Everyone who faced inkjet printing realized that prints are not always correspond to reality and sometimes the color transfer is not the one you were expecting. If you are reading this words you are on the right way: your printer can print qualitative and it is not that complicate as it seems. You need printer colour calibration.
What ICC profile is and why you need it
Practical task that matters to us is how to make the right combination of inks and contone algorithms for inkjet printers that will minimize color shifts a print taking into account different lightning (sunny, cloudy, fluorescent, filament lamps etc). Let’s take a look at the example (Pic.1) where you can see the difference between the initial file and printed pictures on different expendable materials.
Pic.1 - Original image, original cartridges, CISS
You may ask “But how is it possible? We are paying a bunch of money for original expandable materials. They are made by the gods of inkjet printing. Another thing is CISS, installation for printer made by unknown factories with suspicious content that is hardly called inks”.
These opinions are wrong and we well explain you why. In the first case, even if the manufacturing companies which make equipment for inkjet printers and expandable materials are advanced in this area, their manufacturing is on the flux and there is no opportunity to set every made device. To solve this problem they decided to use average values that were counted on special device. Probably, the average values will work, but not in printing where to see the average colors is undesirable. As for the second case where CISS is used we can receive good prints because CISS manufactures are working hard to make the quality of prints good for users.
But what should we do if we want to have printed pictures that will reproduce colors correctly and will have perfect color transfer.
The solution is profiling, the process of color profile creation(International Color Consortium) which is considering printing settings features(inks, paper, lightning etc) and technical characteristics of the device.(Pic.2)
Pic.2 - Original image, original cartridges, CISS
Color profile creating is a long difficult process in which we receive ICC profile, relief and necessary file for printer drivers which contains the info about what colors of ink is necessary to mix (to splash on a paper through the nozzles of printing head )to get the best quality of printing and color transfer to receive the right color on the paper, black to be black, yellow to be yellow and red to be red according to special standards. After every color grading you take the color test. It makes profiling maximum qualitative. Color controlling gives you the most qualitative prints.
But there are some differences. First of all there minimization is different and second it depends with what to compare, with the monitor which production is the same as printer’s and color transferring is mid-set too. By the way monitors can be also profiled and given to the right color transfer. Monitor calibration is performed on a special equipment. This way you have the great color transfer: what you see on the monitor is what you get on your prints. But the best thing is that there is no need to pay a bunch of money for original materials because you can receive the same quality using more cheap expandable materials like CISS.
Probably you have a question what an inkjet printer user has to do to get ICC profile. Don’t worry, there is no need to take your printer to the office or to call the expert to your place. It’s enough to print special color scales( you can get them on your e-mail or download on our site) or targets, that contain special set of control colors, mail them or bring to our office and during the day you’ll receive an e-mail with the instructions how to use ICC profile.
However printers are not the only devices that can be in the need of calibrating. Any device that has display may be set up to produce real and bright colours. We also can help you to calibrate monitor and make laptop calibration.
From now on you can use ICC profile in professional photo editors such as Photoshop, InDesign, Corel Draw etc. and every program which support ICC standard.
Have a good and high-quality prints!
Setting up ICC profile
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