Applied Color Theory Archive

Profiling and Proofing

Assign Profile, or Don't Color Manage? (2006)
Confronted with thousands of untagged CMYK files from a client, a list member asks what to assume about them.

CMYK to CMYK: How to convert existing CMYK Files (2004)
What to do when the printer specifies a different brand of CMYK than the one currently in the file.

CMYK to CMYK: Tricking Photoshop Into Converting (2007)
How do we make sure that Photoshop realizes that we intend for the conversion to be made?

CMYK and the Info Palette (2007)
Suggestions for how to evaluate colors in several colorspaces.

Color Management in Private Book Publishing (2007)
Retrospective discussion of Dan's 1999 column.

Color Management Workflows (2003)
List members discuss hat constitutes a properly managed workflow.

Contract Proof, What's the Definition? (2002)
What are printers obligated to accept, who is responsible for ensuring its quality, and why making proofs is not like manufacturing screws.

CTP and No Proof (2005)
List moderator Stephen Marsh confronts the problem of sending a complicated, critical job to an unknown printer without a proof.

Custom CMYK and Paper White (2003)
Why the Custom CMYK engine can't simulate an off-white paper in screen previews.

Custom CMYK and Paper White (2008)
What to do when it's important to compensate for the eventual color of the paper, when viewing the file on screen..

Embedded Profile 1: The Dangers of Embedding in CMYK (2002)
The client embeds a CMYK profile, but doesn't tell the printer. The printer honors the (incorrect) profile, ruining the job. Whose fault is it? (But before you answer, see "Embedded Profile 4" below.)

Embedded Profile 2: Who's Embedding? (2002)
A service provider reports on how few corporations are embedding tags, sparking the usual lively debate.

Embedded Profile 3: Best RGB Workspace (2003)
A question on which RGB workspace to use on stock photos that are destined for CMYK turns into a discussion as to whether the print industry is rigidly stuck in stupidity.

Embedded Profile 4: Who's to Blame? (2003)
The client embeds an Adobe RGB profile, but doesn’t tell the printer. The printer ignores it, ruining the job. Whose fault is it? After this extremely long thread, the answers may be clearer. (And see "Embedded Profile 1", above.)

Embedded Profile 5: Deliver in LAB? (2003)
About a month after the last one ends, the longest thread in list history commences and ends with the philosophical question of how much one can trust a stranger to handle one’s files, with several lengthy tangents, notably one on where printers should compensate for dot gain.

Embedded Profile 6: CMYK Profiles in the Age of CTP (2004)
A question about how to submit CMYK files to unknown printers turns into a lengthy back-and-forth about the propensity of printers to ruin jobs by misusing embedded profiles.

Embedded Profile 7: Adobe RGB Strikes Again (2005)
An Australian photographer is victimized when a printer ignores his Adobe RGB tag.

Embedded Profile 8: What Book Publishers Know (2006)
List member Lee Varis offers a sad story of handing off tagged RGB files to the publisher of his book, and is compared to one of Dan's favorite characters, the Unlucky Expert.

Embedded Profile 9: Should Embedded RGB Profiles Be Assumed Correct? (2006)
Two list members who operate service providers, both supporters of ICC color management, reveal that they won't necessarily honor an incoming RGB profile.

Embedded Profile 10: What's the Point of Embedding a CMYK Profile? (2007)
A rehash of old arguments as to the pros and cons of putting a tag in CMYK files.

Embedded Profile 11: Should Embedded CMYK Profiles Be Assumed Correct? (2009)
A commercial printer asks, when a client's file contains an embedded CMYK profile but no other instruction, should the profile be honored?

EXIF Tags and Their Consequences (2002)
Discussion of the camera tag that's usually sRGB, usually incorrect, and causes a problem for Photoshop 7.0 users.

The Facts (?) About Color Management (2009)
A speaker, addressing an unsophisticated group of users, oversimplifies the subject rather more than the group would like.

False Profiles and True Corrections (2001)
The use (or misuse) of the RGB working space definition to correct otherwise intractable images.

False Profiles Redux (2001)
More on how and when to use this technique.

False Profiles vs. Exposure (2008)
Review of instructions on how to make false profiles, and how their effects compare to those of the Exposure command.

Gamut Warning: What Does It Do? (2007)
A discussion of what the settings accomplish.

L*Star RGB (2006)
Discussion of a little-known RGB alternative.

Matchprint Highlight Variation (2004)
Why does the same brand of proof look different depending upon who prepared it?

Monitor Calibration Help (2007)
A student asks for advice and launches a political-correctness discussion.

Monitor Color Temperature Setting (2007)
How should the white point be set for optimal viewing?

Newsprint Profile (2002)
List members discuss generalized newsprint profiles, and what they teach us about dealing with poor printing conditions.

Offset Printing: How Many Proofs? (2007)
A list member wants to know how many proofs experts get before running their jobs. The answer: not very many.

Pantone Colors, Proofing (2004)
How to match PMS colors with a desktop printer.

Pantone Colors, Reverse Engineering (1999)
Is it possible to look up the original pantone color in a Photoshop CMYK image?

Photoshop 6 color settings, color management, and the emperor's clothes (2000)
A sweeping and contentious group of threads concerning the changes in Photoshop 6's settings, the difference between color management and color correction, and whether any print shops are actually using 'color management'.

Photographers, CMYK, and Proofing (2003)
Professional photographers debate whether handing off RGB for CMYK destinations is a copout, and how to set up proofing workflows.

Preview Changes Brightness (2007)
How much can a preview image be trusted?

Proofing Devices for SWOP (2003)
What is required for an proof to be acceptable as a SWOP emulation?

ProPhoto RGB: Do We Need an Ultra-wide RGB? (2006)
An extremely long thread debates the merits. Includes an analysis by Dan of two flower images where it is claimed that the extra gamut of ProPhoto RGB is necessary.

ProPhoto RGB: Do We Need an Ultra-wide RGB? (Dan's analysis only) (2006)
Although Dan's analysis appears there, because of the length of the previous link, it's repeated here by itself.

Prophoto RGB Analysis: the Images (2006)
A 60mb zip download of the companion images to Dan's commentary on the kinds of images that are more suitable for an ultra-wide RGB, such as ProPhoto RGB or Wide Gamut RGB.

ProPhoto RGB Analysis: Image IDs (2006)
The images in the foregoing download are not identified, so that viewers can form their opinions on quality without being biased by knowing which version is which. This short file contains the missing identifications.

Red Doesn't Exist! (2006)
A user wants to know wny his inkjet printer is incapable of a vivid red.

RGB to RGB Conversions (2004)
Why do stock photo houses insist upon using a proprietary RGB definition?

RGBK (2006)
When should this artificial wide-gamut CMYK setting be used?

RGB for Projectors (2009)
Which RGB variant should be used?

Save for Web Color Shift (2003)
When an RGB file is Saved for Web in Imageready, it becomes dull and washed out. Here’s why, and what to do about it.

sRGB: "I Switched to Adobe RGB" (2000)
The pros and cons of wider-gamut RGB spaces.

sRGB vs. Adobe RGB, 2001
Two threads explore which RGB variant is best for various purposes.

sRGB: RGB Numbers and Workspaces (2003)
More on the pluses and minuses of wide-gamut workspaces

sRGB vs. Adobe RGB, 2004
A lengthy recap of the issues, with many workflow recommendations, including Dan's flowchart on when to use each one.

sRGB vs. ProPhoto RGB? (2006)
A list member tries to establish a sensible workflow and gets a blizzard of responses.

sRGB: Ultra-wide RGBs and Monitor Gamut (2006)
The problems of working in a space that defines colors too brilliant for the monitor.

Uncoated Stock, Coated Profile (2003)
The impact of using the "wrong" profile to make a separation.

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