Friday, July 4, 2008

Printing Houses

MCP Action's post the other day was regarding color management. This is a topic that I have just started reading up on as of two days ago. The land of calibration hardware for your monitor, color space settings, ICC profiles ... it's enough to make your head spin (and wallet empty). This post featured Color Inc Pro Labs and even offered a 50% off your first order discount code. Head on over and check out MCP's blog to get the discount code.

As for the first issue - monitor calibration - there are many devices available for calibrating your monitor to ensure that the colors you see (and pictures you edit) print the way YOU expect them too. The Eye-one display 2 (X-Rite), recommended by WHCC which retails for $249, or Spyder 2 (ColorVision) which has three options or price levels are two frequently recommended products.

The second issue is regarding the color space that you work in Photoshop when editing and saving the photos. Each printing house recommends sRGB from what I've seen (select IEC61966-2.1 in photoshop). Just make sure you check the box to save the color space imbedded in the image for the print house to determine your color space. WHCC suggests
set your target Whitepoint and Gamma curve to 6500k and Gamma 2.2. These, however, are only recommendations, you may find that your viewing environment has warmer lights, in which case you could experiment with a Whitepoint of 5000k.

The last issue is regarding ICC profiles. I really don't know anything about these and still researching this topic at the moment. For all of you graphic designers pro photogs out there, feel free to clue me in!

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