Color Management

Professional Color Managed Workflow

You know from experience that taking the photo is only half of the creative process. In the film days, it was always a guessing game to see how your photo would come back from the lab. Would it look as good as you remembered it when you shot it? It always seemed like there was a huge disconnect between what the camera saw and what the printer sent you.

Digital photography offers many advantages; one of them being that you can see your image on-screen before you send it to print. You don’t want to have the same guessing game of how it’s going to get printed.

Let’s talk about color space. Your photos are most likely shot in RGB. When you import your photos to an editing program, like Photoshop, or even Printroom Pro Studio Manager, there are several color space options within an RGB space. You can have sRGB IEC61966-2.1, Adobe RGB (1998), ColorMatch RGB or even an embedded custom profile. These settings determine the amount of colors that are used to process your photo.

Here’s the point. No matter what color space your photos are in, our preprint software recognizes your color space and adjusts to match. We use the color information in your image file to convert it to the color space of the printer used to print the size and paper combination specified in the order. As a result, the images are printed exactly how you see them on your calibrated monitor in a “color aware” program like Adobe Photoshop.

But are you seeing correctly on the screen? Let’s talk about what you’re seeing. First of all, calibrate your monitor. Calibrate it often, if possible, to ensure that your screen is displaying exactly what your computer is telling it to display. Secondly, download our ICC profile to tell your software program how to interpret your colors. When you view your images using our ICC profile you’re telling your computer how our printers will handle the file, and your screen will adjust accordingly. That’s it in a nutshell.

One thing you don’t want to do is to embed the Printroom.icc color profile before sending it to us—this will only increase your image file size by about 700KBytes. In Photoshop, for example, load the profile, and just view the image with the profile. No need to send the profile back to us.

Once again, if you like having control over your images, you may choose to utilize our color management system and send us your files exactly how you want them printed. You maintain all the creative license as to how it’s going to look. You always have the option to select “autocorrect” when you place your order, and we will have a live technician look at each of your photos and color correct them before they print. It’s up to you. If you’re still undecided, check out the advantages of using our profile over other labs that you might have tried.