Tag Archives: Printer Profiling

Red Arrows Staff Away Day at RAF Scampton

SCA-Official-20150522-659-002-A

Last Friday (22 May 2015), some of the Color Confidence team went on a staff away day to RAF Scampton in Lincoln. It was a lovely day out, which included:

  • A presentation on the activities of the Red Arrows, given by one of the Squadron’s Officers
  • Sitting in on the pilot’s briefing session
  • Watching a flying display practice
  • Having a photograph taken with the pilots in front of an aircraft (see picture above)
  • Sitting in on the pilot’s debrief session
  • A buffet lunch with the team members
  • A guided tour of the Hawk aircraft by one of the engineers.

This was an exciting opportunity to watch the Red Arrows in action before the start of their UK tour. A selection of images from the day can be found below:

2The Red Arrows flying display practice.

3What an incredible display.

1A majority of the team had their professional photography equipment at the ready!

4We have supported the Red Arrows for a number of years and provide them with colour management services, prints and equipment.

7Our guided tour of the Hawk aircraft.

6

The common question…

Yesterday we spent a very enjoyable day down at LCE Southampton

It’s always good getting out and about and talking to people face to face. It’s something we enjoy, and without wanting to boast, it’s something we’re very good at. We had a great time talking to you all, and we hope you enjoyed our seminar session in the evening.

As ever though, there was one query that stood out above all others:

“My images look great on screen, but don’t look anything like it when printing out” – or in other words; how can I get my printouts to match my screen?

The answer is calibration – a calibration of both a monitor and printer to be precise.

The device capable of performing both is called the ColorMunki Photo from X-Rite.

ColorMunki Photo

Whereas other calibrators will just take care of your screen or projector, the ColorMunki Photo will do your screen as well as any printer(s) you have connected to your laptop, Mac or PC.

Essentially it does the same thing to both devices; namely getting them to display or printout a series of colours for it to measure, compare to what the colour should be and create a profile to compensate for the difference.

Once these profiles are saved and applied to your machine you can start printing with peace of mind what you see on screen is what you’ll see coming out of the printer.

Calibrate your screen once a month and profile your printer for any paper/ink combinations and you’re good to go.

Easy.

You can learn more about ColorMunki Photo here.

Why don’t my printouts match my screen?

This is probably the most frequent question we get asked at CC HQ…

Whether on the phone, at Focus on Imaging, or at one of our Drop-in days; “why does my printout look different to what I see on-screen” is a frequent query from photographers and designers alike, particularly those that are starting, or wanting to print from home.

There are no single reasons for this, there are often multiple factors coming into play, such as; an un-calibrated screen, your working environment lighting conditions, system set-ups on your monitor or printer, the list goes on…

Luckily, there is a simple solution to this problem in the shape of the X-Rite ColorMunki Photo.

ColorMunki Photo has been designed to be an all-in-one spectral device for monitor, printer and even projector profiling – basically, a device that will ensure what you see on your screen is replicated as closely as possible when you print out.

It does this by calibrating/profiling both your LCD/CRT monitor and your printer.

Firstly, working like a ‘conventional’ monitor calibrator, ColorMunki Photo will create a custom profile you can save and apply to your monitor. It will integrate your display contrast settings and brightness into your workflow, giving you accurate on-screen colours.

Secondly, ColorMunki Photo will calibrate your RGB or CMYK printer by getting it to print out a series of test charts. The ColorMunki will scan the first test chart, learning how your printer behaves with these colours. Once this is done, a second chart is produced and scanned by the ColorMunki, thus creating a printer profile to save to your printer.

That’s it.

Colour accuracy is now achieved across your workflow from monitor to printer.

Learn more about ColorMunki Photo and how it can benefit your workflow here.

Spring has arrived!

The weather is much better, the sun is actually shining and Spring is very much in the air. Or, at least it was yesterday…

Anyway, to celebrate we have two special Spring offers for you:

1) Get into quality printouts with X-Rite and Tecco

If you buy a ColorMunki Photo this month, you can get yourself a free box of A4 Tecco paper.

The X-Rite ColorMunki Photo will calibrate both your monitor and printer, meaning what you see on screen is what you end up printing out  (one of the most common queries at Focus this year was “why do my printouts look different than what’s on screen?”)  ensuring greater accuracy.

This offer also means you can print out your newly found accurate images on quality paper.

The Tecco paper range includes different types of paper with varying characteristics, helping to add life and depth to your images. For example, Tecco Iridium Silver Gloss is a silver metallised paper perfect for intensifying black and white images, and Tecco Sepia Satin will add a classic/vintage sepia finish to your prints.

We have 5 paper types to choose from – so once your monitor and printer are calibrated, you can get creative with your printing.

Learn more about the offer here.

Then…

2) Get creative with Color Efex Pro 4 for less

So you’ve now got monitor and printer calibration sorted, as well as some quality paper to print on, but what about your actual image editing?

Until the end of April, you can save 20% on Color Efex Pro 4 from Nik Software.

Color Efex Pro 4 is versatile and intuitive allowing you to colour correct, edit and retouch your digital images, making use of Nik’s patented U-Point technology.

The ‘Complete’ edition has 55 filters (10 improved, 8 brand new) which offer combined flexibility and creativity to quickly stylise your images and make them stand out from the crowd.

Along with Silver Efex Pro 2, Color Efex Pro 4 was one of our most popular and well-received products at this year’s Focus on Imaging.

Learn more about this offer here.

And lastly, don’t forget to come and see us at Sign and Digital UK, stand P94! See www.signuk.com for the lowdown.

Colour management: an overview

This latest segment of colour confidence blog posts will link to information from our Learning Centre, and hopefully give you an insight into a range of topics you may find a bit puzzling!

First stop is colour management itself; what is it exactly, and why do you need it?

“Have you ever wondered why your digital camera pictures don’t look the same when displayed on your monitor? Or why they look different again when printed out? The answer is that no two devices display colour in the same way. Every device has its own colour range or gamut. Every camera and scanner captures colour differently. Even two
monitors of the same model and type will display slightly different results.

“To keep your colour consistent from device to device, you need colour management. At the heart of colour management is the process of profiling (also known as ICC profiling). By profiling a device, you can ensure it is displaying colour correctly within its capabilities, based on industry standards. Once the profiles are in place, you can make sure colour is reproduced in the same way by all devices – to put it simply, you can get your printer to create a print that looks as close as possible to the picture on your monitor.

“While this may sound complicated, most colour management products are designed to make the process as simple as possible, using automation and easy to use, wizard-based software. In as little as ten minutes, you could profile your entire system.”

So, colour management is the process to help you keep colour accurate and consistent throughout your workflow. But what ways are there to introduce or commence the colour management process?

There are 3 primary ways to help you get accurate colour:

  1. Profiling your monitor
  2. Profiling your printer
  3. Profiling your camera

All three have their own solutions, and all three have their own processes to help you achieve accurate colour. Crucially though; when these methods are combined – you start getting incredible results.

Want to know more about the why and the how to start profiling – download our colour management pdf which explains the processes a little further.

You can then check back to colorconfidence.com to see which solutions might be best for you.

Happy profiling!

Adam Borriello
Social media & marketing

What is printer profiling?

Profiling a printer is a requirement if you want to get correct colour prints. Just like a picture looks different depending on the type of light you look at it under (or under no light and you can’t see the picture), the ink in your printer will produce different results depending on the type of paper you use. Even if you use paper supplied by the printer manufacturer and select their recommended print settings – although you should get ‘reasonable’ results – it will not be perfect.

To read more about how light effects viewing an image, read our previous post

Each printer off the production line will vary slightly, and different room conditions (temperature and humidity) will affect how the printer ink and paper react – resulting in colour variations. A printer also changes with time – not just winter to summer depending on the conditions, but through wear and tear and variations in the consumables.

So the way to control all this is by making profiles for your printer – one for each paper type and with a reasonably stable printer, they should be remade every 1-2 months – or more frequently if there is a noticeable change which could be caused by one of many factors.

There are two entry-level instruments available; the Color Munki (from X-Rite/Pantone) and the Spyder Print (from Data Colour). Moving up a level, there is the i1 Pro instrument (from X-Rite).

The Color Munki instruments will let you calibrate printers as well as monitors. They come with software for doing all sorts of other things with colour also, so it is a product that you could end up benefiting from using more frequently than just once a month for calibration.

If you are printing your own pictures, it’s worthwhile considering a Color Munki to calibrate both your monitor and printer. Otherwise with just a monitor calibrator I expect it will be frustrating knowing that your pictures will look correct on-screen but you are having to make them look wrong and waste time, ink and paper on getting a print to look like you originally had on your correct monitor.

With both your monitor and printer calibrated, you will know images on your screen are colour correct. Furthermore, when you go to print, you can select the profile you made for the chosen paper type and the computer will adjust the image data within the printing process configuring the printer/paper profile to produce a colour correct image in print.

If you have any other questions about printer profiling, get in touch or comment below and we’ll answer them.

Simon Prais
Technical Director