printer.
Soft-Proofing is the simulation of the print-out of an image directly on the monitor. This is in contrast to a proof, as you may know it from the Offset printing business, where you will get a pre-print on paper.
Some printer manufacturers directly supply, together with the printer drivers, profiles for different paper types. Well known paper manufacturers may also have profiles for your papers available, usually free of charge and online. Make sure that these profiles match your printer. General or generic ICC-Printer-Profiles already allow good printing results, so they are a good start. However, all printers behave differently due to the tolerance of the components used and therefore have their own characteristics. Since these profiles have not been created on your unique printer, there will always be some variations. If you want to have 100% control over your workflow, or even use papers where there is no matching profile available, you have to use a professional printer calibration solution, like the SpyderPRINT.
In order to view a simulated printout on the calibrated monitor, you need the appropriate ICC-Printer-Profile for your printer-paper-ink combination, or the one from the printing service, installed on your computer. If this profile is downloaded, you must save it under the following folder, to make it available on the computer:
If you have created a profile with SpyderPRINT, it will be saved automatically in the appropriate folder after the profiling process.
How to print with ICC-Printer-Profiles
How to set the printer driver settings correctly?
The following screenshots will help you to find the correct settings for your printer:
Also choose the final “Output Resolution” setting, even if you are printing the color chart (that has no texture details) to create an individual printer profile.
When you are generating your own printer profiles with a SpyderPRINT exactly the same settings have to be used for the test print as for the final image.
Last but not least, please set the “ColorMode” to “Off”. This will ensure that the printer driver won’t make any color adjustments.
Printer Driver Settings for the Canon PRO-1 Series
If you are working/printing with a Mac, sometimes it’s not possible to turn off “Color- Sync”. This option is then greyed out but activated. Solution: Include the profile “GenericRGB.icc” in the ColorSync settings. Here is a short video description on how to do that:
The procedure to turn off color management in the printer driver is similar for Windows and Macintosh.
However, it may be different depending upon the brand of printer (e.g. Epson, Canon, HP…) and possibly even the version of the printer driver software being used.
It is always a good idea to use the latest printer driver version for your printer and operating system. You can check this on your printer manufacturer’s website.
Issues related to turning off color management may also directly be addressed to the printer manufacturer’s technical support.
If you have got any questions and comments regarding our Spyder products, please get in touch with our support:
We are also happy to provide you with additional information on Color Management and related subjects.
Keep on having fun when printing your images and dealing with color and Color Management.